Archive for the ‘Night On The Town’ Category

Black Eye (Limerick)

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Black Eye (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A woman who had a black eye
Was stopped on the street and asked why.
When her mate said, “She fell,”
They thought “husband from hell.”
His story they just wouldn’t buy.

But she really did fall on her face.
(She’d been rushing, as if in a race.)
So she told them, “Please stop.
“I do NOT need a cop.
“It’s my pace that’s at fault. He’s an ace.”

Author’s Note: I case anyone’s wondering, this really happened to me a couple of week’s ago. Mark and I were in Manhattan, on the way to see The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom with Judy Gold. We were running late, and I was walking so fast, you could call it running.

I tripped, fell down really hard, and two week’s later my face is still recovering. But at least I no scare longer people … or make them think I’m an abused spouse.

And no, we never got to see that show. But we did have a great Indian meal before I ruined our night by taking that stupid spill.

UPDATE: I really must thank the owners and management of Angelo And Maxie’s, a well-respected seafood and steak restaurant that’s a couple of doors away from where I fell. They could not have been nicer and more helpful, quickly giving me tons of ice, towels, bandages and a first aid kit. They even let me take over their ladies room for at least twenty minutes. I’m looking forward to actually dining there in the near future.

Limerick Review Of Paula’s Stone Cottage Wine Bar

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Hubby Mark and I had a great time last night sipping wine, munching cheese, and chatting up a storm at the lovely Paula’s Stone Cottage Wine Bar in Fishkill, New York.

Here’s my limerick review:

Limerick Ode To Paula’s Stone Cottage Wine Bar
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There’s a wine bar in Fishkill — first rate:
Charming venue, a cheese plate that’s great.
We were loathe to adjourn
And plan to return
To Paula’s Stone Cottage — can’t wait.

And here’s a review hubby Mark Kane just wrote and posted on Yelp:

My wife and I can’t say enough good about this place.

As soon as we entered we were greeted by this warm, friendly fellow who insisted we meet Paula. And yes there really is a Paula, and she was even more enthusiastic and more welcoming than he was.

We were offered a personal tour of the establishment but declined and instead found ourselves a nice cozy spot at bar where the bartender proceeded to ply us with free shot glasses of wines as he tried to find the perfect wine for each of us, and after four or five he did!

This was not the exception but rather the norm. They really try to make you feel at home, and want you to be very, very happy with your wine selection so you’ll order more no doubt.

We inquired about food and were strongly encouraged to try either the “Cheese Plate” or “Cheese and Meats Plate”. We opted for the “Cheese Plate for Two” and were not at all disappointed.

It could feed three or four easily and was quite impressive. It came complete with a large selection of cheeses, a nice spicy humus, artichoke hearts, perfectly moist sun dried tomatoes, and an assortment of olives. Tried as we did we could not finish it all.

And the music! What an excellent mix of music which Paula has selected. There is something for everyone in that music mix.

The place is very cozy but small so I would be careful about going there with a large group of people unless you get there very early or on an off night. I am told the weekends can be quite busy.

There are three different areas which you can enjoy. A lovely romantic outdoor garden, a very active bar area where impromptu slow dancing has been known to occur, and an equally active lounge in the back.

The music, lighting, great wines, excellent warm service and general ambiance of this place clearly attracts a nice friendly intelligent crowd, people of all ages, rich and poor, married and single all enjoying each other’s company.

You may enter as a stranger but I promise, you will leave as family.

Our Adventures on the Lewis Black Comedy Cruise

Monday, November 15th, 2010

I am not a cruise person. I hate the sun and I avoid boats and water whenever possible. Plus I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to buffets.

But when hubby Mark and I heard about the Lewis Black Comedy Cruise, featuring comedy greats like Kathleen Madigan, John Pinette, Ted Alexandro, Larry Wilmore, Vic Henley, Dom Irrera, and John Bowman, we couldn’t resist.

Wise decision!

Now even with that superb lineup, I was a little leery. In fact, I wrote this limerick before setting unsteady foot on that ship:

I’ve never attempted a cruise,
So I’m nervous — will need lots of booze.
But I could not resist
Such a great comic list.
I need laughs to get over the news.

But I needn’t have worried. Lewis Black was his usual hilarious self, as were all the other comics. Plus we had a great time with the comedians, who mingled after-hours with the riffraff … I mean, fans.

Here’s my two-verse limerick ode to Lewis Black (I wrote it mid-cruise when Internet connection rates were roughly a gazillion bucks a minute.)

The angry old comic Lew Black
Has a mind that is quite out of whack.
So he offered a cruise
Packed with laughter and booze,
Fulfilling a deep-seated lack.

Yes, Lew had a very strong yen
For more contact with women and men:
Lots of fun-loving folks
Who’d laugh at his jokes
And then trail him till heaven knows when.

And finally, my post-return limerick:

We’re home from a comic sensation:
Lew’s Cruise, filled with laughs and elation.
There’s another next year.
(The thought makes me tear.)
Thank you, Lew. You deserve each ovation.

Oh … and just so you know, Lewis Black isn’t just a comic genius — he’s also a mensch.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers — Limerick Review

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

If you’ve never seen The Flying Karamazov Brothers perform, you owe it to yourselves to go see them either in New York City or whenever their tour hits your town. Hubby Mark and I caught their show Friday night, and it was hilarious.

The Karamazov Brothers’ act is hard to describe, so let me just say they’re jugglers, comedians, and even musicians, who often manage to be all three at the same time. They had me laughing so hard, I had tears streaming down my face for much of the evening. Now can you think of a better compliment than that?

On the other hand, the salt in my tears did burn the skin around my eyes and cheeks. Hmmm, maybe I should sue them for tortious infliction of skin damage.

And now, my limerick review:

The Flying Karamazov Brothers — Limerick Review
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Karamazov, the Brothers, are Flying.
Not the novel — the jugglers — not lying.
Saw their show just last night.
What a comic delight!
Laughed so hard, I was tearfully crying.

Tornado Night

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Thursday night’s weather was certainly interesting here in Queens, New York. Hubby Mark and I were on the Long Island Railroad on route to an Off-Broadway play, when what turned out to be a tornado hit.

After some delays, our train did manage to make it to Penn Station, after which the railroad completely shut down, stranding hordes of rush hour commuters. (As we later learned, the tracks were littered with uprooted trees, and the storm had wreaked havoc throughout much of New York City.)

But we went off to see the play, figuring that by the time we were finished with theater and dinner, everything would be back to normal. Ha!

As it turned out, more than 24 hours would elapse before the LIRR would fully recover. So our path home to Bayside, Queens was a challenge, involving an unfamiliar combo of train, subway, and bus.

Relieved to finally be home, we were greeted by an unwelcome discovery — the tallest tree in our backyard had relocated to our neighbor’s yard.

Well, at least the play wasn’t bad — It Must Be Him, starring Peter Scolari and Liz Torres. Not great mind you — not even close. But everything’s relative.

Secrets Of The Trade – Off-Broadway Play Review In Verse

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Last night hubby Mark and I had a wonderful theater experience. We saw Secrets of the Trade, starring Noah Robbins, Mark Nelson, Amy Aquino, John Glover, and Bill Brochtrup (whom you may recognize as “Gay John” from NYPD Blue.

The play, written by Jonathan Tolins and directed by Matt Shakman, centers around Andy Lipman. Who’s Andy Lipman? He’s a fictional (and yet somehow familiar) ambitious, Long Island kid who dreams of a career on Broadway and hopes to be helped by Martin Kerner, a theater legend whom he idolizes. I enjoyed it so much, that I felt compelled to review it in verse:

Saw Secrets of the Trade last night.
The play was great to our delight.
With cast so fine and script superb,
I had to pen this glowing blurb.

The playwright Tolins is new to me.
He made us giggle gleefully.
And Noah Robbins — he’s the star.
A mere nineteen and bound to go far.

The rest of the cast is just as strong.
I’d name them, but this poem’s too long.
So get yourself to Off-Broadway,
And see this fun, outstanding play.

Get Thee To Troilus And Cressida

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

If you enjoy Shakespeare performed beautifully in a magnificent setting, don’t miss the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival at the Boscobel Restoration in Garrison, New York.

Troilus and Cressida opened July 3rd, and it was terrific.

We started the evening with a delightful picnic on Boscobel’s Hudson River grounds, then moved into the tent for an inventive performance of the baudy, Trojan tale.

Things got even more unusual in the Second Act, which began with a quirky, yet oddly fitting musical number. After the music, the audience members were welcomed to leave their seats temporarily, walk down to the Hudson River, and view the holiday fireworks display that was about to take place across the river at West Point.

Once the fireworks were over, we returned to our seats and the play continued. What fun!

And that brings me to my latest limerick:

Like Shakespeare performed in a tent?
Then see Troilus — it’s time quite well spent:
At the Boscobel joint—
Straight across from West Point.
Please don’t miss it — you’ll surely repent.

The Tenor Of Our Anniversary

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

My husband Mark and I had a wonderful time celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary on Friday, June 4th in Manhattan. We saw a Broadway play — Ken Ludwig’s hilarious Lend Me A Tenor, which was directed by Stanley Tucci. (There’s more about the play in my two-verse limerick.) We also dined at Nocello and enjoyed attempting to dance the rumba at the Marriott Marquis’ Broadway Lounge.

And now, my limerick:

The Tenor Of Our Anniversary
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Hubby Mark and I partied last night.
(It’s been thirty-two years of delight.)
Saw a great Broadway play.
What a heavenly way
To celebrate marriage just right!

Shaloub and LaPaglia star.
(Both are Tony’s — you know who they are.)
Justin Bartha stars too.
We kept laughing on cue
At Lend Me A Tenor. Har, har!

Limerick Ode To Kathleen Madigan

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Saturday night hubby Mark and I went to see Kathleen Madigan perform in New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. It was actually one of two performances that were taped for Madigan’s upcoming DVD.

Kathleen Madigan’s act was hilarious, and her special guest, Lewis Black, was his usual angry/funny self.

Limerick Ode To Kathleen Madigan
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Here’s a gal with the comedy gene:
Surname Madigan, first name Kathleen.
I laughed the full hour.
Not once did I glower.
My fav’rite? Her Oprah routine.

Limerick Ode To Valerie Harper & More Big Apple Fun

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’ve been a Valerie Harper fan dating way back to her years as Mary’s best friend Rhoda in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. And now I’m even a bigger fan, after hubby Mark and I saw her on Broadway this weekend starring as Tallulah Bankhead in Looped.

All I can say is, “Wow!”

Okay, I can say a bit more and have even written Harper a limerick. But first some info: Looped, by Matthew Lombardo, is a very funny comedy about celebrity bad girl Tallulah Bankhead, an out-of-control actress trying to complete her final screen role (Die, Die My Darling).

The play, directed by Rob Ruggiero, takes place in a Los Angeles recording studio and also features Brian Hutchison and Michael Mulheren. These poor fellows are desperately trying to extract one good take from Tallulah, so they can re-record (or “loop”) a single line of dialogue.

Looped is in previews right now at the Lyceum Theatre and opens March 14, 2010.

And now, my limerick:

Limerick Ode To Valerie Harper
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Give Valerie Harper a hand.
She’s in Looped on Broadway and she’s grand.
As Tallulah she’s naughty,
Outrageous, and baudy.
At the end you will cheer as you stand.

Seeing Looped capped off a full and fun day in Manhattan. What else did we do? We walked up Fifth Avenue and wandered around the eclectic Japanese department store, Takashimaya, deciding to save its charming Tea Box restaurant and tea room for another day. Then we moved on to the Central Park Zoo, had drinks at The Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel, and ate a scrumptious Northern Italian meal at Nocello. (We’d planned to go dancing after the play, but my knee was misbehaving, so we called it an early-for-us night and went home.)

By the way, I highly recommend the Central Park Zoo. People tend to overlook it because it’s so tiny. But it’s very charming, and we especially enjoyed watching one of the polar bears frolic, using a large square of Styrofoam as his floating toy.

The snow leopards, snow monkeys, penguins, and the Rainforest were fun too, as was watching harbor seals being fed and taught tricks.

Limerick Ode To Ted Alexandro

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

As I’ve mentioned previously, Comix is one of my favorite New York City comedy clubs. And it sure didn’t disappoint Friday night when we saw the hilarious Ted Alexandro and “Friends” Pete Dominick, Joe Derosa, and Morgan Murphy.

Headliner Alexandro, a former elementary school music teacher, was the highlight of the evening. I love his comic sensibility, his pacing and his fearless use of silence. But hubby Mark and I also enjoyed the other comedians, especially Morgan Murphy, who somehow manages to sound both depressed and funny at the same time.

Getting back to Alexandro, in one segment of his routine Alexandro waxes funny about teaching little kids the recorder (presumably the children’s version, known as a flutophone.)

This comedy bit inspired me (an oboe performance major who once taught the oboe) to write a limerick in honor of Alexandro’s transition from music teacher to standup comic:

Limerick Ode To Ted Alexandro
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A funny young fellow named Ted,
Who majored in musical ed,
Taught kiddies recorduh.
An instrument? Sorta.
But now he’s a comic, instead.

UPDATE: Ted Alexandro inspired me to write him another limerick when he joined the Wall Street protests.

Two Nights of Big Apple Fun

Friday, December 25th, 2009

If you’ve ever fantasized about a career in the theater, you owe it to yourself to see playwright Theresa Rebeck’s The Understudy on Broadway. Actually, anybody who needs or wants a good laugh should see it. Hubby Mark and I caught it Wednesday night and loved its uproarious depiction of the theater world’s underbelly.

This Roundabout Theatre production is playing through January 17, 2010 at the Laura Pels Theatre. (It’s a limited engagement because the theater is booked after that date, and rumor has it that its great Broadway cast may be taking it on the road.)

Speaking of the cast, Justin Kirk (of Weeds fame) plays the title role. And while I really like him in Weeds, I had no idea what a wonderful comedic actor he is until I saw him in The Understudy.

Mark and I were already huge fans of co-star Julie White, who plays the stage manager. (We’d seen her in The Little Dog Laughed, for which she won well-deserved Tony and Obie Awards.)

Last, but certainly not least, is co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, well known to fans of Raising The Bar, NYPD Blue, and Saved By The Bell.

We’d planned to eat dinner after the show at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Tolache, which I wrote about in my Happy Birthday To Me post. But it was so damn cold out, that the thought of walking even a few measly blocks just wasn’t … well … appetizing. So we decided to give the restaurant next door a try.

Turns out it was a terrific decision. Indian food’s my favorite cuisine and the large and lovely Utsav is Indian food at its finest. Best of all, when you ask for extra spicy, you actually get extra spicy.

Okay, that was last night. But I never got a chance to post about our visit last weekend to the Comix Comedy Club. (New York City has lots of clubs featuring standup comedy, but Comix is quickly becoming a favorite.)

The reason for our latest Comix visit was headliner Kevin Pollak. After decades of seeing his comedy and impersonations on TV shows like The Tonight Show, we were eager to see him live. Wow! He was hilarious, and his impersonations of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, William Shatner, Robert De Niro, and Christopher Walken were letter perfect.

The two warm-up acts, comedians Steve Patterson and Jon Fisch, were also good, especially Canadian Steve Patterson, whose dry delivery and idiosyncratic point of view were refreshingly funny.

After the show we had drinks at nearby Scarpetta, an Italian restaurant housed in a Greek revival townhouse. Its bar is lively and comfortable, and we would have tried its well-reviewed food, had we not already eaten burgers at Comix. Next time!

(Note to the FTC, which recently passed some annoying blogger regulations: I was neither paid nor comped for these reviews. Trust me, we spent way too much money on both nights.)

The Vibrator Play on Broadway (Review and Limerick)

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

A period play about vibrators? It sounds like an unlikely theme for a Broadway play, but playwright Sarah Ruhl pulls it off in her In the Next Room or the vibrator play.

I highly recommend this funny and insightful comedy about hysteria, a “disease of the womb.” And so does New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood. But Isherwood’s review is missing a limerick:

Vibrant Vibrator Play (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A “Vibrator Play” on Broadway?
Yes, it sounds just a little risqué.
But it’s witty — not crude.
(Though it ain’t for a prude.)
I just loved it, so book it today.

(The details: In the Next Room or the vibrator play is a Lincoln Center Theater production, directed by Les Waters and playing at the Lyceum Theater. It stars Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, Maria Dizzia, Thomas Jay Ryan, Chandler Williams, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Wendy Rich Stetson.)

Happy Birthday To Me

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Friday, September 11th was my birthday — one of those traumatizing, ends-with-zero birthdays. So I told my husband Mark that, unless he wanted me to be a basket case on nine-eleven, he’d better plan something good.

So, did Mark rise to the occasion? He sure did, as I describe in this three-verse limerick:

Happy Birthday To Me
By Madeleine Begun Kane

My nine-one-one birthday was great!
Hubby Mark planned a fabulous date:
God of Carnage — fine play —
Four fab stars on Broadway.
Yes, I married a wonderful mate.

The play featured James Gandolfini,
Who did not play a mafia meanie.
Hope Davis starred too
And Jeff Daniels. Woo Hoo!
Marcia Harden’s the fourth. Creds ain’t teeny.

We dined on gourmet Mex cuisine:
Toloache’s the best I have seen.
And we drank and we danced
At two bars. Age advanced?
Well, perhaps … but I felt sweet sixteen.

(Cross-posted on my political humor blog.)

Night On The Town — Judy Carmichael, Stride Pianist

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

I live in New York City, so my husband Mark and I often catch great musical acts, plays, art shows, and other entertainment and cultural diversions in the Big Apple.

Why don’t I write about our New York fun?  I keep meaning to, but quickly forget to. Blame ADD, a bad memory, or just being a wee bit disorganized.

Anyway, I’ve decided to launch a new posting category — Night On The Town — in which I’ll write more regularly about our Manhattan adventures … in theory, anyway.

And what better way to start, than with the wonderful Judy Carmichael!  We caught her stride piano act Friday night at the Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, and she was excellent, as always. Mark and I own every one of her recordings!

For those who don’t know what stride piano is, it’s a musical style that originated in Harlem early in the 20th century.  And nobody does it better than Judy Carmichael.  In fact I love her playing so much, I’ve written her a limerick:

Ode To Judy Carmichael (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Judy Carmichael’s known for her stride.
She’s a pianist of note far and wide—
A female Fats Waller.
You’ll whoop and you’ll holler
With joy at her musical ride.