An American In Paris

I had totally regretted signing on to help out, and in return watch, An American in Paris last weekend. It was a show that I still hadn’t seen and I was like OK. Then when I thought about it, I was all, “A 2.5 hour show on a Saturday afternoon? Kill me.” But I didn’t want to bail so I went. I was pleased when the exposition was set and it was a story that was semi-interesting to me. An American soldier who chooses to stay behind in Paris after world war 2? Sign me up.

I’m not the biggest fan of Gershwin music but it’s familiar and not the worst. I thought they weaved the songs together in a way that worked to move the story along and I thought a lot of the choreography was beautiful. The story didn’t have a fairytale ending which was fine with me, probably even preferable (though sad because of how we have all been conditioned to expect it). I enjoyed it as much as I could but truth be told, it was a little long. An hour and forty five minutes would’ve sufficed.

I was excited to see Max Von Essen because I grew up watching him in benefits and smaller shows and he didn’t disappoint. He was lovely. The lead, Leanne Cope, reminded me of Cristin Milioti in Once but if she could also dance. Dimitri Kleioris as the American, Jerry, was excellent, too. The rest of the cast was uniformly talented and easy to watch, and listen to.

This wouldn’t be the first, or fifth, show I’d recommend to someone but it was entertaining to say the least.

Fancy Honey From French Bees

J came over last week and knowing my love of honey in my tea and on toast, he deposited this jar on my counter and told me I had to try it. His colleague owns the company H. Eckford Specialty Foods and imports the honey directly from France. 

This isn’t flavored honey, though. Each individual honey has the distinct flavor of the flowers the bees took the pollen from, which is a super cool concept. 

I’ve been using this honey nonstop in tea, on peanut butter toast, on crackers. You name it. It’s just sweet enough to make my green tea tolerable (because if we’re being real, green tea is super bland).

If you like artisanal anything (or everything!), give this honey a go. I’m looking forward to trying the lavender one eventually.

Excuse My French (Lower East Side, NYC)

After my friend’s husband’s concert on Saturday night, J and I headed over to Excuse My French. I had decided I absolutely had to try the little French cocktail and tapas place on Elderidge Street that I’d seen in Time Out New York a couple of days before. The drink was purple. I wanted to see it in person.

We took seats at the bar, ordered a cheese and baguette platter, and some drinks. I had the L’Antonieta and I was given a history lesson as it was poured by an extremely friendly bartender, too. The L’Antonieta “pays homage to 20th-century Mexican intellectual Antonieta Rivas Mercado, who shot herself on the alter of Notre Dame in the name of unrequited love.” The drink itself is made of mescal, Cointreau, and a syrup of butterfly pea flowers. It was smokey and sweet at the same time. 

We ended the night with glasses of rose colored hibiscus champagne. Mine had an actual hibiscus in it which was edible and I totally ate it. The cheese platter was also delicious.

I’d give this place five stars for a lovely atmosphere, well-crafted drinks, and unexpected history lessons.

I scored a comp to Roundabout’s production Therese Raquin, by Helen Edmundson, on Wednesday afternoon and I decided to go despite having no idea what about and having not really heard any super positive buzz about it. I like Kiera Knightley and I love Judith Light, so how bad could it be?

I’m happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised. Therese Raquin (Kiera Knightley) was about a 21-year-old girl in the mid-18th century in Paris. Raquin was orphaned and being raised by her aunt (Judith Light) and when Raquin and her cousin (Gabriel Ebert) are twenty-one, they oblige the aunt’s wishes to marry. Wouldn’t you be unhappy if he was coerced into marrying your cousin? Yeah.

What I didn’t expect was the thriller aspect of the play. The second act was the deterioration of Therese’s mental state as what her and her new husband (who’s also her former lover, played by Matt Ryan) did starts to haunt them. Knightley didn’t disappoint and was extremely impressive as Therese. Ebert, Light, and Ryan were also effective in their roles. Ebert’s portrayal of Camille, Therese’s cousin, reminded me of the his portrayal of Matilda’s father in Matilda

I never found myself bored or checking my watch during Therese Raquin. If you like a good thriller, it’s worth a trip to midtown. 

#Prayers4Paris

Or not.

It’s a kind gesture with the best of intentions that everyone’s praying for Paris but it’s really the equivalent of doing nothing. If you really want to support them, donate money to the Red Cross, house a stranded French person, or go patronize your favorite French establishment in your city. Those will all go a much longer way than your “prayers,” that’s for sure.

Your local bodega owner, should they be Muslim (and that is also a huge generalization and I’m sorry, but it’s often true and it’s not saying anything negative about them, so step off), is also probably scared shitless right now that they’re going to be attacked because extremists went and did some horrific shit again. Go down and be kind. You can’t blame an entire religion for the actions of a select few, as easy and convenient as it might seem. Every religion, for the most part, has done some horrific shit in the past.

But please, save your prayers because they’re bullshit and they’re not helping anyone but yourself and your piece of mind that you’re “doing your part,” when you’re really  not.