Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blogging Boom: a hysterical, post-apocalyptic way to spend an evening.

Play: Boom
Theater: Woolly Mammoth Theater (Gallery Place-red or Archives/Navy Memorial-Green)
Genre: Comedy
Cost: There are student tickets for $15
Dates: Through December 7
Site: here
Rating: 5 “Starving Artists” (out of 5)

On Friday night Lady AWesome, two close friends, and I went to see the newest show at Woolly Mammoth Theater. We are huge fans of this company and this show did not disappoint. Woolly continues to push the envelope in surprising but effective ways. And, they have one of the best deals for young adults in town. $15 for people under 25. You can’t beat that! If you have a chance, catch Boom before it closes.

The play is an exploration of two unlikely characters who must face the possibility that they may become the last man and woman on earth, while the whole time they are watched over by our omniscient docent Barbara (Sarah Marshall). There is some pleasurable chemistry between Jules (Aubrey Deeker) and Jo (Kimberly Gilber), and there should be since the program says that they are roommates in real life. They shine as two grad students trapped in an underground lab during what may be the end of the world. Watching the two of them try and cope with the enormity of their lives is surprisingly fun, due to the especially lighthearted writing. This is quite a feat considering the seriousness of the subject matter, but the humor makes the thoughtful commentary on science and biology go down fairly easy. The set is gorgeous (I’d expect nothing less from a Woolly production), and thrust they constructed is a fun change for that space.

I know what you are saying though. You’re saying “I’ve see it before. It’s your basic story of ‘boy meets girl, world ends, boy and girl survive.” And I’d be inclined to agree. All of this is solid, but alone it would not make for a fantastic play, were it not for Sarah Marshall, who shines in another brilliant comedic performance. Marshall (who we recently saw in Woolly’s Maria/Stuart) delivers line after hysterical line in a part that really ties the show together. Her commentary lightens up the more serious moments and provides some perspectives in the more confusing ones. Her performance is not to be missed.

All told, I think this is a great play at an even better price. We went to Teaism (400 8th Street NW, to be blogged about later) for dinner, and we were able to do dinner and play and it didn’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a night on the town, I’d strongly recommend going this route. And so, I am happy to give it 5 “Starving Artists” (out of 5).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blogging Restaurant Week and Morrison Clark Restaurant

This week was the triumphant return of DC Restaurant Week. If you are looking for a way to try some of DC’s best dining establishments for a reasonable price, then RW is the way to go. For $35 ($25 for lunch) you can get a 3 course meal at some of the finest eateries in town. Now, I know that Friday was the last day of this Restaurant week, but it comes a couple of times a year and I’ll be sure and let my readers (for the moment, that’s both of you) know the next time it comes up. You can also sign up for an account at Open Table and they will incessantly e-mail you the next time one comes around. There is usually one in January and one in August.

Now I would like to tell you about this year’s Restaurant Week experiment.

Restaurant: Morrison Clark Restaurant
Address: 1015 L Street, NW
Metro: Mt. Vernon Sq (green/yellow) or McPherson Square (blue/orange)
Genre: American
Cost: $35 for restaurant week
Rating: 3/5 “Starving Artists” (This is my new rating system. If you have a better idea for a unit of measure, I’m definitely open)
I got to go to this restaurant with Lady AWesome and my mom (who was briefly in town) which was a nice treat. The setting is really sweet. It is a historical inn built in 1864, with a classic southern dining room. It was quaint and quiet.

The food was solid. Open table described the food as “Southern” I don’t know what was southern about it, as it was your standard, fancy American fair, but it was good. The dishes were rich and flavorful, though not overly creative or innovative. I had the spinach salad (warm bacon vinaigrette, roasted beets, shaved onions & vine ripened tomatoes), the pork tenderloin medallions (balsamic vinegar cranberry reduction, spinach, baby vegetables and spoon bread) and the warm chocolate pumpkin swirl brownie. The salad was delicious once I asked for some additional dressing. The main course was really great, especially the cranberry reduction. The “spoon bread” was an interesting touch which had the consistency of grits and the taste of polenta, but it went well with everything else. Lady AWesome had the beef short ribs which were also quite good, though perhaps a little too rich.

All in all, I felt the restaurant was tasty but not inspiring. It was good meal but not what I was hoping for. The best RW experiences I have had have been at restaurants I never would have been to otherwise. I see RW as a chance to really go out of the box, and for that reason alone, I’d recommend that you try something different next time RW comes around.

Yesterday we saw Boom, so expect another post soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quick hits: Boom and Cirque du Soleil

I am introducing a new piece of the blog. I will use “quick hits” to tell you about adventures I am planning on taking or cool things that I have heard of but won’t be able to make. I hope that you will join me when you can. And of course, I will review all these things afterwards. As always, the point of this blog is to share the wealth. So, here is the information on two events I am going to in the next few weeks:

Play: Boom
Theater: Woolly Mammoth Theater (Gallery Place-red or Archives/Navy Memorial-Green)
Genre: Comedy
Cost: There are student tickets for $15
Dates: Through December 7
I am going: 11/21
Site: here
Note: I’ve never seen a show at Wooly I did not like and I hear good things about this one.

Performance: Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza
Theater: Plateau at National Harbor (not metro accessible)
Genre: Circus arts
Cost: Student tickets start at $49.50
Dates: Through December 14
I am going: 12/2 (I’m taking Lady AWesome for her birthday)
Site: here
Notes: I know that $50 is not so true to my “culture on a budget” mission, but if you’ve never seen a Cirque show, I recommend that you do. It’s worth it. It will blow you mind. Seriously And, I hear that Kooza is particularly good. So if you have the money, this is definitely the way to spend it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

About this blog:

I think DC is an amazing city to be a 20something. Around every corner and under every rock is a new experience, a new adventure. It is my goal, for the time that I am here, to carpe urbis, to suck the marrow from Washington (does that sound dirty?). Should I ever find myself living in Des Moines, IA, I want to be able to say that there was a time when the District was my oyster. I want to be able to tell my children that I used to be the master of the Metro, that the green/blue/orange/yellow/red lines knew my tread well. It is for this reason that I seek out theater, music, food, exhibits, events in the District, somewhat veraciously.

All of this is, of course, balanced against my meager income. I cannot afford to be the theater buff I aspire to be, at least not at face value. My wallet and my palette often battle for dominance over my restaurant choices. And so I have become a frugal explorer, a seeker of discounts. I am the Han Solo of free events, the James T. Kirk of cheap tickets, the Frodo Baggins of inexpensive restaurants, and the Ferris Bueller of student discounts (although I suspect that Ferris Bueller was also the Ferris Bueller of student discounts). Wherever there is a cultural event in DC a bargain price, I’m going to find it.

So this is my vow to you. I hope share my treasure map of this city with you, on the condition that you help me expand it. I will let you know about the places I’m going in the hopes that you will join me. And I will review the places I’ve been, so that others can benefit from my experimentation. And I hope that you will e-mail me tips about restaurants, theater, music, events, and exhibits happening in the DC metro area that can be experienced on a budget. If you know of things you’d like me to join you at or think I should review, please e-mail me at 20something@districtbeat.com. There is nothing more pleasurable than sharing the journey together. DC shall be our final frontier and we shall boldly go where our wallets will allow.

Hat tip to Stads for talking me in to doing this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

About Me

I have always identified with this quote: For millennials, “identity is multiple and distributed like a set of windows on a computer screen.” Here are some of the identities with which I identify.

  • A 20 something
  • A current Washingtonian
  • Jewish
  • Progressive
  • Male
  • A theater buff
  • A Music junkie
  • A Foodie (In that I like to eat food)
  • An explorer
  • A wonderer

If you share any of these windows, then maybe you’ll be interested in my adventures. I’ll post fun places I’m going and fun places I’ve been. I love to take advantage of this amazing city we live in. If you agree, let’s find the ways.

Quote: Draft Brandeis Study “Jewish Life on the American College Campus: Realities and Opportunities” 2004, citing Cherry Turkle 1995.

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