Monday, November 25, 2013

If /Then, the Musical

Last night, we ventured into downtown DC for the preview of the new Idina Menzel musical, If/Then, as the production readied itself for its Broadway debut. My first view of the stage set, above, was  confusing and somewhat unimpressively modern. Costumes were similarly unremarkable. 

What had drawn me to buy tickets was the incredible throaty voice of Ms. Menzel. We had seen her belt it out in "Wicked", which we just loved. Menzel also starred in the original Broadway hit "Rent". 

During the first act of If/Then, I wondered how big a success it might be. The dancing was awkward and forced, tributes to alternative lifestyles seemed gratuitous, and the flow was jumpy.  But then, I became a believer during the second act, when the songs turned big and beautiful and swept me away. By the end of the show, the audience was on its feet, cheering loudly.

The author of the book and lyrics won a Pulitzer Prize for his musical "Next to Normal."  Although the plot is reminiscent of the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle "Sliding Doors," the second act is textured and emotional. 

 I predict a Tony Award for If/Then; Menzel's last song hit sweeping notes high in the stratosphere. It was the perfect end to the very moving Act Two. Fittingly so. 

Tickets are reasonable for a cast of this quality. Rush out and see it before it heads to New York and sells out. 

Your imaginary friend,

Friday, November 22, 2013

How I Survived the Tanger Mall, and Lived to Tell About It

Dear Imaginary Shoppers,

Today was opening day at Tanger Mall, just outside of Washington, DC, and Alexandria, Virginia, and driven by morbid curiosity, I decided to bravely venture forth.

The brand-new outlet mall is on land owned by National Harbor, a new development area that has changed the suburban feel of the Washington, DC, waterfront area. Not only does Gaylord Convention Center dominate the harbor on the Potomac River, but also various developments are popping up, such as the new outlet mall and various projects to come. Cirque de Soleil is also a visitor, upon occasion, to the Platform, an area where tents are erected on the National Harbor Property.

But I digress. Some of the bigger draw stores at Tanger are Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Coach (where you have to stand in a long line just to enter) and H & M. The check out lines were really lengthy.

There were short lines at White House/Black Market, Crabtree and Evelyn, Elie Tahari and Theory. What I am dying for is the Diane Von Furstenburg shop, which is not yet open.

I cannot suggest that you plan to spend the day there, as there are very few food options. And, walking shoes are a must. 

Unfortunately for opening day, the local roads are very much still under construction. Long waits and snarly traffic on Oxon Hill Road was the order (or disorder) of the day. Still, woman's primordial desire to shop til we drop cannot be denied, so carry forth, ladies!

Your imaginary shopper,


Sunday, November 17, 2013

The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian

Dear Fellow Culture Freaks,
If you love the performing arts, you must  immediately drop everything you are doing, and go see the new dance show at the National Portrait Gallery. 
It centers around the greatest dancers of the Western world. 
Notables pictured via photography and video include Mikel Baryshnikov, Rudolph Nureyev, Gene Kelly, Josephine Baker, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Chita Rivera and many many more. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Caps on the Water, Ponte Vedra, FL

Dear Imaginary Friends,

This restaurant is hard to find, but what a lovely experience on a sunny, warm day in the winter: Caps on the Water, south of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, has a friendly, laid back vibe.
It was mid seventies, and the view of the Intracoastal waterway was panoramic. The restaurant itself lays beneath Spanish Moss-draped Oak trees. If you order the amaretto chocolate pie and a Mojito, you will be lulled into bliss.
Just sayin'.

Your imaginary friend,
Virginia and Parker discuss the joys of Florida

Chillin' in the Warmth of South Ponte Vedra, FL

A boat named Parker

This Guy no doubt owns the Parker boat!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Even popsicles are bringing attention to men- specific diseases this month. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Angry Geese

To be avoided: homicidal geese. Cannot trust them.  Would you look at those shark-like teeth??

Monday, November 4, 2013

Way Down Yonder in New Orleanssssss

Patsie and her chocolate snowball

Susan and her red snowball

Free pernod amuse-bouche at Commander's Palace

Beef Empanada at Commander's, with Cabrito: local tomatoes, barbecued red onions, red beans, sweet potatio fingerlings, spiced pecans, Brie cheese, red pepper paint and warm bacon vinaigrette

Our fave restaurant

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spotted: Hessian Regiment

Seen at Old Europe Restaurant in Georgetown tonight: a Hessian regiment who had just done battle "to save our king."
They questioned me as to my ancestry and luckily, my maiden name of Miller pleased them. 
They said, " Ah, Mueller!;) Auf wiedersein!"
Your German-American,