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At the Ballet

We had an unusually festive weekend. Anne and her gang from work spent the afternoon at the Philadelphia Flower Show and were treated to dinner at Singapore Vegetarian by their boss. I planned to meet up with them after that for drinks at Monk’s Cafe. Since I hadn’t eaten, I was really looking forward to grabbing a bite at Monk’s, but it was simply too crowded. Off we trooped to Bob and Barbara’s a few blocks away. B&B’s was the opposite of Monk’s—it was practically empty—and they had virtually no food, although somehow Anne snagged me a bag of Combos at the bar. When one of us couldn’t prove he was of legal drinking age, they kicked us out. The nerve.

Our final stop was The Westbury, which was the most welcoming of the three places, not that we really belonged there. Let’s just say that the four women in our group seriously tipped the gender balance in the clientele. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I was finally able to order a sandwich, and we all enjoyed a round of drinks. Nice place.

On Saturday, we had tickets for Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of “Firebird” (performances through March 11). We stopped first for dinner at Fergie’s (where a few of the blogger meetups had been held). There was the usual Irish music jam session in progress and a full house with no tables available, but in minutes two seats at the bar became available. Sadly, they were out of Nodding Head Grog so we had Smithwick’s instead. Dinner was delicious as usual.

Firebird is, I believe, only the third ballet I’ve ever attended. Although Stravinsky’s score is one of my favorite pieces, I never knew anything about the ballet or the story. It’s a fanciful tale about an enchanted forest with, of course, a firebird, and a very happy ending. The production was a little short on spaceships and explosions, although there were some nice special effects. Before “Firebird,” the company presented “Franklin Court,” which was inspired by some of Benjamin Franklin’s inventions. The music was by Bach, and one of the pieces featured Franklin’s glass armonica. You know the ethereal sound you get when you run a wet finger around the rim of a wine glass? Well, that’s what the armonica sounds like.

Even though I have almost no experience watching ballet, I enjoyed the evening, and there were more than a few moments when I felt like I knew what was going on. I never get that feeling watching sports.


I was at the ballet on Saturday night, as well. I thought it was an interesting combination - the spartan set of the Franklin piece and the extreme costuming in The Firbird. I could watch Aranxta dance for hours...of even minutes. Fun stuff. We also tried out Estia afterwards...good one-two punch.

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