This evening N. and I took her Aunt and Uncle to "Stars in Concert"... a Las Vegas style show with impersonators... oh my!
I always feel sorry for these performers. There they are, huge smiles, acting all excited, dancing around in front of a group of people who are on the edge of looking bored. After their performance they always say how great the crowd was even though they were offered a simple smattering of applause.
In particular may I add that the Abba impersonators are interesting to watch. First I must say that we owe the crazy Eurovision Song Context for the fame and fortune of the Fab 70's Four. Maybe we'll talk more about that later... but geeze. You have to admit that Abba's formula was gold, the songs were the ultimate pop, and the costumes helped to inspire the more bold fashions of the 70's. To this day you can play "Dancing Queen" and women everywhere will begin quietly tapping toes and thinking of past times.
What was strange to me was that Abba impersonators actually looked like they were enjoying entertaining the folks. While I remember the original reign of the bell-bottomed foursome, I NEVER remember them smiling. The girls were always so serious, making me wonder how they could sing the up tempo songs with frown lines.
But these ladies were energetic and looked like the bottom half of their face was just a hole with teeth! They made us do the finger dance - you know, each index finger held up in the air and the arms going up and down with the tempo of the music... we were soooo white!
In addition to Abba we saw Buddy Holly (decent voice, nice entertainer), Sting (um... I think he's Russian or something and he could use a speech coach - also he should be doing David Bowie because he looks much more like Ziggy)... we also got to see a Cher impersonator who had two terrific things going for her... she was channeling Cher's voice - really a great job! The next thing was that she had a first-class dressmaker... probably not Bob Mackie or however you spell his name... but she had the costumes from each of the videos of the songs she was singing... and it was very good! I was actually impressed! Louis Armstrong and Joe Cocker rounded out the show.. and hey, the guy doing Joe... may not look much like the old boy, but he has the voice and inflection down pat.
N.'s Aunt and Uncle were however very entertained, she loved the Buddy Holly and I could tell that he was enthralled with the dancing girls who were present throughout... so the evening was already a success.
The four of us then met up with N.'s parents at a local "deutsche Küche" named Restaurant 90. Check out that website for a good laugh. Welcome back to the mid-nineties Frontpage-designed website! What worries me is that this is really a NEW place. About six months ago it had a different name... same look, same menu I'm sure, but a different name. So... how about springing for a REAL website designer... at least hire your brother's kid to put something together... a kid would have done a better job.
What they lack in Internet savvy, they make up for in food. N.'s mother has had her mouth watering for the first fish of the season, and in this area it is the Mai-Scholle (May Plaice) - a flat fish indigenous to The Baltic Sea. Please don't quote me on this, because all of this relies on my crappy German... But I understand that this fish is the best available this early in the fishing season because the type of fish breeds in the fall. Usually fish that are consumed during or right after the breeding season has less flavor. So this fall-breeding fish is perfect in May!
As is my tradition I of course took the culinary adventure of enjoying the "special" foods offered to me as tradional foods. The Mai-Scholle was a lovely whitefish pan fried with a fine mixture of herbs which formed a crispy yet tender crust. I like flat fish because the ease of eating... just chow on one side and turn him over for another go. The backbone is left clean in the middle. The Mai-Scholle was served with another May tradition... white asparagus with hollandaise sauce.
There isn't much you can say about white asparagus, it actually is a bit tasteless and really needs the sauce and some fresh-ground pepper. But this time of year Germans seem to eat their weight in the white stuff. Alongside the fish and the asparagus was the German staple vegetable ... the practical potato. In this case boiled in some butter-infused water and sprinkled with fresh parsley. Top it off with a decent Chardonnay and we have a fantastic meal! But I wasn't done there. N. and I shared an Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel) and I am still floating! Light pastry with layers of thinly-sliced, finely spiced apples... oh... served on a plate dripping with vanilla sauce and two dollops of real whipped cream! Someone up there loves me!
I'm sorry for the lack of pictures. That is an issue for another blog I'm afraid.
Meanwhile the Eurovision Song Contest is playing in the background.
These are my favorites so far...
They stole my heart the dirty pirates.