Omir the Storyteller

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Princesses, Benihana and Mariano Rivera

Family; actually, all over the map

You may not know it unless you live here, but Seattle is quite the theater town. Back in the day producers used to try out their shows bound for Broadway in places like Philadelphia, New Haven and Boston; these days, tryouts are as likely to occur in Los Angeles, Chicago or Toronto. Or at Seattle's Fifth Avenue Theater, where the Tony-award winning musical Hairspray got its start (and where we saw it when it returned here last fall).

Tonight we got to see a Broadway-bound musical called Princesses. It's built around the idea of an all-girls' boarding school doing a musical version of A Little Princess, but there's a lot more to it than that. It started out a bit slow, but built up steam as it went along and ended up quite nicely. Check it out when it hits the Great White Way.

We got a show-before-the-show at Benihana. It's a Japanese restaurant, where the shtick is that the chef prepares the dinner right at your table. Each table seats eight (we were there with two other parties) and features a large -- I mean large -- grill where the chef, knives whirling and spatula flashing, grills the vegetables, grills and chops the meats, and mixes up the fried rice right in front of you, carrying on a patter as he goes. "Let's see, you have filet mignon," he said as he made sure he had our order straight, "you have hibachi scallops -- you have a Happy Meal . . . " He then butterflied one of the shrimp he was cooking, split its tail and sat it on what had once been its neck. "See?" he pronounced. "A bunny rabbit." He then flipped the "bunny rabbit" onto the plate of one of the members of the party. "With your Happy Meal, you get a toy."

While waiting in the lobby after the meal for the female members of the group to finish doing whatever it is the women do when they go en masse into the powder room, I looked at the pictures on the wall. Bill Gates' picture is on there with one of the chefs, as is Brooke Shields'. Detlef Schremp is there, overshadowing two of the staff.

There is an inordinate number of baseball players on that wall. I would guess that Benihana is something a little exotic, but available in most of the cities ballplayers travel to, so when you sit down to a meal there you get something special, but not surprising in a bad way. Ken Griffey Junior and Senior are on there, as is Dan Wilson. Some of the players are instantly recognizable. Jamie Moyer is there, though obviously younger. Ivan Rodriguez has a big old grin on his face.

The two biggest surprises on the wall were Edgar Martinez and Mariano Rivera. Edgar is there with his son, age about two, and it's hard to recognize him. He's much younger in the picture, and doesn't have the handsome, square cut and curly mop we came to recognize in his later years with the Mariners. And Mariano Rivera . . . well, there are several Yankees on that wall, and there's no mistaking Derek Jeter, for instance. But I always thought of Rivera as "the zombie." He has that perpetual unsettling "dead" look on his face. I call him The Zombie. If I were facing him in the batter's box, he'd give me the willies. But in this picture, he's all smiles, and a lovely smile to boot. You wouldn't think it's the same guy.

There's no deep philosophical point to this entry. Just a note about how people often look different when we see them "out of context." I have that problem with people who know me from church, for instance, but it takes me a minute to recognize them. I have no idea why that is.


At 11:22 AM, Blogger FARfetched said...

I've had that happen with people from work that I see outside of work. Not always, though.


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