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Dearly beloved, we're gathered here to discuss East London's relatively new fancy joint named Plates. I know, it's getting hard to keep up with all the new vegan dishes, stalls, and restaurants in London, with something exciting seemingly popping up on our radar every day. I'm not that hungry guyzzz can we take it down a notch? My husband thinks I'm weird because I prefer cooking my own food or eating salads (and he thinks I'm extra weird because I'm okay with calling just a bowl of lettuce a 'salad' and he says that's not okay that's just lettuce anyone have an opinion on this nope okay moving on). But then on the other hand, well on my other hand right now I have a cut from where I knifed myself while making some of my aforementioned 'own food' which I guess is a point in the column for 'going out more' but ANYWAY, on the other figurative hand, I do want to try everything because as I recently explained to aforementioned husband about why I was forcing him to watch the worst movie ever written, "Sex & the City 2", you can't complain about things you haven't seen. Applied to the topic at hand: you can't recommend things you haven't eaten. The former argument is more my speed because y'all know how much I loves complaining (LOVES IT) but the latter is nice to do too, and although I have some caveats about my recent dinner at Plates, I do recommend trying it for yourself.
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It’s Theatre Thursday! Today we are talking about “The Ferryman”, currently in the West End until May 19. It is transferring to Broadway in the fall so get your tickets!
I know I tend to be extremely critical of what is in truth fairly decent theatre in London (I take my lead from the basketball coach in “Love & Basketball” (“you think I’d go hoarse for a player with no potential?” = how I live my life)). And while I’ll stand by my affirmation that British musical theatre is in an abysmal state, they do know how to do dramatic plays here. One of the most exciting British playwrights is Jez Butterworth (actual name), and every time he premieres a new play everyone on both sides of the Atlantic goes oh boy in a good way. His play “Jerusalem” won Mark Rylance another Tony and people raved about it even though I have approximately zero idea what was happening on that stage aside from Mark doing a keg stand at one point I think? I skipped Hugh Jackman in “The River” because early reports said he pretty much sits on a log and de-bones a fish for the 2 hours and as fascinating as that shit sounds my attentions were better diverted elsewhere. Luckily, third time appears to be the charm for me and dear old Jez (who I just learned wrote “Spectre” and “Edge of Tomorrow”?? way to get those Hollywood bones Jezzy!) because his newest work “The Ferryman” is astonishing.
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Arriving in Kyiv (that's the proper way to say Kiev, Ukraine; remember?), I was nervous about the food since my travels as a vegan through other parts of Eastern Europe have been less than thrilling. Luckily, that's all in the past, it seems, because Kyiv's vegan game was off the chizzy! Okay no it isn't off the chizzy - wait till we get to Warsaw and Berlin! THOSE are off the chizzy - but Kyiv at least made a convincing argument that it knows the chizzy exists. It is fully aware of and in close proximity to the chizzy! (Chizzy means chain.) We had a good amount of time to explore the vegan options and traverse the whole range from delicious to disappointing and back again.
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It’s Theatre Thursday! Today we are talking about the revival of “Amadeus” at London’s National Theatre,
The best theatre, in my opinion, comments on society or humanity in a smart or clever or meaningful way. Sometimes it makes you feel things, and sometimes the thing it makes you feel is anger. I haven’t felt truly angry from a play in a long time, but “Amadeus”, a fascinating, provocative, wonderfully staged revival of the Peter Shaffer classic at the National Theatre, made me so angry I couldn’t talk for hours afterwards. Granted I was angry about other things too (hellooooo cops are terrorists and a traitorous turd cheeto runs America and will any lads EVER care that drinking is illegal on the tube?? Ugh my stomach hurts all the time like Chidi) but this show definitely added to my seething yet impotent rage. And overall I’m glad for it, because theatre should do things like that. The depths of evil that man can sink to are well known today, especially in the political and business realms, but it was nice to see that evil men exist in music too! Evil men everywhere!
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Taking a tour of a disaster zone seems like it maybe would be lower down on the list of must-dos for a tourist visiting a foreign country, but when you are in Ukraine, a visit to Chernobyl is essential. This nuclear disaster from 1986 (actually, from April 25, 1986 so happy(?) anniversary) is something all of us have heard of, but few know the details about how it affected everyday people (in large part because of all the government-imposed secrecy and/or lies (‘ALLEGEDLY’)). Understanding how devastating the catastrophe was to ordinary people is difficult without seeing the damage firsthand. We hear too often about this or that terrible event that occurred here or there but when you’re removed from it, it’s hard to really grasp what happened. Visiting Chernobyl, we learned so much more about not only the disaster but about Ukraine and international politics in general than we could have otherwise. Seeing and experiencing this in person is necessary. And there is so much information about this horrible event still coming to light after years of lies and cover-ups, so a visit now is super interesting, providing a fascinating look into this sad history.
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It’s Theatre Thursday! Today we’re talking about “The Autumn of My Springtime”, at Tbilisi, Georgia’s famed Marionette Theatre.
Well, this is a first! Puppets scare me so I haven’t really sought out puppet shows - or as the fancy people call the fancier kind, ‘marionette theatre’. But a visit to the Rezo Gabriadze Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia (not that Georgia) (unless you thought of the former-Soviet country (then you’d be right)) is one of the must-dos when visiting that city. I don’t know about you, but when I think marionette show, I think of John Cusack creepy AF in “Being John Malkovich”, a performance that still gives me nightmares because he made Malkovich’s entire life about creepy puppets?? Malko was in the og sunken place! So sad. Or I think of the ‘I got no strings to hold me down’ bit from Pinocchio and that’s equally terrifying so yeah, I’d usually say nah thanks to marionettes with their creepy faces and their creepy small but emotive hands. But now I will first think of Rezo Gabriadze’s surprisingly poignant show “The Autumn of My Springtime” and how wonderful it is. I’m not rushing out to see more scary puppets, but I fully insist that all Tbilisi visitors do.
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It’s Theatre Thursday! Today we’re taking another look at the West End production of “Hamilton: An American Musical”, currently playing in London until probably the end of time.
Last week, I got to see “Hamilton” again. I’m very lucky to have seen it multiple times because, well first of all because it’s the best, but secondly, and more importantly for our purposes here, there’s not much that reviews coming out at this point can say about this show so it’s great to talk instead about how this production is evolving. If I read one more London critic reviewing it anew now and making a “I got to be in the room where it happened’ joke I will vomit. Well first I’d find out where he got his morning coffee and I’d throw it in his face (not when it’s too hot of course I’m not a monster) and I’d be like DID YOU THINK YOU WERE BEING ORIGINAL??? And then I’d vomit. Luckily we don’t have to get into all the details about what this show is about or the basics of the elements because I’m prettayyy prettayyy sure you know already, and if you don’t you can read past reviews here and here. So we get to talk about the London production and how it has improved, or worsened, since it was in previews.
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"Macbeth" at the Royal Shakespeare Company: Stop Trying to Modernize Billy and Just Let the Genius Be
IT'S THEATRE THURSDAY! Today we are talking about 'Macbeth' at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. I KNOW!
To celebrate Jesus’s zombification this past week, my family took a wee little trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of that other influential man, William Shakespeare, or as I call him endearingly, Billy Shakes. We visited the wee little house where he was born and grew up, and the not so wee cottage where his future wife, Anne Hathaway (not that one) grew up down the road, as well as the truly authentic Ye Olde Souvenir Shop of yore where my mom could buy magnets of Meghan Markle. But that’s all for a different post. Today is Theatre Thursday, and so we will talk about the most exciting thing to me about visiting Stratford – seeing a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Our dates coincided with their performance of Macbeth, which despite reading a lot and knowing in various inspired-by forms, I’ve never seen performed as written. Exciting! Guess what, Macbeth is forked up. Like reals forked up. It’s so gory and troubling and violent and creepy. That Billy tho.
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It’s Theatre Thursday! Today we’re talking about the Hampstead Theatre’s production of “Caroline, or Change” playing until April 21. It transfers to the West End in November.
I was always obsessed with musical theatre, and in 2004 I could finally travel alone to NYC whenever I wanted/whenever my college schedule allowed and see Broadway shows more often. It was a big year – that was the year of ‘Wicked’, ‘Avenue Q’, ‘The Boy From Oz’, Alfred Molina’s ‘Fiddler’, Donna Murphy’s ‘Wonderful Town’, Audra in ‘Raisin in the Sun’. Such a busy season! I got to see Idina in ‘Wicked’, but another new show with a supposedly killer leading lady role slipped under my radar. That was ‘Caroline, or Change’, starring Tonya Pinkins as Caroline, a Tony-winning Anika Noni Rose as her daughter Emmie, and a score by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner. It seemed pretty beloved, an interesting civil rights-age drama taking place in Louisiana, about a black maid working for a Jewish family but also with singing electrical appliances. How did that work, I wondered? It remained high on my list of shows I wanted to see someday, and so when the current English revival moved closer to the West End – to the Hampstead Theatre up north of the city – I did a little jig and said halleluyer, because I would finally see it.
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I have to admit that I did not know about Kyiv. Not Kiev; I knew about Kiev. But that's all I knew. Let me splain. As we planned our trip from Russia through Eastern Europe and back home to London, my husband said "we should go to Kyiv"- pronounced Keev. And I said "where is this 'Keev' I never heard of it" and he was like "Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine??" and I was like "no that's Kiev and it is pronounced 'Kee-ev'"and he was like "wat" and I was like "what is happening" and I learned that Kiev ('Kee-ev') is the Russian word for the city, and since gaining their independence, Ukrainians have been very serious about reclaiming their own word for their capital city, 'Kyiv' (Keev), the one syllable version that was unknown to me. Can we blame the Russian bots for my ignorance? Now I'm all smarted up and ready to talk about this great city, Kyiv. Or Kiev, if you wanted to I guess. I like the sound of the two-syllable evil version better, but my preferences as a non-Ukrainian don't matter. Do as the people want us to. It's Kyiv.
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I hope you enjoy Laughfrodisiac! Click on the pictures to get to full articles, or navigate using the headers at the top. Or just do what your heart tells you.
Laughfrodisiac is attempting to complete another month of VeganMOFO in September 2014! Read about the plan here and stay tuned every day in September!
In September 2013, Laughfrodisiac participated in VEGANMOFO! Read about this awesome month-long vegan blogging challenge! And read all the posts I wrote during VeganMofo here!
If you like the Veganizing "Friends", check out more of my veganization of TV food on HelloGiggles!
Click on the Michelin Restaurants link for an ever-growing review collection for fancy restaurants that can accommodate vegans!