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Posts Tagged ‘Denver’

spamalot

“Spamalot” opened to a full house last night at Denver’s Buell Theater. It’s the shows second run in Denver. Written by the Monty Python alum Eric Idol as a spoof of the movie “Monty Python’s and the Holy Grail,” this play is even more ridiculous than the movie. Thankfully, I’m a fan of ridiculous and it seemed most of the crowd at last night’s show were also fans of ridiculous.

The first act of the play follows the original movie with the addition of several silly songs. The second act, following intermission, has a fairly nonsensical storyline, but the crowd didn’t seem to care. The songs are still hilarious, even as the plot gets more and more absurd.

John O’Hurley of Seinfeild fame, plays King Arthur, a deep-voiced, rather self-absorbed character. He is the straight guy to all the outlandish characters around him. Veteran Broadway actress Merle Dandridge plays the Lady of the Lake with a set of lungs that will knock your socks off. The rest of the mostly male ensemble are veterans of the stage.

Just as irreverent as all Monty Python productions, this play has more dancing nuns than the “Sound of Music.” “Spamalot” can be summed up as jokes about bodily functions, jokes about bodily appendages being mangled or cut off, and scantily clad girls running around the stage.  If you are a fuddy-duddy, you probably won’t like it. However, if you always look on the bright side of life, I think you’ll like this one.

I mean, come on, dancing nuns are really, really, really funny.

NOTE:  We sat in the far corner of the balcony. The acoustics for this particular show weren’t the best.  Because this show features songs with a ton of words being sung at mind-blowing speeds, it’s very difficult to pick up all the word of the songs from this vantage point.

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spam

The mayor of HeidiTown is headed out to see Monty Python’s “Spamalot” tonight.

It’s going to be laughing, smiling, dancing and singing, and tomorrow there will be a review, so stay tuned.

Cheers! And remember, always look on the bright side of life.

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In the currently economy, it is good business practice to have a pleasant restaurant staff, and I have noticed recently, most restaurants are being conscientious about who they hire for front of house. Servers, bus boys/girls and hostesses are cheerful and well trained. In part, that is why this recent experience really stood out.

When a server’s behavior leaves a bad taste in my mouth, it is difficult for even the best food to make the awful flavor go away, and when the food is sub par, it can really ruin a dining experience. This is what occurred last week at the Blue Sky Grill inside the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

My in-laws had enjoyed a previous experience at the restaurant and were anxious for a repeat. The Nuggets playoff game wasn’t slated to start until 8:30 p.m., so a 6:15 p.m. dinner reservation would give us lots of time to relax and beat the restaurant’s pre-game rush.

My husband and I arrived a bit late, and my in-laws had already been seated. Oddly, with many nice, window tables available, the host had seated us at a dark booth near the kitchen, basically on the staff runway.

Based on her age, our server was no newbie to the business; perhaps she was burnt out, if so, we bore the full brunt of her apathy. We ordered a round of drinks, and she quickly brought them out. We ordered an appetizer, and the kitchen brought it almost immediately. By then our server had disappeared. Drinks empty, dirty nacho plate in the middle of the table, we waited and waited and waited. We even tried to wave down passing staff members who ignored us completely.

Being a server is not an easy job. For me, it would probably be one of the most difficult jobs in the world, and I am very aware servers are often blamed for ineptitude in the kitchen. However, none of this was in play in this situation. The restaurant was still virtually empty, with the exception of the bar area.

She had simply vanished. We chatted and chatted, keeping an eye out for her. Finally, she arrived back at our table reeking of cigarette smoke. I realize everyone needs a break now and again, but to pop out for a smoke when you have a four top waiting to order dinner is just plain rude.

When she arrived back, we jumped at the chance to put in our order, but as we started she stopped us and said she’d be right back, disappearing once again, this time into the kitchen.

After another long wait, she reappeared and we ordered. A second round of drinks were delivered and then again, she performed her vanishing act. The food finally arrived, brought by a kitchen delivery person. Our server appeared once to make sure we’d gotten what we ordered, and then again to collect the money. Never an apology for her absence or even a smile.

The food was below average, especially for the outrageous prices. Average dinner entrees exceed $20. And this isn’t an article about the food, but I will say the $10 quesadilla tasted like pre-made and reheated cardboard and my husband’s $11 “medium” hamburger was as dry as sand. I’m sure it all would have tasted slightly better had our server been just a bit more attentive and friendly.

We did not complain to the manager, and perhaps we should have. I’m not sure it would have done much good. After all, this is the type of restaurant that doesn’t have to depend on return clients (much like an airport restaurant). They have a steady flow of Pepsi Center patrons to stop in at their restaurant, and if those patrons don’t come back, they’ve got new victims every week.

***Also see my review of Blue Sky Grill at www.TripAdvisor.com. I post as “HeidioftheRockies.”

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smashburger

I finally visited the new Smashburger in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Read my review HERE.

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An article by Denver Post Film Critic, Lisa Kennedy, caught my eye this morning – read it HERE.

I couldn’t agree more with Kennedy’s discussion about “sprucing up” Denver’s Landmark Theaters. While at the Esquire, for “Man on Wire,” the roof in our theater began to leak, and by the end of the movie we had a miniature waterfall in the middle of our theater. The staff’s response was to put towels on the floor. Let’s just say the pitter-patter and eventually sloshing sound of water distracted from the enjoyment of the movie’s piano soundtrack (not to mention the intriguing plot).

Kennedy also believes lowering ticket prices would increase attendance.  “Here, here,” I say, though I doubt price reductions are realistic. Denver’s movie prices are getting ridiculous. The last time I saw a matinee in Denver I paid the same as what a full-price movie costs here in Northern Colorado. Would lowering the prices increase attendance? Perhaps, but with Netflix in our mailbox and movie rentals at McDonalds, the theaters have more competition than ever before.

Lastly, the article states, “Denver ranks third in the U.S. for moviegoers per capita.”  When you consider we have over 300 days of sunshine per year, I think third is pretty darn good. We have a variety of entertainment options in Colorado and many of these options involve taking advantage of the fun and healthy outdoor activities right outside our front doors. 

Thoughts? Comments?     

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After a recent visit, I have updated my review on Max’s Gill & Grill, Denver, CO.

See review HERE.

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The British Bulldog, 2053 Stout, Denver, Colorado

Soccer fans listen up! Need a place to watch the match? Look no further.

New review of this authentic British pub, located in Denver, posted here

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