Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Old Haunts and New Productions

The Missus and I made the annual pilgrimage to Princeton on Saturday night, accompanied by the parents-to-be, to see McCarter Theater's production of "A Christmas Carol".  As I mentioned in this space on Saturday, 2016 marks a brand new production of the show, which Margaret and I have turned into a Christmas tradition in our house over the course of the past six or seven years.  Were the decision mine to make, I would not have revamped the production.  I found this new iteration left me wanting in comparison to its predecessor.  

Although I am change-resistant and a notoriously tough grader on such things, I was not alone in my assessment of the evening's entertainment.  Suzanne and Margaret shared my opinion, and in order to be certain that I did not cloud either's perspective, I did not offer my two cents on it until after each of them had done so.  Ryan, playing the role of Dentist #5 in every Trident commercial ever made, spoke up on the new production's behalf.  He is not alone, my son-in-law, in his praise of this production, as evidenced by not only the rave reviews it has received but also by the response to it by the overwhelming majority of the people who were in attendance on Saturday night. 

While the show did not move me as it has in years past (every other time I have seen it at McCarter), the trip to Princeton to see it is one that I am confident we shall not abandon.  Before the show, the four of us ate dinner at the simply terrific Witherspoon Grill, which is located just up the block (or two) from Joe's old haunt, Lahiere's, the former home of which is now occupied by "Agricola".   

I had not been on Witherspoon Street since Joe sold the building and closed Lahiere's doors, which happened slightly more than six years ago, which is why I did not expect to see the restaurant's landmark sign still affixed to the building, which it is, looking very much the same way it does in this photograph.  

As we drove up Witherspoon to Nassau Street on our way to McCarter, I could not help but smile. For a moment at least, I felt as if I was in an old, familiar place.  The interaction was fleeting.  The effect was not. 


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