Monday, April 19, 2004

A day at the Opera..."Phantom," that is...

What an incredible experience! On Saturday afternoon, I was sitting on the third row, center section, of the
Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago when the curtain rose on a U-S touring production matinee performance of Phantom of the Opera.

It was, in a word, amazing.

Of course, I've heard and read about the play, but my knowledge was very limited. I'm kind of glad of that now, because everything was new and fresh. I had heard snippets of the music before, but wasn't really familiar with it.

I was especially impressed by Gary Mauer's portrayal of the Phantom...a lonely, troubled and disfigured character who invites both repulsion and sympathy. Mauer's tenor voice was awesome, and his interpretation of the songs conveyed the Phantom's anguish, sorrow and desperation in each beautiful note.

The Phantom's final musical number, when he realizes that he will never attain his love, was touching and powerful enough to evoke tears.

The costumes were spectacular, the lighting and special effects at turns evocative and exciting, the music lovely and haunting, the story intriguing. Altogether, it was a wonderful day at the theater!

Attending the performance was the highlight of a short but terrific visit to the Windy City, along with Ray and Teri and Verlyn and Beth...the whole weekend made possible by Ray and Teri. We spent Saturday night at the gracious and elegant Le Meridien Hotel at Michigan Avenue and Rush Street. Wow, I would love to spend more time there!

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, we met for brunch at the Oak Tree Restaurant on the sixth floor of the Michigan Avenue shopping complex that houses Bloomingdale's. After the performance, we had dinner at Carmine's Restaurant on Rush Street. I had a salad imbued with their wonderful house dressing--a perfect balsamic vinaigrette--and a delicious pasta dish called "pappardelle marinara."

I hated to leave the city, and as always when we visit Chicago, we pledge to go more often and take advantage of one of the most amazing cities in the world being right in our backyard.

Monday Madness....

On a bummer note: my sinus infection is back with a vengeance, and I'm not going to get a refill of antibiotics without going in again to see the doctor. On top of that, I have some sort of eye infection which is forcing me to have to wear my glasses, which I detest. ARRGGH!!! I'm going to the doctor today and I'm praying I can finally beat this thing, which still has the power to make me feel lousey at times, and is seriously robbing me of sleep because of the congestion problems.

OK, I now do the Monday Madness quiz:

Pick a letter; any letter.........Got one?
Ok, for the following questions, each of your answers must begin with the letter you chose.......Have fun!! =) (I chose "C")

1. If you were limited to 3 things to pack for an overnight trip, what would you pack?--Crest toothpaste, contact solution and clothing changes!
2. What 3 things would you pack in your picnic basket?--Coca Cola, cole slaw and chocolate cake
3. What are 3 things you'd rather do than go to work?
4. Name 1 song.--"Cross of Love"
5. Name 1 movie.--"Chicago"

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