Dinner and a Show


Welcome back to the Scuttlebutt. I’m not going to go politics today. Last weekend was Mrs. Lehman and my 22nd anniversary, so we went out for dinner, a show and a hotel room for the night, so that we didn’t have to drive home afterwards.


By the way, if you are driving home afterwards and you’re drinking, we’ll be having the safety brief later, it’ll be in the fan room, I’ll be the guy with the dogging wrench that whacks you in the teeth as you walk in the door. Don’t be a dumbass, get a ride, get a room, get a clue.



So, first let’s tackle dinner.  Yes, this is a restaurant review.  The picture you see above is the door of the restaurant in question. NOTE, no sign, no shingle, the only clue you have, if you’re not in the know, is the little plaque by the door, with the hours posted on it.


The place is known appropriately enough as “The Pink Door.”  They’re in Seattle, at Pike Place, off Post alley, across the alley from Kell’s (which a blind man can find) … Look Kell’s is a great spot too, but this place is something special.


They don’t advertise (except for a small web site) The place is surprisingly large on the inside, the wood floors are highly figured golden oak, and the whole place is “Italian Coastal Bistro” in style and mentality. Because they don’t advertise, they bring in the sort of folks that talk to other foodies, the sort of clientele that they’re targeting in the first place.


The prices are about median for a higher end Seattle establishment (which means they’ll give a Midwesterner a mild cardiac infarction), but it’s the city… If you can find great food for less than $25 a plate average, don’t tell anyone, you’ll never get in the door again.


I hereby put out the welcome mat for any of the authors I’ve loved to read, if you find yourself in Seattle on a weekend, we’ll take you here if you want to go.  Looking at you here Mike Williamson, Larry Correia, John Ringo, Sarah Hoyt…


The service was outstanding, friendly without fawning, PROMPT, educated on the menu.  This is the sort of place you say, “what’s good?” they ask “what do you feel like? or, What do you like?” and then they proceed to make you a very happy customer.    


The menu (as you might guess from the bistro model) is not huge, but is ever changing, the wine list, beer list, and cocktails are very good (not as many whiskeys as I might like, but hey, there’s LOTS of whiskey bars in town, there’s only one pink door.)


They don’t do “traditional” Italian, they mix in a little modern twist, for instance, I had the Scampi, it was done with Valencia Orange, and basil as well as the traditional butter, olive oil, garlic, etc… OH MY GODS that was good, and there must have been 18 shrimp (20 count size) so basically a full pound of them suckers.  


The serving size was perfect.  Two appetizers split, one entrée each, there was just barely enough room to split a desert without feeling like we were going to have to waddle all the way home.


Oh, and they’re not doing that “mandatory tip” shit.  Look, you force me to pay you a 20% tip, I promise you, you’ll not get one fucking cent more.  On the other hand, we tipped these folks 30% on a $200 dinner. It was that good, the service was that good.  By the way, in the unlikely event that you’re reading this, Lucas, you rocked, thank you for everything. (looking at the bill, I see that on parties of 6 or more they do a mandatory tip. That seems reasonable to me, that’s a lot of work)
Next time you’re in Seattle, stop in.  You won’t be disappointed, they keep the place fullish without advertising for a reason. They’re that good.


After the dinner, we went to “The Hunchback Of Notre Dame” at the 5th Ave.  It was the media show (the one the reviewers go to, yes, I got tickets for that, comped, it helps to have friends in low places.)


Yes, the rest of this is a play review.


I was prepared to dislike this show.  They did something that I feared would be a “gimmick” and drip of “Social Justice” The lead character, Quasimodo was played by Joshua M Castille, who is deaf.


He made it work!


Look, understand this is a musical!  With a deaf lead. One of the Gargoyles, as played by E.J. Cardona sang for him, and did an amazing job.  


The story wraps, of course, around that age-old question that we seemingly keep coming back to.  What is a man, what is a monster, and how do you tell the difference?


They could have gone the cheap and easy route making the priest Jehan Frollo, played by Eric Ankrim a complete asshole from the very beginning.  They did not.


It’s a funny thing, we speak of a man’s mettle.  Often, it’s confused with metal, and there are similarities between the two.  A man, or a chunk of certain parts of the periodic table share some definite characteristics.


A man, or lead, pewter etc. … can be soft, sometimes too soft to be of use for lots of things.  Though even soft men, or soft metals have their uses.


A man or a chunk of steel can be hard, and they too have their uses.  But here’s the thing, get that man, or that steel too hard, and it becomes brittle.  Put pressure on it in the wrong way and it cracks. Sometimes it shatters catastrophically.


When what you hold to be true, to be the basics of your universe, come in conflict with reality or with something new that you learn about yourself, well, if you’re too hard, too brittle, you risk shattering.  


Not all monsters (in fact, I would say not most monsters) are born that way.  Something in them breaks, and what’s left, is no longer quite human.

The director introduces us to a man, a young man, and through the gentle application of an appliance and a change in posture and facial position, gives us what appears to be a monster.  He introduces us to a different man and shows us the monster that appears. When we remove the appliance, or when we forget about its existence in the heat of the moment, the man shows through.  But when what is within becomes a monster, well there’s no redemption.


Oh, and lest you think they Disneyfied it, rest assured, this had more of Shakespeare than Disney in it.  You know the difference between a Shakespearean comedy and a Shakespearean tragedy? Slightly smaller body count.  This is not a comedy.


Good acting, powerful singing by the Pacific Lutheran University Choir, I had only one complaint.  I want five minutes alone with the Sound Technician for the piece, I’ll bring my own ball bat. Eric Ankrim has a beautiful voice.  When he was singing acapella you could appreciate it. When the orchestra was playing you couldn’t hear a damn thing from the man. That’s on the tech boys.   


Well, that’s what it looks like from the sonar shack, until next week,


I remain:

Yours in service,

William Lehman.

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