Tag Archives: opera

Weekend ahoy!

12 Oct

You know those weekends where it seems like every organization and entity has something going on, and you want to attend EVERYTHING!  I have those a lot.  This weekend is especially nutty.  I’m looking at my weekend plans, and I’m kind of tired already.  But these are all GREAT things I will be doing, so it will be a busy weekend but a fun one!

This afternoon kicks off with the announcement of BAR EXAM RESULTS! I am so nervous and excited for all my friends who took the PA bar exam this year! Here’s to hoping that you’ll spend the afternoon sipping champagne in joy (and if not, at least tip a few back in sorrow).

This evening is the Alumni Reception for my 5 year law school reunion! 5 years! Can you believe it! Where did the time go?


Tomorrow brings the much anticipated Propelle Style Summit

I’m a little nervous about picking out an outfit…what in my closet could possibly be cool enough to wear to a gathering of fashionistas?

Saturday also brings the Annual Meeting for the East End Food Co-Op.  If you’re a Co-Op member, please be sure to attend! Election results for the Board of Directors will be announced (you can vote at the meeting, if you haven’t voted yet), and they’ll be giving updates on the state of the Co-op and its plans for the upcoming year.

On Sunday, Mr. Beez and I will be venturing to the Pittsburgh Opera for Rigoletto.  Although I’m a bit of an opera nut, I’ve never seen Rigoletto before.  It has gotten rave reviews, so I’m excited for an afternoon of music and drama!

What does your weekend have in store?


Casbah, Tosca, and Bustin’ a Move

1 Apr

1. I hate April Fool’s Day.

That is not a joke, I seriously hate April Fools Day.  I have the misfortune of trusting my friends and family that they wouldn’t lie to me about pointless things, for the sole purpose of laughing at me when I actually believe them.  I am gullible, I know that. I am gullible because I foolishly expect that people would not laugh at the expense of others.  I can’t wait to get to April 2.

2. Brunch today at Casbah was Amazing.

I’ve been to Casbah for dinner before and was very pleased, but brunch is where Casbah truly shines.  They offer a price fixe menu, which includes a cocktail (sangria, bloody mary, mimosa, or salty dog), a generously sized appetizer, and your choice of an entree from a truly impressive list, for a total of $24 per person.  Brunch is the same fining dining quality as their dinner, but at a very reasonable price.

Mr. Beez had the sangria, and I had a Salty Dog. Tasty!

Mr. Beez picked the scallops entree and loved it.

I had the braised lamb and eggs, and it was like everything I love about eggs benedict, but better.

Casbah for sure has one of the best brunches in the city.  A few people were wearing jeans, but fancier attire is more appropriate.  It’s a perfect choice for a classy morning out.

3. Time for Tosca

Having brunch before going to the Opera was poor planning on our part.  We were stuffed and tired.  Tosca was of course beautifully done.  I did see it when the Pittsburgh Opera last put it on in 2006, but I remember there being more action and energy in the last production.  That recollection could be tinted by my excitement of seeing one of my favorite operas on stage for the first time, and my previous viewing not being under the haze of a decadent brunch.

I have really enjoyed the advertising campaign that MARC USA put together for the Pittsburgh Opera this year.  They designed a poster for each opera featuring a prominent Pittsburgh dressed as the man character of the opera.  The Tosca poster features Pitt Women’s Basketball Coach Agnus Berenato as Floria Tosca (I had no idea it was her until I read it in the program!)  It’s been fascinating to see these transformations on the opera posters, and I was sad to see that next year’s posters are taking a different route.

4. Baby Beez Busts a Move.


La Traviata and Meat & Potatoes

24 Oct

Last night, Mr. Beez, his pal David, and I saw La Traviata at the Pittsburgh Opera.  La Traviata is a big name opera, but honestly, I was only vaguely familiar with it.  If you’ve ever seen an Olive Garden commercial or Looney Tunes, you’d be at least familiar with some of the music.

The performance as well done, the performers were excellent. I’d consider La Traviata to be an excellent piece for someone new to opera to see. There is recognizable music, the show is broken down into 3 acts of reasonable length, and– my favorite– there is plenty of “opera logic.” For example, it’s totally reasonable to tell your son’s girlfriend that she needs to break up with him, because if she doesn’t, his sister’s suitor is going to dump her, amirite?!  I love that nonesensical demands, especially when there is love involved, always go unchallenged in opera.

I read in some article somewhere that Pretty Woman was based on La Traviata…I haven’t seen Pretty Woman (what is WRONG with me? I KNOW! I’ll netflix it, promise) but from what I know of Pretty Woman, it bears much broader similarities to Pygmalion/My Fair Lady, and bears only a general resemblance to La Traviata.

La Traviata is, however, very clearly the inspiration for Moulin Rouge.  Halfway into the 2nd act, I realized “wait, I’ve seen this before….” Except this time there was no Ewan McGregor or flashy sparkly lights, which is kind of a bummer.  La Traviata was a good show, though, and I’d see it again the next time they put it on again in the ‘burgh.

Afterward, we went to Meat and Potatoes for dinner.  There was initially a lot of excitement about this restaurant, but over time I’ve started to hear mixed reviews.  The early reviews were that it was innovative, and fun, and delicious.  Then I started to get reviews about the food being good, but the service being terrible.  I felt a little left out of the conversation, and wanted to try it for myself.

Luckily, our experience was one of the great ones.  The servers were very attentive– quick to take our orders, quick to bring our food, quick to fill our water glasses and bring us drinks.  There are an inordinate number of young dark-haired men working there, so I made a bit of an idiot of myself, because I could not figure out who was a busser and who was our server. Oh well, it turned out fine.

I had an extremely delicious drink called the “Ronaldo,” which the menu described as “housemade raspberry vodka/grenadine/citrus/sparkling”.  I’d describe it as everything you like about a cosmo, but better.

For appetizers we had the spare ribs flatbread and the “devils on horseback” (we were hungry!)

Devils on Horseback! I suppose I could have taken a picture before eating one, but I was HUNGRY.

Devils on Horseback are choriz0-stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon, and smothered with some kind of delicious sauce. They are fantastic.

For my entree, I had the duck. Honestly, I have limited familiarity with duck, so when I received it and the meat was kind of pink, I was worried that it was underdone.  Mr. Beez informed me that that is how it’s supposed to be prepared, duh. It was good, and the mashed sweet potatoes and red cabbage it was served with were especially good.  Mr. Beez had the flat iron and said it was delicious, but a bit small for his appetite.  David had the pork chop, and seemed to like it very well.

I was too full to partake in dessert.  Mr. Bez had the key lime pie, which had a charming presentation.

He said it was good, but very sweet.

I’m glad I gave Meat & Potatoes a try, and did like it a lot. I can see it being a really fun place for drinks and appetizers.  I can’t see myself going back for dinner anytime soon, only because there are so many places I haven’t tried at all, and I’d like to try new things before going back.

Judging by how busy it was when we went (5:00 pm on a Sunday, and you couldn’t get a table without a reservation), if they can iron out the occasional service issues, they’ll probably continue to do very well.