Spatch Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken Restaurant–a review   Leave a comment

Spatch Restaurant collage

After reading Michael Mayo’s rave review in the Sun-Sentenial, and it being Thursday, when I always eat lunch out, we decided to give Spatch Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken Restaurant a try.

Their menu is based on chicken whether in a sandwich, on a platter, part of a salad or even a side. I had ‘The Spatch” chicken sandwich which was excellent, with a side of coleslaw, not so excellent as there wasn’t really a taste to it even though made with raisins and almonds, for $8.90 (Unless you have time to study the menu your receipt could be a little confusing until you realize that a $2.50 side is included for $2.) In addition I had a soda which was $2.30 with as many refills as you want. My check with tax came to $11.87

Allen had the chicken breast meal with grilled corn ($10.95) and a soda ($2.30) and with tax came to $14.05 He thought the chicken was too dry, more about that in a minute, and didn’t particularly care for the corn.

Anthony had the Mac and Cheese bowl with chicken for $7.95 and his check came to $8.43 He felt it didn’t have enough bread crumbs and I brought up that I don’t ever recall having Mac ‘n Cheese with bread crumbs. Do make your Mac ‘n cheese with bread crumbs? Also the kid’s Mac & cheese says nothing about having bread crumbs in it.

Unless you take the menu and step out of the way and read it before you go up to order there is pressure in ordering especially when the question of sauce(s) comes up.

Mayo had written about the service but since this is one of those fast-casual eateries there isn’t much of that and what we got was minimal.  Either the buzzer system wasn’t working or it was off because two wrong plates were brought to our table. Nothing said about the various sauces being available for the table and except for giving our order and the meals brought to our table we had no interaction with any of the help.

Spatch is a new trendy restaurant almost interchangeable with many of the new trendy restaurants. The prices are reasonable, the chicken sandwich is a winner but for me it is a onetime experience.

I do suggest you go to their web site and get familiar with the menu before your visit.

It is on the east side of Federal between Oakland Park and Commercial Boulevards next door to the newest Fresh Market in the 3800 block.

PS And I hope this is a new trend–NO TV!

Posted May 16, 2017 by greatmartin in DINING REVIEW, Uncategorized

Kitchen 420 Restaurant–a review   Leave a comment

Kitchen Restaurant collage

Kitchen 420 is an average restaurant in the sense that there is nothing really wrong but there is nothing right enough to make you come back.

It is new, clean and a little quirky in decor and, in its favor, just one small TV! There was one server on the floor waiting on 5 parties and she could have used a hand but the cashier? manager? owner? was too busy talking to two ladies sitting at the counter, possibly interviewing them, maybe not and there were 3 employees–cooks, dishwasher?–but not a one took a moment to help the server (and that is all it would have taken) consequently, the service wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Allen had the triple pork sandwich ($16) which he felt wasn’t proportioned correctly for taste and to handle. He had a soda ($2.95) while I had coffee ($2.95) with my Cheeseburger ($14) which was just run of the mill. With tax and tip our check came to $46 for lunch.

Though most restaurant prices are growing higher and higher, $23 for lunch is a bit too much for me especially when the food is run of the mill.

“3 Generations”–A Movie Review   Leave a comment

“3 Generations” could have, would have and should have been a great movie if the director Gaby Dellal and Nikole Beckwith, who co-write the screenplay withDellal, didn’t go off on a tangent instead of dealing with Elle Fanning’s character Ray, who was born Ramona, and has many obstacles with his transition.

His single mother Maggie, played by Naomi Watts, and Ray, live with her mother, Dodo, played by Susan Sarandon, and her longtime lover Frances, played by Linda Emond.

At the beginning of the movie we see Maggie trying to deal with Ray’s decision, struggling with what verbs to use, worried that after Ray goes through the change he may think he made a mistake plus having to put up with Dodo, an old time feminist, who believes Ray should stay Ramona and just be a lesbian. If the film had stuck with Ray’s story and the reaction of the two older generation it would have been an excellent film but instead it veers off to Maggie’s past and the complications that involves

Ray’s father Craig, played by Tate Donovan, who hasn’t had anything to do with Ramona for more than a decade, now discovers his daughter needs his signature on the consent form to become his son. We also meet his brother Matthew, played by Sam Trammell, who was involved with them.  Throw in that Craig now haves another family with 3 kids and all of a sudden we turn from an involved story of a transgender person into a soap opera.

Maggie’s story is interesting but she deserves her own movie. This movie is only an hour and 27 minutes but it feels as if 3 hours was being packed into it.

Elle Fanning gives a very strong, believable performance as a transgender teenager who knows who he is and is willing to stand up for his decisions while Naomi Watts as his mother shows the perplexing problems a parent can go through while this is all taking place with an equally strong performance. As always Sarandon gives a dynamic performance while Linda Emond is very droll as the put upon lover. They are both wasted in the film as are Donovan and Trammell’s story lines .

Television is way ahead of film regarding the issues and understandings of transgender while movies, aside from “Boys Don’t Cry” and “The Crying Game”, need to get serious on the subject.

“3 Generations” is a good start on transgender issues but it gets bogged down in what use to be called a ‘women’s film’. It is worth seeing for Fanning’s performance and for people who have no idea what transgender people are about and go through.

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MeFmXpkryw

“The King and I”–Touring Company Review   Leave a comment

There is one word to describe the tour of “The King and I” that opened at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County last night and the word is perfect.

From the opening scene on the deck of the Chow Phyaarriving at the docks of Bankok and Anna (Laura Michelle Kelly) singing “I Whistle a Happy Tune” to Anna and the King (Jose Llana) singing “Shall We Dance” in the King’s study you couldn’t ask for a better score for a musical nor for it to be better sung than by the aforementioned plus the other 35 members of the cast.

The sets by Michael Yeargan, the costumes from Anna’s dresses to the Royal Children’s outfit by Catherine Zuber, to the lighting of Donald Holder along with a sound system by Scott Lehrer that allows you to hear every word along with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, based on the original by Jerome Robbins, not the forget the director Barlett Sher and add to this an 18 piece orchestra conducted by Gerlad Steichen and you have a magical night in the theatre.

Based upon the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon Oscar Hammerstein wrote the book for the show plus the lyrics while Richard Rodgers wrote the music and with a score consisting of “I Whistle a Happy Tune”, “Hello Young Lovers”, “We Kiss in a Shadow”, “Getting to Know You”, “A Puzzlement”, “I Have Dreamed” and “Something Wonderful” along with 8 other songs making this is definitely one of their best scores. Put in the ballet “The Small House of Uncle Thomas” and you have just one more jaw dropping part of a show that will make you laugh and, yes, bring tears to your eyes. Oh wait I can’t forget “The March of the Siamese Children” that will have you being charmed by the children.

Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an inperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Laura Michelle Kelley plays a strong Anna with a beguiling voice that just pulls you into her corner and Jose Llana is sly, funny, smart and an equal match for his co-star. Q Lim and Kavin Panmeechao, as the young lovers Tuptim and Lun Tha, bring tenderness and sadness in their duets of “We Kiss in a Shadow” and “I Have Dreamed”. I gather from the Paybill biographies this is Miss Lim’s National tour debut as part of the ensemble and is the understudy for the role of Tuptim. I am not sure if this was her first time doing the role but if it was you would never have known. Her narrating the ballet sequence was fierce and her performance moving. In addition to the strong performances and singing already mentioned Joan Almedilla as Lady Thiang, the eldest of the wives, sings “Something Wonderful” explaining the man she is married to with such tenderness and strength she moves not only Anna but every member of the audience.

“The King and I” is the last show of the Miami 2016-2017 season and ends it on a very high note.

For anyone living outside the South Florida area I suggest you go to the web site http://thekinganditour.com/tickets/ to see when it is coming to your city and get tickets now!

For those living in the Miami-Dade/Broward county area call 305-949-6722 or go to the www.arshtcenter.org  site and get any tickets available between today and Sunday, May 14—a great Mother’s Day present!

The running time is 2 hours and 54 minutes including a 20 minute intermission.

 

Posted May 10, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, REVIEWS, THEATRE, THEATRE REVIEW

Tonight is THE night!   Leave a comment

King and I collage

At approximately 8 PM—more likely 8:05—the house lights at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami will come down, a brief announcement regarding cell phones and picture taking will be made and then the conductor will lift his baton and I will hear

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EDqnf5eivk

OR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7cI_6Fs0qs&index=7&list=PL2jpQxYH_JEh_OVEAK7slArTfllCgdnn8

the overature live for the first time in a theatre since 1951 for a performance of “The King and I”.

Look for my review Wednesday!

Posted May 9, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, THEATRE, Uncategorized

The King and I Part 3 Trivia   Leave a comment

It didn’t take long for the song “We Kiss in a Shadow” to become a Gay anthem in 1951. There wasn’t a bar in New York City that didn’t have the song on their jukebox, usually the Perry Como recording, or in a piano bar wasn’t requested from the piano player to play and sing it at least a dozen times. (Yes I was only 15 but back then the drinking age was 18 and not only did I look older I also had a phony ID card!)

This is a recording by Jose Llana who played Lun Tha in this Broadway rival and took over the role of the King for 11 weeks on Broadway and is now starring in that role on tour opening in Miami tomorrow night.

“We Kiss in a Shadow” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dOXbILvZwQ

 

“The King and I” was revived in NYC 5 times and won a total of 15 Tony awards including best musical in 1951 and best revival in 1996 and for the current production.

Yul Brynner played the role of the King 4,625 times plus in the movie. When the show opened he was a ‘featured’ player until, Gertrude Lawrence, knowing she was dying, asked Rodgers and Hammerstein to put his name above the title.

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein are considered the greatest musical partnership of the 20th century writing 22 shows together for Broadway, the movies and television. Among their works are “Oklahoma”, “Carousel”, “South Pacific”, “Sound of Music” with “The King and I” considered one of their best and most successful scores. These 15 song videos from the current “The King and I” revival to open at the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami will show you why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypK2l4QvkTw&list=PL8YeGqOUYwM_reNudnsh46OgKAjfxqG2a

 

Posted May 8, 2017 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MUSICAL THEATRE, THEATRE

Day 2 of the air show   Leave a comment

The Point Airshow Collage

There was a lot going on in South Florida this weekend from thousands attending an all star rap/hip-hop 3 day concert on Miami Beach, a 5 day musical and art festival starring the Dirty Heads on the IntercoastalWaterway in West Palm Beach and the Fort Lauderdale Air show headlining the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

All 3 events couldn’t have asked for better weather with a rarity of a cloudless sky. The high temperature was 82 degrees and a mild breeze.

I could watch most of the show–well at least see the planes flying overhead–while a group of Gateway residents went down to The Point to watch it from there. I went down around 4 PM and just watched the boats coming along with the paddlers and kayaks. Besides the pictures above–saw the birds on my walk back!–I made a short video.

What a perfect day! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWmx12-IhsA

Posted May 7, 2017 by greatmartin in FORT LAUDERDALE, LIFE

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