10 Minutes of The Play that Goes Wrong

The Play that Goes Wrong is two hours of terrible acting, tacky sets, failing props, low humour, and silly slapstick, utterly without redeeming social value or literary merit.  It’s also one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see.

Some of the cast performed this 10-minute excerpt at last year’s Royal Variety Show.

I laughed through the entire show when I saw it in London last year.  The play won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2015, and it’s scheduled to run at least through September 2017.

Here’s the Official Trailer:

The Wharf — Lunch on 23 August 2016

Noe that we’re into the homestretch of 2016 Summer Restaurant Week(s), the action shifts to Alexandria, Virginia.  Today’s lunch was at The Wharf, a seafood restaurant a couple of blocks from the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria.

It was a warm day, but not so warm as to prevent outdoor dining.  After July’s triple digit temperature, late August is feeling quite pleasant.

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

I’d ordered the She Crab Soup, but when the server brought me this creamy New England Clam Chowder, I decided to keep it instead of sending it back.  No regrets.  It was good, and I’ll try the She Crab next time.



A few years ago, it seemed as if one of the appetizer options at every Restaurant Week participant was kale salad.  This summer, I had to work hard to avoid gazpacho.

But year in and year out, a salmon main course is ubiquitous.  Fortunately for me, I really like salmon.   The Wharf’s version was Grilled Atlantic Salmon with sautéed Texas Treasure shrimp, spring onions, and a white wine and sherry sauce.

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

The White Chocolate Raspberry Bread Pudding, with Chantilly cream, tasted as great as it looks.

Florence + The Machine — “Wish That You Were Here”

The release of Tim Burton’s film adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a little more than a month away, and yesterday, Florence + The Machine released a new song from the soundtrack.

I posted an item back in March that mentioned my mixed feelings about both the movie and the original book.  Since then, I’ve become somewhat more optimistic.  I’ll be seeing this one.

You can watch the original trailer at the link above, and the second trailer below.

Between this and the upcoming The Space Between Us, Asa Butterfield* is having quite a year, isn’t he?

The movie opens on 20 September 2016.

*Full name:   Asa Maxwell Thornton Farr Butterfield, btw.  The British do this sort of thing so well.

Even better:  Although He was born with the middle names “Maxwell Thornton,” he uses the middle name “Bopp” on his passport, because the Hale-Bopp comet was in the sky when he was born.

American Gods — First Trailer

Here’s the first trailer for American Gods, the STARZ series that will be based on Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name.

I’m sort of embarrassed to admit I’ve never read American Gods.  It was a bestseller, and won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel.

Gaiman, author of novels, comic books uh, graphic novels, short fiction, and films, is a major presence on the Web and in contemporary pop culture.  Several of his books have been adapted for film, notably including the stop-motion version of Coraline and the charming, criminally underappreciated Stardust.  Ron Howard is set to direct The Graveyard Book, which won the 2009 Newbery Medal for Gaiman.

American Gods will premiere in 2017.


China Chilcano and the Art of Cecilia Paredes

“[Cecilia Paredes] is a contemporary performance and installation artist, who is best known for her unusual work in which she uses her own body as a canvas for body paint.  Her last name, Paredes, which means walls in Spanish, perfectly suits her fascination with turning herself into a human chameleon and melting herself into the walls.”
–Cross Connect

Back in January 2015, I posted an item about the works of Cecilia Paredes, a Peruvian artist.  The picture above shows part of the interior of China Chilcano, the restaurant where I had lunch on Monday.   If you look closely at the rear wall, you’ll see that it displays this Cecilia Paredes image, which is called “Both Worlds”:

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Seeing it was like unexpectedly running into an old friend.

I asked my hostess about it, mangling the pronunciation of the artist’s name, and learned that Paredes, who now lives in Philadelphia, is a frequent visitor to China Chilcano.  It was only later, when I remembered how well she blends into the background, that it occurred to me that she might have been there even as we spoke.

Here are a few more of her creations.  All images in this post were found on the Web.   Click the above link for further examples.

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China Chilcano — Lunch on 22 August 2016

José Andrés, who is probably Washington’s best known and most popular chef, is generally credited with being the man who brought tapas to America.  Innovative as ever, he opened a new restaurant called China Chilcano about a year ago, highlighting a cuisine called “Chifa.”

Chifa developed in Peru, where Cantonese immigrants blended Chinese elements with traditional Peruvian ingredients and traditions.   Although chifa is still all but unknown in the US, the Chinese-Peruvian blend is now wildly popular in Peru and in its neighboring countries.



My appetizer was Ceviche Clásico La Mar, a combination of red snapper, leche de tigre, sweet potato, red onion, cancha, and cilantro.  The waiter gave me a spoon, and encouraged me to taste every drop of the liquid in the bowl.  He needn’t have bothered.  It was wonderful.

Ají de Gallina

But the main was even better.  The menu described Ají de Gallina as “Peru’s most precious dish.”  It’s a rich chicken stew that contains a bit of everything:  aji amarillo, which is an orange chile,  cheese,  pecans,  rice, potatoes, and spices.   This was incredibly good, and a highlight of the week.

Suspiro Limeña

From the menu, again:   Suspiro Limeña is the iconic dessert of Peru.

Interesting taste and texture.  It’s sweetened condensed milk custard topped with a soft and
crunchy meringue.

With China Chilcano, Chef Andrés adds yet another brilliant restaurant to his collection.

A Little More Dorothy Parker — A Medley of Extemporanea

…because there’s no such thing as too much Mrs. Parker.

Anne Hathaway reads part of Dorothy Parker’s 1928 short story, “The Garter”.

The Dorothy Parker commemorative postage stamp.

The trailer for the 1994 film, Mrs. Parker And The Vicious Circle, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh played Mrs. Parker.

And one perfect poem.