So, about a year ago after a long winter stuck in the house (I think I was finishing up Josiah #6), Rose and I decided to get season tickets to Broadway Across America as our birthday/anniversary/Christmas present. I like those all-in-one presents--saves me from forgetting. Anyway, we wanted to see a couple of the shows, and figured why not just do the entire season. It was something we'd always talked about doing, but just let slide by. So we took the plunge, bought the tickets for shows that didn't start until six months later. Truth was, if we hadn't done it right then, we wouldn't have gone to any of the shows. You know how it is something always comes up. So Operation Get Out of the House was born.
I think it does one good to go somewhere out of the ordinary. I'm OK with musicals, but plays have always been my preference. But for entertainment, a spectacle is a nice distraction.
This last Saturday was the third show out five--Sister Act. We've already seen Billy Elliot and Jersey Boys (which did not wow us like we thought it would).
But first we stopped at a little Italian restaurant along the way. We used to frequent this restaurant reasonably regularly, but the chef left, and the quality of the food and service went downhill pretty quick. It had been a while, so we thought we'd give it another chance. Big Mistake. The food was flavorless, the portions were small, and the check was much bigger than it should have been. A chain Italian restaurant out shines this one by miles. We won't go back.
Here's the thing--if I was going to to rate this experience, it would be one star and that would be generous. What's the restaurant's name? Not saying. Why? That one star is just my opinion. The restaurant was packed. Surely they weren't all first time diners. This place has been around for a while. Maybe my expectations were too high--and may be not. But this is a locally-owned business, and honestly, I don't want to influence anything that might hurt their business. I'm not a restaurant critic. This is not a public service blog. And besides, I know what it feels like to get a one star review from an anonymous reader--and so do a ton of other writers. Why would I want to spread the joy and do the same thing to someone else? If you don't like something, vote with your wallet, that's all I'm saying. One of the first things you learn as a writer is: NOT EVERYBODY IS GOING TO LIKE YOU.
Maybe this place just wasn't for me. But it might be for you. That simple.
On to the show. I had little expectations of Sister Act going in (unlike Jersey Boys--the show everybody just LOVED!). I saw the movie with Whoopi Goldberg, and the movie was entertaining because of her, and not much else. I'm not catholic, and a movie about a street-wise singer hiding in a church, is not something that would usually find itself at the top of my must-see list. But the show came in the package, so what the heck.
OK, here's the thing. It was fun. Entertaining. Glitzy without being too preachy, and the talent was top notch. Ta'rea Campbell as Deloris Van Cartier was a stand out, and she ably stepped into Whoopi's high heels. I don't think Whoopi could hold a candle to this girl's voice, and that's not a slam to Whoppi, this girl could sing! Lael Van Keuren as Sister Mary Robert, the sheepish postulate that comes out of her shell, was another stand out. There really wasn't a bad apple in the cast. Surprisingly, so far, out of the three, this is the show we enjoyed the most.
The time went fast, and we forgot about the lousy meal, and most everything else for a couple of hours. It doesn't get any better than that. Overall, Operation Get Out of the House was successful, but next time, we'll be passing on the Italian.