I bought my mom tickets to Varekai on her birthday, and last night we went to see it. The show, not surprisingly, was wonderful. There are some things I'm not a huge fan of, like the random comedy bits they throw in - they're funny, but feel out of place, honestly. Still, they're big crowd pleasers, so I don't see them going anytime soon.
Before Varekai, though, I treated her to dinner at Craftbar. The original plan was to eat at Craft, but they don't serve dinner until 5:30, and we needed to eat earlier to make it to the ferry to Randall's Island on time. Still - it might not have been the full Craft, but it was an exquisite dining experience.
Craftbar is a spinoff of Craft, more casual, with a higher bar-to-restaurant ratio, and a smaller menu. The food, though, is still excellent, and the service was nearly perfect. I even like the bathrooms there - hidden behind doors that look like part of the wall, and with an almost medieval flare, they're as perfectly designed and executed as the rest of the restaurant. It's not cheap, but not all that expensive for a NYC meal - and really, really good. My biggest criticism is simply that the entrees are a bit small for the price, and (not necessarily a criticism) they don't come with sides - so if you add on the cost of a side it goes from a little pricey to more than a little pricey. (For instance - the fish entree plus a side was a total of $24 - not horribly expensive, but not affordable. The real killer is the wine - a single glass averaged at least $10.) The desserts were excellent as well, and the entire dining experience was one of the best I've had the pleasure of trying. I can't wait to try Craft proper, and I'm eager to see what comes of the soon-to-be-opened 'Wich Craft, an even more casual and downscale sandwich shop they're opening next to Craftbar (which is itself next to Craft).
Varekai was a good Cirque du Soleil show. If you've seen the CdS and you like them, you'll enjoy Varekai. If you don't enjoy their shows, go slam your head in a door, there's something wrong with it. The "theme" or "plot", if you can call it that, was about an angel who loses his wings, but finds happiness in the end. Plus some weird guys (normal) and a lot of wiggly colorful things. It's, uh, a bit hard to describe. The performance was delightful, though, inventive and terribly impressive. I haven't seen their tv production on Bravo, but I can say without a doubt that it can't equal the experience of seeing them live. If you can afford it - and really, to see the show once in your life, how many people can't? - go. You won't regret it.
So, all in all, a success. My mom seemed to really have a great time, and my cousin and her boyfriend, who accompanied us to Varekai, seemed to enjoy it as well. I know I did.
In an unrelated note, this morning, J scored his first-ever goal in their soccer game - and they won, 2-1, their first win of the season! It was a treat to watch. I just wish it didn't start at 9 am. (Ouch.)
Today: we go to my mom's place to help her pack for her upcoming move. Tomorrow: I crash.