Daily Archives: 16 June 2018

Girlfriend at Signature Theatre

So the reason I was in Shirlington, Virginia, was to catch a performance of Girlfriend, a little charmer of a show that uses the music from Matthew Sweet’s classic 1991 album Girlfriend as its score.

The elegant Tuesday Weld, on the cover of Girlfriend

The play is a boy-meets-boy story, set in small-town Nebraska in 1993, during the summer after the characters’  senior year in high school. Accompanying the two-person cast is an on-stage,  all-female band that ROCKS. So do immensely likable actors Jimmy Mavrikes and Lukas James Miller, as they tentatively explore uncharted territory during a summer filled with drive-ins and tape mixes. {SPOILER: There’s a happy ending. I’m tempted to call it “sweet”, but since that’s the composer’s name, that might come off as too cutesy.]

The night I saw Girlfriend, the audience gave it a well-deserved standing ovation.

Me, I went home smiling, put on a headset, and played Matthew Sweet’s iconic rock album. Loud.

Here’s the original 1991 video for the title track of Girlfriend:

Palette 22 — Pre-Theatre Meal on 5 June 2018

The Village at Shirlington. Image by Wells + Associates for the Federal Realty Investment Trust

The Village at Shirlington. Image by Wells + Associates for the Federal Realty Investment Trust

The Village at Shirlington is an “urban village” in Arlington County, Virginia. It’s a planned, upscale housing and retail development that blends the safety and walkability of a small-town with the urban pleasures of good restaurants and easily accessible culture. Shirlington is a perfect environment for the people David Brooks identified as “Bourgeois Bohemians”.*

I don’t go there often—It takes about an hour to get from my place at Dupont Circle to Shirlington, via Metro to the Pentagon, and then a seven-minute express bus to Shirlington Station—but, among other things, Shirlington is the home of the Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre, one of the best regional theaters in the US, and I wanted to see Signature’s production of Girlfriend. (More on that in a later posting, probably. And, did you think that last sentence was ever going to end? I was about to find the nearest mirror and write “Stop Me Before I Type Again” on it in red lipstick.)

Before the show, I had dinner at Palette 22, a restaurant/art gallery. Interesting place. Everything on the crowded walls was for sale.

Sesame Steak Skewers

Sesame Steak Skewers

I ordered two dishes: The Sesame Steak Skewers and the Grilled Octopus. The servings were larger than tapas and smaller than full size, but not by much. Both selections were hot and spicy, which suited me just fine.

The octopus was served on a bed of purple potato hash and the skewers came with those thick udon noodles. Both dishes were very well prepared.

The weather on that late spring evening was perfect for dining outside, at one of the restaurant’s sidewalk tables. It’s at times like this that I take it all in, lean back, and say to myself, “I could live like this.” And then I remind myself that I already do.

Good meal. Palette 22 earns another visit.

Grilled Octopus

Grilled Octopus

*Brooks coined the term in his 2000 book, Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. He numbers himself among the BoBos. I, too, am a member of the tribe.