Elephant and Castle and Extinction

1 Mar

As a birthday present to my sister, I bought us tickets to see the play  Extinction starring one of her favorite television actors James Roday ( Shawn Spencer on USA’s Psych). Naturally, I made us go to dinner for first and I ended up choosing the Elephant and Castle at 68 Greenwich Ave. Apparently I’ve been to the sister location in Dublin, but I don’t remember that. (I was starving for breakfast and that was the first place we found.  I don’t remember anything about the restaurant except that I was able to feed my stomach).

Elephant and Castle has a very nice atmosphere, dark wood walls intermixed with white tiling and white elephant statues dotting the walls. It’s deceptively small, as it opens up slightly in the back. My sister and I were seated near the window, perfect for people watching. I had the fresh roasted vegetables and mushrooms served over soft polenta with salsa verde. The salsa verde added a terrific basil flavor to the dish, and I found myself trying to capture some with every bite. My sister had the sauteed shrimp and bacon with basil vinaigrette and mayo sandwich ( sans mayo). I think my dish ultimately won out for both flavor and composition. Service was good, except for when the waiter brought me peppermint tea rather than green. I think this was my fault though since I know I can be prone to speaking quickly. I will definitely go back again, but I think more for lunch than for dinner.

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The Cherry Lane Theatre was a 10 minute walk (tops) from Elephant and Castle, and I got to pass by several of the older New York buildings that I adore. You know you’ve reached the theatre by it’s bright red doors, and as I stood there reading the historical plaque we saw the actors head in to the stage door.

“CHERRY LANE THEATRE at 38 Commerce Street was originally the site of a silo on the Gomez Farm in 1817. The building that now stands was erected in 1836 as a brewery, and later served as a tobacco warehouse and eventually box factory.

In 1924, a group of artists, all colleagues of Edna St. Vincent Millay, commissioned famed scenic designer Cleon Throckmorton to convert the box factory into the theater called Cherry Lane Playhouse. It fueled some of the most courageous experiments in the chronicles of the American stage. The Downtown Theater movement, The Living Theatre, and Theatre of the Absurd all took root at the lively Playhouse, and it proved fertile ground for scores of the twenieth-century’s seminal theatrical voices.”

Extinction, a play about two old college friends and what people do to survive, had fantastic actors and a pretty elaborate set for such a small theatre. But for an unemployed recent college graduate….some of the plot hit a little too close to home and I left a little depressed. My sister however was exuberant: She got both a hug and a picture with James Roday. Both actors graciously met with everyone waiting outside and chatted, I think because this is a smaller theatre and therefore a smaller audience than a broadway blockbuster. And honestly? That’s why I like the smaller theatres. It’s a more intimate setting where you really get to pay attention to the craft of the actors.

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2 Responses to “Elephant and Castle and Extinction”

  1. ticketstubthis March 2, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    my hug was awesome…probably to your dissapoinment, you will probably hear about it again and again 🙂

  2. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce March 2, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    i love theater! such a great post, but i’m sorry the plot left you a bit depressed! i hate when that happens

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