Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ill Met by Moonlight

Sadly, 100% chance of rain means no Puck, so we adjust.

Parking in a rainstorm, I see a familiar face walking towards me. It's the musical theater/opera singer and I have a feeling we're headed in the same direction.

"Let's get tongues wagging by going in together," he wickedly suggests as we head toward Bistro 27.

Before either of us can ask, two glasses of Paarl Heights Pinotage are poured and I begin to make amends to the Pinotage gods I offended last night.

We snack on tenderloin with tomato, Mozzarella and anchovies, a flavor combination so suited to our wine as to be an intentional pairing.

Over discussion of the photography show we'll be seeing together soon, piano bars in NYC where he lived for years and Cabaret being staged at Studio 54, we also nibble on fried calamari.

I say farewell and move on to my next stop.

Lobster ceviche, vinho verde, pork and arepas are the reward for braving the pouring rain to make it to  Pescado's China Street.

 We decide that dessert must be served to us in a basement so we head to Ipanema.

"Karen!" I am greeted by the barsitter next to me. "I thought I'd see you at Screaming Females," she says, clearly perplexed.

One hates to disappoint.

Blueberry pie a la mode and Wineworks Viognier are served to us on the bench as we watch the parade of people coming in after the Strange Matter show lets out.

Even the band members sit at the bar, so I at least get that vicarious pleasure.

And, to be fair, I have seen Screaming Females before. And thoroughly enjoyed their energy

Last stop: music.

"Hello, darlin," chanteuse Allison Self says to me in between two-stepping across the floor.

I am asked to slow dance early on and decline, regretting it later.

It is the second time my partner in crime and I have made a point to catch the Nashville honky tonk stylings of J. P. Harris and the Tough Choices, an incredibly tight band with beards and mustaches of note.

"Everyone knows Richmond is a dirt bag town," J.P. announces. "I feel right at home here."

He asks for a show of hands on people who have tattoos they regret and people who have been divorced.

If I were to do a Venn diagram, there would be some overlap in those groups.

In a nod to the inked set, he sings, ""I'm crossing your name right off my heart," and I don't think he meant laser removal.

"Let's get those tears right out and get swinging," he says afterwards, all but inviting the two-steppers back to the dance floor.

And they obliged happily.

After the break, the magnificently bearded Harris talks about his aspirations to do a holiday album like the ones so often done by country stars in the sixties.

Apparently after enough gin, he decided his would be a Thanksgiving album and set out to write the hit single.

"I caught my baby stuffing turkey with another man," he sang plaintively, although that one line was as far as he'd gotten before the gin got the best of him.

Luckily he had plenty of full songs with which to entertain us. "Here's another sad story I wrote a couple of years ago," he said introducing the next one.

Sad sounds so good with a kickass band and a sincere delivery. Besides, we'd wandered all we wanted to for the night.

Yes, Shakespeare had been missed, although his sentiment was plainly in evidence.

 "I am that merry wanderer of the night," Puck would have said.

As am I. But why not with so many fine places to wander?.

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