Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Democrats' Moldy Oldie Problem

So now the moldy, not-so-little secret is out.

Surely you must know what I'm talking about.

Well, maybe not. Because this was a quite well-kept secret for longer than it deserved to be. So, maybe you don't know after all and maybe I'll just have to come out and say it.

Here goes: The Democrats are old, cranky and worn-out.

And, here's the worst part: Their ideas are as old as they are. They not only lack a young, vital bench but they also lack fresh approaches that can break through the failed liberal policies of the 1960s.

Recently re-elected Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid and recently re-elected House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi are both 74. Not 74 combined but 74 as 74 + 74 = 148! That's lots of years!

Vice-President Joe (aka "Unlce Joe") Biden is 72.

Pelosi's top assistant in the House is Steny Hoyer. He's 75.

Are you following me? Ok now, stay with me. We've still got a ways to go.

Who was the Democrats' top vote-getter on November 4 lest year? Yeah, I know that they didn't have many winners at all but would you believe me if I told you it was a 76-year-old who ran for president in 1976? That's would be California Governor Jerry Brown who was first elected to office 44 years ago. And now Jerry Brown is one of the Democrat Party's potential 2016 president aspirants, as is Biden. Their combined age is also 148, which seems to be a magic number for the Democrats this year.

Then there's the redoubtable Hillary Clinton - the Big Kahuna, darling of aging baby boomers, newly-crowned grandma and once leading candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination. If elected president, she would be pushing 70 when she takes office.

Now, look at some of the fresh, young Republican faces currently gaining national attention: Marco Rubio, 43; Rand Paul, 51; Ted Cruz, 43; Chris Christie, 52; Bobby Jindal, 43;; Paul Ryan, 44; Joni Ernst, 44; Susana Martinez, 55; Thom Tillis, 54; Cory Gardner, 40; Ted Cruz, 43. I could go on. . . .
But, it's the ideas. The Democrat Party is full of old people with old ideas - ideas like nationalized medicine, affirmative action, business-busting rules and regulations, higher taxes and bigger government. 

The Democrat Party remains tied to old labor, old ideologues and old intrusions into every aspect of our lives. Indeed, even liberalism's tie to old academia (where political correctness is more stringently enforced than ever) is laughable in the face of a global information age that is revolutionizing education.

The new people, the new ideas and the new solutions are in the Republican Party and the November election proved this.

The Republican Party now comfortably controls not only the House and the Senate but also 32 of the nations 50 governor's seats including key states such as Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Florida. The party also has a firm grip on most state legislatures.

Yes, America -- there's mold in the basement along with Granny Hill, Uncle Joe, cranky cousin Harry and scary aunt Nancy. 

It's called the Democrat Party.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Recommended Dining In Philly Burbs

For awhile we've been wanting to bring you up to date on our dining adventures and now we finally have a chance.

Here's a roundup of some of our recent visits and assessments:

We've paid a few return visits to the beautiful Seasons 52 restaurant in Cherry Hill and we found it to be every bit as hospitable (and the food every bit as good) as when it first opened. That's a real compliment since eateries often open top-notch and then begin to miss the mark.

In Cherry Hill Season's 52 continues to deftly oversee the operation with a great deal of attentiveness and personal charm. We love just about everything on the menu at Seasons 52 (a menu that changes with the seasons) and the staff is uniformly first-rate. And since our very first visit to Seasons 52 at the Cherry Hill Mall (shortly after it opened) the restaurant has opened at nearby King of Prussia Mall.

Another fine eatery that we recently discovered is the Four Dogs Tavern at the Marshalton Inn in the cozy village of Marshalton near West Chester, Pa. The Marshalton Inn is the bigger deal here -- the white tablecloth, finer dining restaurant -- while the Four Dogs is just what the name says it is: an informal, friendly cafe. The menu at Four Dogs features fresh ingredients from nearby farms and establishments and every dish is carefully detailed. We recommend outdoor dining at the Four Dogs this autumn, if the weather permits. The setting amidst the rolling hills of beautiful Chester County is relaxing and rejuvenating and the food is great with reasonable prices to match.

Down near the Jersey shore we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Gourmet Italian Cuisine in Galloway. Gourmet is a huge establishment (bar, cafe, restaurant, banquet and event rooms) but it actually feels surprisingly cozy inside since it's broken up into smaller areas and features rich woods, copper, innovating lighting, appealing art work, comfortable seating and lots of windows. The main bar is spacious and the drinks are great. The menu is varied and is by no means limited to Italian fare. And, there are many very reasonably priced specials as well as full course meals. We highly recommend Gourmet!

Returning to Cherry Hill, we recently entertained friends at Lamberti's Tutti Toscani and once again enjoyed superb meals in a relaxing informal setting at moderate prices with outstanding, personal service. Tutti Toscani is the first and longest running location in the Lamberti Family of Restaurants and it's still one of the best. We've been returning year after year and we've never had a bad meal at this warm and inviting bistro.

Also in Cherry Hill, we've been enjoying the fine lunches and happy hours at Brio at Garden State Park. The cold, crispy Caesar salads at Brio are extraordinary and the roasted chicken sandwich is fresh and luscious. The happy hour is a big draw with a variety of drinks and hors'douvres at very popular prices. And, we've also been to Brio for dinner several times and have always had a great time.

Finally, we recommend The Bistro at Haddonfield (formerly the Corner Bistro) on Kings Highway and Tanner St. in the historic town of Haddonfield. The Bistro is a cross between a corner restaurant and a dinner. This place serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week and almost everything that you order is going to be fresh and tasty. On a nice day we like to sit outdoors under The Bistro's bright blue awnings. And here's a special secret: You won't find a better (or more reasonably priced) weekday breakfast anywhere!

Cathedralisms: What The Church Has Lost

Visiting the magnificent cathedral in the center of Seville, Spain's fourth-largest city and one of the most beautiful places on earth, it suddenly dawned on us: The Catholic Church has lost a certain grandeur; a certain presence; a certain ability to overwhelm.
This is ampoly evident in this Cathedral of St. Mary of the See, the largest cathedral in the world. Yes, St. Peter's  in Rome is larger but that is a bascilica, not a cathedral.
Here are five things that the Church has sort of forfeited or simply given away over the years:

1) Iconic figures of Cathollicism's various saints and martyrs. Somewhere along theline the veneration of the saints has been lost and devotion to the saints has been practically forgotten.

2) The suffering of Christ himself. The agony of Jesus -- the passion of the Christ -- is central to Catholicism. Yet, in many modern Catholic houses of worship we are hard pressed to find the crucifix with the corpus at the center of worship.

3) Devotion to Mary. The unyielding faith of Mary and her suffering go hand-in-hand with the passion of Christ and his sacrifice on our behalf. Far too often we find Mary shuttered away to a side entrance, a portico or even to the back of the church.

4) Elaborateness. In striving for simplicity, we've somewhow robbed the Church of its majesty. We need a sense of glory in this world. The Church should overwhelm us. The presence of God in the trinity should put things into persepective for us. We are  infinitesimal in His presence. We are not the center of the universe. He is.

5) Reverence. This means that the Church must inspire -- indeed, require -- a sense of decorum, proper behavior and even subjugation. Being amidst divinity we must act, dress and conduct ourselves in a cetrian manner. Sadly, rules and standards of coduct have fallen by the wayside.

Imagery and majesty and grandeur were always central to the Church.
They inspired us and urged us on to a higher calling.
We saw this in the cathedral in Seville. The photos below demonstrate that.
But we don't see this much more in typical Catholic churches -- particularly in America.
And we must ask ourselves as well: Should the Pope really be giving followers a thumbs-up sign as if we're all at a sporting event or some entertainment venue? Pope's bless us. They hold both hands out, palms toward the heavens, welcoming us and urging us to look to God. They're not put here to lead us in cheers or jeers, they're here to lead us in prayer.
Yes, religion is part of the popular culture. But Catholicism must transcends all that -- or at least it should. It must be enduring, classic, timeless.
We lose these essential qualities and characteristics at our own peril.
Look at these photos and think about it . . . .


Monday, October 5, 2015

Visiting Paris: Ten Things You Need To Know!

We're traveling through Europe right now so this is as good a time as any to refresh you on our tips for visiting the City of Lights, Paris.

A visit to Paris is usually at or near the top of every sophisticated traveler's list.

But before you go to the city of love, romance and high fashion, there are some things you need to know.
Here are a few tips:

1) If you speak English, don't expect Parsians to immediately respond to you in English. Think of it this way: In America, if someone came up to you on the street and immediately started addressing you in Franch or Italian or Spanish, how would you respond? Wouldn't you immediately expect that person to at least greet you in Engish? Well, it's the same way here in Paris. If you want help from a Parisian, you must be at least willing to say "Bonjour." And you should know simple words and/or phrases such as "merci" and "bonsoir." These will go a long way toward established at least some form of simple conversation. And once you do that, you'll be suprised at how many Parisians actually do speak English.

2) In a restaurant don't expect the waiter or waitress to bring you the check unless you actually ask for it. It's considered rude for the magement to attempt to end your dining experience until you're ready for it to end. They won't rush you -- ever. It is up to you to signal that you're ready to pay your check and bring your visit to a close.

3) At zig-zag crosswalks you may be tempted to enter the intersection and expect cars to stop for you. That won't necessarily happen. They're supposed to stop, yes -- but that doesn't mean they will. Your best bet: Go to a signaled intersection and wait for the green light.

4) In everyday conversation, mannerly touches are important. So, si vou plait (if you please) merci (thank you) and pardon are expected -- not just now and then but all the time, everywhere.

5) In a restaurant, it's not approriate to ask for a take home or "doggy bag." That's because the French do not separate the dining experience from the dining. The two are the same. You can't take the restaurant with you. Likewise, you'd be well-advised not to try to take the food.

6) Don't respond to anyone on the street who asks you to sign a petition or tells you that you dropped something or tries to get you to stop or look in another direction. The pickpockets on Paris streets are notorious and their first order of business is getting you to stop or distrating you in some way. Once that happens, they move very quickly and before you know it you're flat out broke. Beware!

7) The customary 15-20% tip in American restaurants does not apply in Paris. Often a grtuaity or service charge is included but even when it's not, waitstaff are better-paid than their American counterparts. A small tip is given only for exceptional service.

8) In the warmer weather months avoid wearing shorts and sneakers in Paris. This is not considered appropriate and will immediately identify you as an American tourist. As such, you will become a quick target. White sneakers in particular are a no-no.

9) Many tours will give you just two or three days in Paris. Don't try to do the city in that length of time. It's really not feasible -- and its an injustice to all the wonders of Paris. We've allowed ourselves a full week in Paris (with two full weks in France) and we're so glad we did.

10) In high-tourist areas of the city, meals will be expensive. To avoid this find small neighborhoods and out of the way brasseries and sidewalk cafes. It's almost impossible to have a bad meal in Paris so you'll enjoy a fine dining experience, patronize an appreciative proprietor and pay a lot less. Voila! Everybody wins!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Before You Eat: Ten Valuable Dining Rules

If you want to have a good dining experience, from the first minute you enter a restaurant you must be alert and attentive.
Before you are seated -- and well before you even taste a morsel of food -- you must follow some basic rules to ensure your comfort and enjoyment.
Because, lets face it: If your minimal needs are not met, it doesn't matter how great the food or the service is, you're not going to have a positive dining experience. It's just that simple.
So here (in no particular order) are the rules that you need to remember right from start:

1) Never sit near the door. It's one of the worst places to sit and it's liable to be drafty, cold or hot, crowded and/or noisy. Plus, it's a popular place for gawkers.

2) Never sit near the restrooms. Do I really have to explain why?

3) Never sit near a wait station. You didn't come to visit with the waitstaff, hear their gossip and be serenaded by the clanging of dishes and other attendant sounds.

4) Beware of small (or even larger) children. People nowadays take their kids everywhere and very often  they neither discipline nor correct them as they should.

5) Stay away from large groups or people who appear to be celebrating special events. The people in these groups often imbibe in a manner where they try to outdo one another. These guests can become very loud and they often overstay their welcome as well. Not good. 

6) Never sit under air or air conditioning vents. You will ch-ch-ch-chill and so will your food. And, you may leave with a stiff neck.

7) If you're dining on a major family dining day (such as Mother's Day or Easter) know what you're getting into. You'll be facing fixed menus, higher prices, noisy groups, kids, a hassled waitstaff and probably mediocre food.

8) As a general rule, do not dine out on New Year's Eve. If you must, dine quite early in the evening and be home by 10 pm. New year's Eve is for losers. It's consistently the year's most overrated event.

9) Unless you are dining solo, don't dine at or near the bar.

10) As you enter the restaurant, subject the place to the sniff test. If it smells musty or stale, leave.

These rules are based on real life experiences and numerous disappointments compiled over many years. Ignore them at your own peril.

The 'Must-See,' Revealing Ruins Of Merida

On our way to Seville We stopped at Merdia, Spain for a look at the incredible Roman ruins that are thousands of years old and remarkably well-preserved.
The coliseum and forum that you will find here rivals anything that you might find in Greece, Italy or anywhere else in the world for that matter.
How did everything remain so well-preserved through centuries of invasions, onslaughts, development, etc.? The answer is simple: garbage. All of this sat under a garbage dump and it wasn't until excavations began in 1909 that the dramatic discoveries emerged.
And they've continued to the presnet day.
In fact, the entire town of Merida sits atop what was a thriving part of the Roman empire.
Yes, Merida has certainly earned its title as a UNESCO World Heritage Sight.
Truly incredible!

Seville: A Quintessential Iberian Gem

As we continue our thrilling Iberain adventure we find ourselves in Seville, Spain's fourth-largest city and one of the most seductive places on earth.
There is a captivating vibrancy about this grand old (and new) city that combines Spanish, Roman and Islamic influences from its storied history. Through its plazas, palaces, parks, bridges, walls, streets, alleys and passageways you will find much of the history of Europe -- both the good and the bad; the opulent and the sparse; the cultured and the crude; the senseless and the sublime.
At almost any hours Seville allures you like a giant bazaar -- a feast of sights and sounds.
Since Spaniards insist upon their treasured siesta (and you would, too in such a warm climate, even in October) everything runs a bit late in Seville and things really don't start popping until after dark when both natives and visitors flood the streets and promenades. The people-watching here is intoxicating and the crowds of all ages encourage a friendly mingling.
If all of this appeals to you, don't delay. Put Seville on your travel map and make plans to journey here pronto.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

How To Answer Liberal 'Interrogations'

Liberals always seem to want to interrogate conservatives -- but on liberals' terms.
They seem to want to put us "on the stand" as if we have committed some crime. Then they get to ask loaded questions and control the subject. Don't let them do it.
It's no crime to embrace common-sense conservative beliefs.  
Here's what I told one liberal who tried this on me not too long ago:
Let's get this straight: I am not under oath; I'm not on the stand and I'm not here to be interrogated by you or anyone else. Interrogation is a form of control, nothing more. THAT is a classic tactic.
Now, in one month Obama has racked up a bigger debt than George W. Bush did in a whole year. The mounting federal debt is robbing us of our freedom and liberty and threatens to enslave our nation. It will certainly deprive our children and grandchildren of options they might otherwise have had. The shaky state of the dollar (related to the deficit) is also cause for concern. If you don't understand that debt that grows out of proportion to the GDP threatens our future then you're missing a very simple, practical point: When we work for our own money instead of insisting on handouts; when we are able to keep more of what we earn; when we practice economic common sense and avoid going into debt, we have more options, more freedom, more opportunities. When we become indebted (either personally or collectively) we close doors to those options or opportunities.
And being indebted to CHINA? Well, that IS scary. 
Bigger and bigger government. Growing debt. More government regulation. A burgeoning and bloated federal work force committed to more and more bureaucracy -- this is not the path to freedom and liberty.
Personal responsibility -- rugged individualism -- that's what made America great. The common sense of hard-working, ordinary Americans made us the greatest country on earth. Reagan, again: "Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves."
As we face growing and alarming challenges, I wonder if Obama and the Democrats realize this. I wonder if they even see it. I wonder if they believe in American exceptionalism. I know that I do. And I pray -- yes, PRAY -- that future generations do as well.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Three Things Liberals MAY Be Right About

So, you've been waiting for this, huh?
Have you?
Well, yes -- it's true. Liberals are actually right about some things.
Here are three of them:

1) The minimum wage needs to be raised.
We don't think there's any question about this. We're not saying you have to double or triple the minimum wage. But it needs to be raised. If you want people to actually work and feel they are accomplishing something and actually getting ahead and actually getting a chance to live a decent life, you have to pay them more, at a minimum. Otherwise, where's the incentive to work at all? The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That's too low. States are free to set the minimum higher and Washington DC seems to be the highest at $9.50 per hour. Maybe the national minimum wage should be set somewhere between the two, Will a higher minimum wage raise prices? Most likely it will. But we're betting it won't be that bad and we're willing to pay somewhat higher prices. It's time to raise the minimum wage.

2) Beyond a certain point, something must be done about astronomical annual incomes.
Oh, we know this is a touchy one with confirmed free-enterprisers and those who hate class warfare -- and we count ourselves among those on both counts. But, really -- no matter how much money a corporate exec may take credit for in terms of profits for his/her company, does the CEO really need to be paid $140 million? Really? Because that's what the highest-paid CEO made in 2013. And we're not just talking about CEOs here (Oprah Winfrey, by the way, made $165 million in one year). So, we're talking about anybody who pulls in a stratospheric annual salary -- let's say over $25 million. OK, after you've passed that level, you have to either donate a certain amount above and beyond that (let's say 30%) to charities or good causes or you have to turn it over to Uncle Sam, earmarked for a pre-determined good purpose like health research or education or transportation but not as a form of income redistribution. Just an idea.

3) The militarization of the police must stop.
As a general rule, turning excess military equipment over to local, county or state police departments is a bad idea and represents a growing threat to our rights and civil liberties. It's downright scary. And, libertarians agree with liberals on this and the libertarians are right as well. We do not need militarized police forces. If necessary, the excess military equipment can be given to the National Guard. That's what the Guard is for. Exceptions? Yes, in some extraordinary circumstances. The New York City Police Department, for example needs this kind of equipment and training, for obvious reasons. And there may be some other exceptions. But, generally - no. No more militarization!

These are three thoughts, with some suggestions for change.
Because once in awhile (just every now and then) they are actually right about a few things -- or, at least they give us something to think about, in a good way.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sentra: A Feast For The Eyes In Portugal

As we continue our journey through Portugal (the first part of our Grand Iberian Adventure) we took a brief road trip and spent the day in the picturesque town of Sentra, a short drive from Lisbon.
Sentra was the summer home for the Portuguese royal family and contains a beautiful castle, many hills, winding roads and narrow streets filled with shops, restaurants, individual homes and businesses.
No matter which way you turn, the views are absolutely breathtaking!
Here are some of our first photos from gorgeous Sentra.


Tune, Lavin, Others Set For Philly Cabaret Season

The RRazz Room at The Prince in Philadelphia is an intimate venue programmed by the entrepreneurs who created the infamous and iconic RRazz Room in San Francisco. 

The RRazz Room brand has become synonymous with quality entertainment presented at its purest and most intimate form. The unique space allows patrons to experience all their favorite entertainers up close and personal. The RRazz Room venues (also located in Coral Springs, FL, South Miami-Dade, FL, and New Hope, PA) present performances by local and national artists from a wide variety of musical and theatrical genres including Broadway, pop, opera, gospel, drag, comedy, rhythm & blues, and jazz. 

The RRazz Room at the Prince is located within the historic Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102 (near the corner of Broad and Chestnut Streets on the Avenue of the Arts). 

Inaugural Season Lineup 2015

Friday, October 2 @ 8pm Saturday, October 3 @ 8pm
$35.00 Theatre Seating/$50.00 Prime Table Seating/$75.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Paul Mooney wrote many of Richard Pryor’s routines for his appearance on Saturday Night Live. As the head writer for The Richard Pryor Show, he gave many young stand-up comics, such as Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Marsha Warfield, John Witherspoon, and Tim Reid, their first break into show business. Mooney also wrote for Redd Foxx’s Sanford and Son, Good Times, acted in several cult classics including Which Way is Up?, Bustin’ Loose, Hollywood Shuffle, and portrayed singer/songwriter Sam Cooke in The Buddy Holly Story. He was the head writer for the first year of Fox’s In Living Color, creating the character Homey D. Clown, played by Damon Wayans. Mooney later went on to play Wayans’ father in the Spike Lee film Bamboozled as the comedian Junebug.

Dick Gregory entered the national comedy scene in 1961 when Chicago's Playboy Club (as a direct request from publisher Hugh Hefner) booked him as a replacement for white comedian, "Professor" Irwin Corey. Until then Gregory had worked mostly at small clubs with predominantly black audiences (he met his wife, Lillian Smith, at one such club). Such clubs paid comedians an average of five dollars per night; thus Gregory also held a day job as a postal employee. His tenure as a replacement for Corey was so successful — at one performance he won over an audience that included southern white convention goers — that the Playboy Club offered him a contract extension from several weeks to three years. By 1962 Gregory had become a nationally known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums.

Friday, October 9 @ 8pm  Saturday, October 10 @ 6pm & 9pm
$55.00 Theatre Seating/$75.00 Prime Table Seating/$95.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced nine-time Tony Award winner and Broadway icon Tommy Tune as this year’s recipient for the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Tommy Tune is one of the country’s most prolific performer/director/choreographers and is celebrating his golden decade on the great American stage. He has received 9 Tony Awards, The National Medal of Arts, 8 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Astaire Awards, and multiple Life Time Achievement Awards including the Society of Directors and Choreographers’ George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement. In Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales, the legendary Tommy Tune, Broadway’s tallest tapper, takes to the stage – dancing, singing and tale-telling. The nine-time Tony Award winner takes an autobiographical stroll, celebrating 50-plus-years of big-time showmanship, from his arrival in New York City as a fresh-faced kid from Texas, through his most popular roles on stage and screen, to his ascension as one of Broadway’s most accomplished director-choreographers.
Accompanied by Michael Biagi, Tune’s music director for nearly four decades, Tune performs personal renditions of standards by Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer, Burt Bacharach, the Gershwins, Carole King, Green Day and more.

Sunday, October 11 @ 7pm
International Concert & Cabaret Star and Songwriter  "THE ROSE"
with MICHELE BROURMAN, Musical Director
$40.00 Prime Table Seating/ $50.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Amanda McBroom has been called “…the greatest cabaret performer of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice to match.” Her name first came to the attention of the music public when Bette Midler’s version of Amanda’s song THE ROSE hit number one all over the world in 1979. But it was Amanda’s performance of her own song on the Golden Globes (she won), Grammys (she didn’t) and The Tonight Show that launched her career as a singer as well as songwriter.

Friday, October 16 @ 8pm
$35.00 Theatre Seating/$45.00 Prime Table Seating/$55.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Nellie McKay is a British-born American singer-songwriter, actress, and former stand-up comedian, noted for her critically acclaimed albums, and for her Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera (2006). Her music is as versatile as she is, showcasing different genres, from jazz to rap and disco to funk.

Saturday, October 17 @ 8pm Sunday, October 18 @ 3pm
with Billy Stritch, Musical Director
and Special Guest Violinist Aaron Weinstein
$45.00 Theatre Seating/$55.00 Prime Table Seating/$65.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Tony and Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin performs Broadway favorites, standards, and jazz. New York audiences remember her from It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s SupermanLast of the Red Hot LoversBroadway BoundCollected StoriesThe Diary of Anne FrankGypsyThe Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, and many others, and the world knows her as Alice Hyatt in the long-running hit TV series Alice. A veteran of the cabaret stage, Linda began her career playing such NYC nightspots as The Showplace in Greenwich Village and midtown’s Downstairs at the Upstairs. Recently, Linda released her very first CD Possibilities.

Friday, November 6 @ 8pm Saturday, November 7 @ 8pm
"POPsiccal" CD Release Concerts
$35.00 Theatre Seating/$45.00 Prime Table Seating/$55.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
The all-male string quartet Well-Strung has been receiving rave reviews at 54 Below and all over the world, from the House of Blues in New Orleans to the Leicester Square Theatre in London. Now join them to celebrate the release of their new CD entitled POPssical. Musical arrangements by Well-Strung, Bruce Carter and Dana Levinson. The foursome features classical musicians who sing and on POPssical the group puts their own spin on the music of Mozart, Ravel, U2, Taylor Swift and more. Highlights include U-2′s “With or Without You,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and the Ravel string quartet in F major.

Friday, November 13, 2015 @ 8pm
$30.00 Theatre Seating/$45.00 Prime Table Seating/$55.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Singer-Songwriter, Rhonda Ross is an African Diasporic Woman of the World. Bilingual in French and in English (and raising her son to be fluent in 4 languages), Rhonda often connects with her audiences through their native tongues. Her original music lives in the gap between Jazz, Neo-soul, Funk and Gospel. Her lyrics live in the pause between life’s most important questions and their answers. Rhonda has the entire package -- as an entertainer, as a poet, and as a human being. She has great power on stage and her refreshingly personal and moving performances set her apart from other vocalists of her era. Rhonda's music flows straight from her essence and her bright spirit uplifts everyone in the room. With a crown of natural hair, Rhonda graces the stage with the gravitas and glamour of a modern-day queen.  As the only child of Diana Ross and Motown Founder Berry Gordy, it has become evident that Rhonda not only has the talent, but the significance to carry on her parents’ legacy, all the while establishing her own unique musical destination.

Saturday, November 14 @ 7pm & 930pm
Direct From Her Sold Out 10-Week Provincetown Engagement!
$30.00 Theatre Seating/$35.00 Prime Table Seating/$40.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
TICKETS START AT $30!       
Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman starred in the new musical Lucky Guy opposite Leslie Jordan in NY at the Little Schubert in spring 2011 prompting The New York Times to rave, “If Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman had stood in front of the right pair of funhouse mirrors, they might have resembled Ms. Merman and Mr. Jordan in stature as well as comedic talent”. Jeffery recently completed shooting the feature film Girls Will Be Girls 2012 and Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads. He played the title role of Giancarlo Menotti’s opera The Medium in New York at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre in October of 2012. He guest starred as Varla Jean on Ugly Betty in the final season of the show and was also featured on Bravo’s Project Runway Season 5 as the winning model for the show’s drag challenge. He played the role of Mary Sunshine in the revival of Chicago on Broadway and also made his network television debut on All My Children in the recurring role of lady of the evening Rosemary Chicken. He shared the Outfest Film Festival “Best Actor” Award and the Aspen HBO Film Festival “Best Actress” Award with his costars Jack Plotnick and Clinton Leupp for his featured performance in the cult classic film Girls Will Be Girls (Sundance 2003) directed by Richard Day.

Sunday, November 15 @ 7pm
with SHELLY MARKHAM, Musical Director
$45.00 Prime Table Seating/ $65.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Andrea Marcovicci, the Queen of Cabaret, "torch singer, spellbinder, heart-breaker" (People) was hailed as the "most Sinatra-like" of the new generation of cabaret performers by Life Magazine. She "has the capacity to caress a song with a warming embrace…Marcovicci steals the heart …the epitome of elegance and showbiz savvy," declared Variety while Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times, "Andrea Marcovicci has an incandescent enthusiasm and a masterly balance between poignancy and wit".

Friday, December 18 @ 8pm Saturday, December 19 @ 8pm
with JEFF HARRIS, Musical Director
$45.00 Prime Table Seating/ $55.00 Ltd VIP Up Close Table Seating includes post show Meet & Greet
Two-time Grammy nominee, Maureen McGovern, recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of sharing her brilliant voice with the world on her chart-topping song, “The Morning After”, which earned an Academy Award, a Gold Record and her first Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

More Photos From Beautiful Lisbon . . .

Join Us: Exploring The Iberian Peninsula!

Yes, the Dan Cirucci Blog is on the move once again.
We promised we'd be visiting lots of places and taking you along -- and that's exactly what we're doing.
We have now just begun exploring the Iberain peninsula. "What's that?" you say. Quite simply, Spain and Portugal. Or, in this case Portugal and then Spain. We begin right here in one of the most beautiful (and for US tourists, most economical) cities in Europe: Beautiful Lisbon, the enchanting, historical, nautical capital of Portugal. The natives call this place Leesczboa and it's melodic when you hear in pronounced in the native Portuguese tongue.
We will post as many photos as we can on this tour and try to give you a real visual sense of each place that we visit us. We'll capture both some of the big highlights as well as some of the small details and everything else that attracts our eye.
Come back every day as we will be updating as much as we can.
We're going to be covering Iberia for awhile, so stay with us!

A Glorious Food Tour In The Big Apple!

Neighborhood food tours are all the rage in cities across the country.
But nowhere do they seem to be more successful than within the boundaries of that gastronome's mecca known as New York City.
And one of the reasons why this is so is the original Foods of New York Tours(FNYT). For more than15 years now Foods of New York has been treating visitors and natives alike to some of the best food and neighborhood combos available anywhere in the world.
Not too long ago FNYT celebrated its 15th birthday and we joined the festivities by taking an Original Greenwich Village Food Tour savoring the old Italian section and the quaint surroundings of one of the most historic areas on Manhattan. Yes, we did use "quaint" and "Manhattan" in the same sentence, if you can believe that. And if you had been with us for this tour you would understand why.
We decided to take this tour for three reasons:
1) We hadn't been in the storied Greenwich Village area of the Big Apple for years and we longed to discover it anew, beyond the touristy environs of Washington Square.
2) We previously took a FNYT journey through the Chelsea Market and meatpacking district area and we loved it, so we were longing to return.
3) The tour was offered at less than half price to commemorate FNYT's birthday.
And so, there we were eating our way through picturesque area of The Village with our superbly informative and delightfully entertaining tour guide Raheem as we wandered in and out of small and medium-sized locally owned business and restaurants, all of which offer up the freshest culinary treats.
We started at the famous Joe's Pizza (a New York landmark) and ventured throughMurray's Cheese and Gourmet FoodsPalma Italian RestaurantO & C Olive Oil ShopMilk and Cookies American BakeryRafele Italian RestaurantRocco's Italian Pastry Shop and Faicco's Italian Specialty Shop. We wish had the time to tell you about each delectable stop but that wouldn't do justice to our marvelous journey and it would only tease you.
Well, anyway -- did you know that there are more Italian restaurants in this one section of Greenwich Village than there are in all of New York's famed Little Italy? And this area contains several Italian eateries that are rated among the very best that the city has to offer.
Plus, this is where you will also find cozy, narrow tree-lined streets, Manhattan's oldest wooden house, a magical New Orlean's type courtyard of charming town homes, the building that posed as the apartment house where the characters in NBC'S F*R*I*E*N*D*S lived and the narrowest house in little old New York -- a place that once belonged to Cary Grant. Yep, they're all here in a section of the city where you will find few if any buildings exceeding four stories in height.
Take a look at our photos and then go to FNYT and book a tour for yourself. There are six different tours in Manhattan and Brooklyn to choose from. Mangia!

In the heart of the old Italian section of Greenwich Village.

You won't wind a bookstore like this at the mall.

Just part of the selections at Murray's Cheese and Gourmet Foods.

Legions have declared Joe's "the best" for generations.

Inside the beautiful Palma Italian restaurant.

Fresh and delicious at Rafele Italian restaurant.

Yeah, they're chocolate chip -- at Milk and Cookies.

Boston or Philly? Nah! It's Manhattan, baby!

OK, so this narrow little charmer once was Cary Grant's Manhattan hideaway.

Exterior for FRIENDS apartment house on NBC.

The oldest wooden house in New York.

We're told you're liable to spot celebrities here. Shhhhh!

No, it's not Charleston of Savannah. This is tucked into
a small side street in Greenwich Village.

Above and below, Rocco's Italian Pastry Shop.