Blue Steel & Broadway

Hola amigos!

First things first: apologies for failing to give you the ol’ hair update back on Friday! The light gray of old has given way to…

It’s now this awesome blue-ish gray with a dark base on top. It looks totally different depending on the light (sometimes darker and more blue, sometimes more like a slate gray) and I’m loveloveloving it. Hair Master Linh has done it again!

I took my new hair out for a spin several times over the weekend, first with a couple of nice snowy walks with this trio of mischief makers:

Actually, make that a couple of very WINDY, snowy walks:

Love seeing those ears flopping in the wind, hehe.

Saturday night was spent celebrating my coworker Mike’s birthday with an epic Chinese feast at Shanghai Lounge — if you’re ever looking for a seriously solid authentic Chinese restaurant in Georgetown, I highly recommend this place. Their szechuan green beans are OUT OF THIS WORLD and the xiao long bao ain’t bad either. The new management is wonderful (the manager is SO friendly!) and the food was so good I couldn’t even restrain myself long enough to take photos of it — THAT’s how good it was.

Then, yesterday while most people were watching some kind of football game or something, I went to the theatre, dahhhhling.

I went to see Gigi at the Kennedy Center, which is showing on its pre-Broadway preview run. This revival stars High School Musical alum Vanessa Hudgens as the titular character, which is, let’s be honest, given my totally age- and taste-inappropriate appreciation for that particular Disney franchise, is the main reason why I wanted to go.

But, as it turns out, it was a seriously delightful musical! I am always a bit skeptical of seeing a show in its preview form — a lot of the time, there are still a lot of kinks they are working out and changes that will be made. When I saw If/Then starring Idina Menzel while it was in previews at the National Theatre, I was admittedly unimpressed. Not by Idina, of course, since she is flawless, but by the show itself. They had a lot of stuff to work out, including the staging, dancing, and even the songs.

But Gigi? I would see this show as-is on Broadway today! It was really well done. Everything from the costumes to the set design to the music was wonderful — and I thought Vanessa Hudgens really held her own! She was well-cast as Gigi, as her youthful singing voice really worked for the purposes of her character. The entire musical just screams “FUN” from start to finish, and I had a huge smile on my face for most of the evening.

The show really harkens back to the golden days of musical theatre, which is something that the theatre geek in me absolutely adores. It’s all about big group numbers and lots of dancing, seamless scene transitions and even addressing the audience. Again, it’s just so FUN! Gigi’s already been given approval to transition to Broadway in March, so if you didn’t get a chance to catch it here in DC, it’ll be in the Big Apple before long!

So that catches us up to today — I can’t believe it’s February! This is what I’ve officially deemed my “Hell Month,” as it’s going to be pretty much nonstop from start to finish. Between all my Yelp’s Fit Club events, my upcoming work trip to Savannah (I’m interviewing folks for the position of Yelp Community Ambassador there — we’re still accepting applications if you know of anyone who might be interested!), and a myriad of other things, I’m pretty sure I’m just going to be a giant ball of stress from now until the 28th.

But! It’s all really good stuff, too, so I know I shouldn’t complain too much. I just am not used to being so busy! With, like, real, legit stuff! Not busy doing, you know, nothing. Which is the kind of busy I prefer to be.

So, wish me luck this month — and maybe I’ll see some of you local cats out at a Fit Club event? I should be easy to spot because I’ll be the one who is dead. Since I also forgot to mention that in addition to the bazillion fitness classes I’ll be attending this month, I’m also moving on to Phase B of P90 today (finally!) so… stay tuned on how that turns out, heh.

Happy Monday!

The Big Apple: Part II

Brace yourselves, guys. This post is gonna be a doozy. But I can promise you that if you can stick through the endless barrage of photos that’s about to hit you–pow!–right in the kisser, it’ll be worth it! (I can actually promise celebrities in this post! Eeeeeiiiiiiii!!!!!) Okay. Let’s get to it.

Saturday morning started off bright and early with breakfast at the hotel. The amazing thing that I learned about staying at a Residence Inn is the complimentary breakfast that they serve! I was expecting some cardboard-y danishes and lukewarm coffee, but was instead pleasantly surprised with quite the impressive spread!


A blueberry muffinette, eggs, home fries, a wee bit of sausage, and… oatmeeeal!


I topped mine with brown sugar, raisins, and walnuts. Nom! Also, eggs with salsa & sour cream may be the best combination EVER.


Yummy. We had to fuel up, after all, since we had a busy, Harry Pottereffic day planned! First up, getting in line at the TKTS booth to score discount Broadway tickets. Specifically, to How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring the one and only Daniel Radcliffe!


(Sidenote: he is not nearly that tall in real life, hahahaha.) The TKTS booth opens at 10 AM for matinee tickets, so we were (read: I was) hasty to get in line and wait it out.


The line looked way worst than it was — I think we only waited for 20 or 30 minutes before we were outta there, tickets in hand! Then it was time to get my TOURIST on, hehehe.


A little jaunt around Times Square, then onto the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Discovery Museum!


Needless to say, I was just a little jazzed about it.


Unfortunately, they are super strict about taking pictures inside the exhibit, so I didn’t get any photos of the rad movie props and set pieces (I was TOTALLY geeking out!) I didn’t even try to sneak any phone pics because I didn’t want to disrespect the fact that Steve’s friend who works at the exhibit got us in for freeeee! But I did force him to take a shot of me where it was allowed:


Riding high on Harry Potter mania, we stopped to get a quick bite to eat at a totally random place around the corner from the theatre. Couldn’t risk being late for the show, after all!


I got a chicken philly. Another mark on the ever-increasing list of horrible food choices from the weekend, hehe. I think you know what happened next:



No, seriously though, the show was SO good. Daniel Radcliffe and John Larroquette were both very impressive, but Daniel especially surprised me. He can really sing! And the choreography was so athletic! I was in awe pretty much the whole time, loving every hilarious minute of it! The young actress playing the role of Rosemary was very good too, but Steve and I both agreed that the star was the actor playing Bud Frump, the “villain” of the show. He was fantastic! All in all, a great time. I LOVE MUSICAL THEATRE!

As the cast came out for their bows, Steve and I rushed out (clapping, of course!) to head around to the receiving entrance of the theatre as we were instructed by his friend.


And we waited…


And we waited. Until a security guy came out to inform us that Daniel and John don’t come out after matinee performances. Fail. He told us we could try to come back after the evening performance if we wanted, but I didn’t really think that would end up happening. So, downtrodden, we went to Shake Shack to drown our sorrows in custardy goodness.


I got a “concrete”, which is essentially a much classier McFlurry. Mine had vanilla custard, strawberry preserves, and pieces of donut! Whaaaat? 🙂


I’m sure you’re all still wondering, however, how my playbill ended up going from this:


To this:


Hmm? Well, this story is far from over. After our consolation shakes, Steve and I ambled back to the hotel — though not before making a little stop…



Then we headed out to dinner at Kashkaval, a restaurant I found on Yelp that is a combination of mediterranean tapas and… wine & cheese. Weird? Maybe. But it totally worked!


We split a sampler plate of various tapas, including baba ganoush, tzatziki, ajvar (roasted red pepper spread), baked elephant beans (these were the biggest beans I’d ever seen in my LIFE!) and dolmas. Served with warm pita bread! Yummm.

We also got a pot of cheddar fondue to share, with some french bread and an assortment of meats to dip in it. Like I said, a weird combo but absolutely delicioso!


Much though it pains me to promote a chain over a local restaurant, I do have to say that The Melting Pot might have the art of concocting a smooth, creamy fondue down just a smidge better. It was still an absolutely delightful dinner! After we finished eating, we decided to walk back to the hotel to aid digestion and whatnot. It was almost 10:00 at this point, so Steve kept asking if I wanted to go back to the theatre to try to see Daniel Radcliffe after the evening performance (what a good boyfriend, right?) My stomach was acting up a little after all that cheese though, so I said it was fine, let’s just go back to the hotel. As we were walking back, however, we saw this guy:


Yep. Chris Rock. NBD. He is starring in a play on Broadway, and just happened to be exiting as we were walking past! So we stopped to snap a few pictures of him and see him hop into his car. After that, I found myself buzzing with celebrity excitement, and asked Steve if we could go back to the theatre after all, hehe. And here’s where the story starts to border on the ridiculous:

The receiving area for the evening performance was split into two sections: one for people who didn’t go to the show, and one for people who did. We got there before the evening performance got out, so we went over to the side for people who had paid to see the show to set up shop. While the other side was already 5 or 6 people deep from the front gate, there were only two other girls on our side, so we settled in at the front. That is, until Daniel Radcliffe’s douchebag bodyguard came up and abruptly told us to go to the other side if we didn’t go to the evening performance. Of course, my thinking is that 1) we did pay to go to a show that day and 2) they had told us we could return after the evening performance anyway. But, being the good little rule-follower I am, we headed over to the other side.

For about 10 seconds. And then I decided that I did not come all the way to New York, already having waited for an hour between the post-matinee wait and the current situation, just to be stuck idly in the back groping for a few distant phone pics of my fictional boyfriend. No sir! I hopped back over to the other side and started to plead with said d-bag bodyguard, explaining that we had been at the matinee and were told we could return in the evening. Eventually he stopped protesting and just started ignoring me, so I figured that was as good as a yes!

… Until the second security guy came out. His name was Neil. And while he actually seemed quite nice, he got on our case FAST. The same lines were repeated, asking us if we had been at that evening’s performance and telling us to show him our tickets. Except this time, the questions were being directed at Steve who, quick thinker that he is, said something akin to “She has them.” Then as I flipped open my playbill, he smoothly added, “Oh no, did they fall out of your booklet?” Hehe.

Too bad Neil wasn’t buying it. He told us to get our behinds over to the other side post haste anyway.

And that’s when I started to cry.


Don’t judge! It was just the situation, y’know? The waiting, and the disappointment, and the being scolded by Russian bodyguards, etc. I didn’t really burst into tears exactly, just the very early stages. You know, wet lashes, tight lips, eyes brimming with the stark reality of dashed hopes… It’s usually a curse, really, my incredible oversensitivity and the fact that I cry at the drop of a hat. But in this case, for the first time EVER, it ended up working to my advantage. With a roll of his eyes and a loud, frustrated “Awwww, man. Don’t cry! FINE!”, Neil let us stay. Much to the chagrin of girls on the other side, who loudly cried out “WHAAAAT?!”

I still felt bad, but I really do feel it was ridiculous that even though we paid just as much to see the matinee show earlier, they were trying to get all segregated up on me. And my guilt only lasted a few minutes anyway, as it was about to begin… 🙂


First a few other cast members came out, and I collected their John Hancocks and congratulated them on a job well done, and then John Larroquette joined the fray. He was SO cool! He stopped to take pictures with people who asked, made conversation with us (I said I was from DC and he conversed with me about it! Whoo!) Steve was most excited to see him, but let’s be honest. We all know what the main event was for me.


Hello, lover.


Daniel Radcliffe signed pretty much everything that was thrust in front of him, though he didn’t have time to take pictures with anyone (when asked, he declined very politely. His bodyguard, however, just dove further and further into profanity as they went down the line, haha.) And as he was signing my playbill (he signs his full name!), I said “You were really fantastic. Clearly made for the stage!” or something equally cheesy, he looked up at me and thanked me. Yes, my friends. WE MADE EYE CONTACT! That basically means we’re BFF now. NBD.

Needless to say, I was very glad that we decided to go back and wait it out. Totally, 100% worth it. Be jealous. Be totally jealous. 😉

And with that, I’ll leave the final nuggets of NYC for tomorrow’s post. This has literally been the longest post I think I’ve ever written. Sorry! Hope it was at least slightly worth it though!

So who’s got Harry Potter love? I dooooooo!

PS: Daily Eats from yesterday are posted here.