Musical Review: A Chorus Line

Details: The original won a bunch of Tony Awards. I saw the 2006 revival version. The playbill can be found at http://www.playbill.com/production/a-chorus-line-gerald-schoenfeld-theatre-vault-0000009540

A Chorus Line is one of those legendary musicals that made a bunch of money, won a bunch of awards, but came out decades ago. I had a chance to watch the 2006 revival a while back and, though some of the subject matter is dated, I really enjoyed it.

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Restaurant Review: Soba Azuma

Details: Located at 251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019. The official site is https://www.sobaazuma55.com/

I came here for dinner one night and ordered the Azuma Gozen (mini assorted tempura, dashimaki, three pieces of salmon sashimi, random side dish, rice, soba, and a scoop of ice cream, cost $19.50). You can get hot or cold soba. I chose cold. You can also order 100 grams, 200 grams, or 300 grams of soba depending on how much you feel like eating. Any serving size up to 300 grams all cost the same and over 300 grams costs extra.

The thing about soba is that it’s supposed to taste different. It’s also supposed to  be healthier. I can’t testify to any of that. To me, it just tasted like a bowl of regular noodles. I will say that if I ever have soba again, I will order the hot option where it comes served in a soup/broth. The cold version comes with cold noodles with a cold dipping sauce. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t all that appetizing eating cold noodles.

Overall, not bad. If you’re in the area and feel like eating something slightly different from Japanese ramen, this isn’t a bad choice.

Score: 6.4/10

Musical Review: Miss Saigon

Details: There is currently a revival of Miss Saigon on Broadway, but the version I saw originally had Lea Salonga in the lead role. The playbill says that it opened on Broadway in 1991. You can find the playbill for the original Broadway performance here: http://www.playbill.com/production/miss-saigon-broadway-theatre-vault-0000012256

When I think about the show Miss Saigon in the context of the current public and political discourse, it’s hard not to feel some discomfort. Miss Saigon is a musical that gave a lot of Asians a chance to perform on Broadway, a place with few if any roles for that ethnic group. Lea Salonga, now a Broadway legend, was discovered through Miss Saigon. On the other hand, Miss Saigon is your classic “white savior” story that takes place mostly in a whore house and has a lot of scantily clad Asian women running around on stage for a lot of the show.

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Musical Review: In the Heights

Details: Won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2008. Opened on Broadway in 2008. You can find the playbill at http://www.playbill.com/production/in-the-heights-richard-rodgers-theatre-vault-0000003064

In the Heights is the musical that first brought Lin Manuel Miranda to fame. It’s an entertaining show, though personally, not my cup of tea. You can see Lin Manuel’s fingerprints all over the show, but it’s no Hamilton.

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Movie Review: Justice League

Details: Released in 2017. About two hours long. Stars Ben AffleckGal GadotJason Momoa. Directed by Zac Snyder and partially by Joss Whedon.

I had a lot of fear and low expectations walking into this movie. Though not a masterpiece by any margin, Justice League is a fun movie for fans of the superhero/comic book genre and a nice opportunity to shut off your brain and enjoy some special effects and pretty shots.

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Restaurant Review: Via Trenta

Details: Located at 36-19 30th Ave, Astoria, NY 11103. The official site is http://viatrenta.com/

The best pasta I’ve had in New York City in the fifteen to thirty dollar price range was at Eataly. The pasta at Via Trenta is about as good, if not better.

I had the fettuccine ala bolognese for seventeen dollars. It was a great plate of pasta. The noodles were really fresh. I also had a slice of ricotta cheese cake for around seven dollars. If you like New York City style cheesecake, don’t get this. Ricotta cheese cake is not like New York style cheese cake and I didn’t like it.

Overall, this was a great Italian restaurant with great pasta. It’s a good place for a date or just dinner with friends.

Score: 7/10

Restaurant Review: Pazza Notte

Details: Located at 1375 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019. The official site is http://www.pazzanotte.com

Came here a quick work lunch. They have this deal where they give you a fast lunch for fifteen dollars.

You get to pick two things from a list. I ordered a salad with carbonara penne pasta. Both the salad and pasta were served in small portions and wasn’t really all that filling, which is what a need during lunch on a workday. There was some complimentary bread and biscotti as well.

Overall, not a great place for a work lunch. I imagine their dinner service is a lot more satisfying as well as expensive.

Score: 6/10

Restaurant Review: Sheng Ramen

Details: Located at 36-36 Prince St. Ste. 102, Flushing, NY 11354. I couldn’t find an official site so here’s their claimed Yelp page: http://www.yelp.com/biz/勝面-sheng-ramen-flushing

Sheng Ramen stands out in my mind because it has the best bowl of zha jiang mian (or jia jiang mian) that I’ve had in all of New York City. It isn’t the best by a wide margin, but it is the best.

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