Well, it was a pretty busy weekend. Saturday brought the seventh edition of our annual Turkey Party. Despite a number of people having to pull out at the last moment, we had a pretty good crowd show up, enough that there wasn’t enough turkey to go around. (Robin and Andy and Michelle and Dwight trekked up from Madison, which was really cool.) There was a lot of alcohol consumed, but somehow we still had a net gain in bottles of wine by the time the party was over. We also found a bagged 40 of malt liquor behind the couch, which I suppose helps illustrate the group that helped close the night out.
Anyway, to paraphrase the free bi-weekly newspaper I used to work for, a good time was had by all. Or, at least, that’s what everyone told me.
Sunday night brought Lisa and my first visit to the Guthrie. She was able to snag a couple of tickets to Lost in Younkers through her job; we ended up in the very back row of the balcony, but, hey, free tickets are free tickets. I’d never seen Lost in Younkers before, and I really enjoyed it. The acting was strong throughout, and the set design was pretty clever. (I could complain about a clap-happy audience that felt the need to applaud every time the lights started to dim, but that wasn’t the show’s fault.) The show is going for only one more week, but if you’re up for seeing a play at the new Guthrie, I’d highly recommend it.
Speaking of the theatre itself, the new Guthrie is great. (I’m sure I’ll write about it over on LSTC in the near future.) While the building can be a bit clumsy in places on the outside, inside it is modern, sleek and sexy. The Wurtele Thrust Stage seems exceedingly similar to the old Guthrie stage over on Vineland, and that can only be a good thing. I have to say, though, the new theatre doesn’t seem quite as intimate as the old one. I’m not sure why that is.
As good as the play the building happened to be, our evening was marred a service train wreck at the Guthrie’s new restaurant, Cue, where we met a couple of friends for light drinks and snacks before the show. The restaurant is as gorgeous as anything else in the building, and our initial service was quick and courteous. We only had an hour before we had to take our seats, and the server gave us recommendations as to what we could have and still get out with a comfortable padding of time. We ordered drinks and the cheese platter, which then arrived promptly (along with a complimentary salmon appetizer) in a flurry of eight different servers. The cheese tray was very good, and we enjoyed a half hour of friendly conversation.
And then things… Changed. There must have been a handoff between servers somewhere, and the new one didn’t know that we were trying to make a show. It took us a while to get our bill, long enough that others had started to get nervous, and I, almost always the first to come unhinged, was basically flipping out. When our bill did come, it was only for the cheese tray, not the drinks. In good-Minnesotan fashion, we pointed this out, and hence were penalized with another delay that took us up to five minutes before showtime. We made the show–barely–but I’m pissed we had to go through contortions to do it.
But, as I said, the play was very good, and that’s what really mattered. We may try Cue again, just sometime we have a couple of hours to burn.