Posted by: brian | August 13, 2007

Spam and pinochle and cheesecake, oh my!

Over the weekend Ben and I went up to see Spamalot with Ben’s dad. We drove up and met him for dinner at the Great Waters Brewing Company, and then walked over to the Ordway for the show.

==== SPOILER WARNING (highlight to view) ====
I enjoyed the show. The multi-media nature of it was intriguing, and some dialog was taken verbatim from the film. I felt that a lot of that was not delivered as well as in the original, although the French Taunter scene was very well executed. The bit at the end where Lancelot marries Prince Herbert – and says, “You know, in a thousand years, this will still be controversial” was a hoot.
==== END SPOILERS ====

The costumes and the set were really well done, and Esther Stillwell, who played The Lady of the Lake, did a great job.

We spent Saturday with Ben’s folks, and his mom prepared some great meals for us. Thanks, Kathy! (Thathy) We also played a couple games of pinochle, which was fun.

On Sunday we went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Kathy had never eaten there (though she had gotten cheesecake from them in the past). My first impression, upon opening the menu, was that they must be really struggling, financially. About 45% of the menu consisted of ads for everything from purses to jeans to American Express to Carnival Cruise lines. I wondered if I could order those things as well, but decided against asking our waitress (she seemed like the type who wouldn’t see the humor in it, even if she did understand the point I was trying to make – which is also unlikely). I think my favorite was the ad for a website where I could look at the ads again, when I got home. The top of the page exhorted the diner “Enjoy our ads again!” – because they were so enthralling the first time around. The next remarkable thing about the restaurant is that about 80% of their entrees are “specialties.” Really? That seems a bit … ridiculous.

Nonetheless, the meal was good, and of course we also got dessert – I ordered a piece of cheesecake, and I believe Ben had one of their “specialty” desserts (not the cheesecake, which was odd, I thought, given the name of the restaurant – but I don’t really know much about marketing in the restaurant biz) – it was a chocolate cake. Not a piece of chocolate cake, but an entire cake – at least, it took up the same amount of space. My greatest criticism, I think, is of the prices. Given that almost half of their menu is sold to advertisers, I would have expected the prices to be a bit lower.

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