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17 May 2017 @ 03:17 pm
Not Only the Sisters Were Weird  
On Rye: I had a moment of inspiration before going to the Shakespeare Theatre Company production of Macbeth last night and got dinner at On Rye, a pseudo-deli that has been getting good buzz. I say pseudo, because of the limited menu, which lacks most of my deli favorites. (No tongue? No chopped liver? No latkes? No knishes? No kishke? Not a real deli by my book!) I got the matzoh ball soup, which was disappointing. The actual matzoh ball was good, but the broth tasted too much of dill and not very much of chicken. I also got a pastrami sandwich. The pastrami was satisfyingly peppery, but the rye bread could not hold up to it, making it annoying to eat. Overall, I was not impressed. I understand that they have a stand at Nats Park and I will take advantage of that to try out their babka ice cream sandwich.

Macbeth: Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest play, but you wouldn’t know that from the current production at Shakespeare Theatre Company, which came close to 3 hours. Overall, the production was weird. Liesl Tommy, the director, emphasized the political aspects of the play, at the expense of both the psychological and supernatural ones. From some of what was written in the program, this was a deliberate choice because this is, after all, Washington. Anyway, it was done in an African setting, though they kept the language to Scotland. As far as I could tell, the only significant change in the script was to turn Duncan into a queen, instead of a king. (A few other characters also got the sex-change treatment.) Most of the characters were dressed in camouflage (with red berets, which kind of defeats the purpose of camo). The witches (and Hecate) were treated as CIA operatives, manipulating the action. I actually liked that aspect for the most part, with one witch shooting cell phone footage of all the dead bodies, and the cauldron scene done as a briefing for "Operation Brinded Cat." The most African moment came in the murder of Lady Macduff, who was "necklaced," a specifically South African form of summary execution in which the victim has a rubber tire placed around their upper body, which is then dowsed in gasoline and set on fire. I suspect that went over the heads of a lot of the audience.

I understand the ambitions of the production and the attempt at relevance, but it didn’t really work for me. It did emphasize Macbeth as a tyrant, but it gave Lady Macbeth very little attention, for example. And I have always thought the right way to handle the witches was to have them be rather ordinary, which would allow the language they use to highlight their strangeness.

I should also note that I believe this was the first time I have ever actually payed to see a Shakespeare play. Admittedly, a heavily discounted ticket via Goldstar, but paid for nonetheless. I saw Measure for Measure in college, but I am fairly sure the guy I went with bought the tickets. The two shows I’ve seen previously at the Shakespeare Theatre Company were Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest, both of which were part of their annual summer Free for All program. This summer’s production will be Othello and I will probably try the on-line lottery to get tickets. Free Macbeth would have been more satisfying.

Cough, cough The pollen count is sky high right now. It also didn’t help that the person sitting next to me at the theatre last night had soaked in some particularly allergenic perfume. Sigh.

This entry was originally posted at http://fauxklore.dreamwidth.org/383818.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Susan Dennissusandennis on May 17th, 2017 09:13 pm (UTC)
You would break your scoff engine at what they call a deli out here in Seattle. I would kill for a tongue option. We had a cafe/bakery that did wonderful chopped liver but they closed. We do have a food truck that puts stuff between latkes and calls them sandwiches - messy but pretty tasty. We have tons of deli but nothing close to what you would recognize.
fauxklorefauxklore on May 18th, 2017 05:34 pm (UTC)
There is a place called Goldberg's in Bellevue that is said to be good. I realize that is nowhere near you, however.

Seattle, historically, did not have much of an Eastern European Jewish community. Although my great-great-grandfather's sister and her husband ended up there. (They went to Portland, OR when they immigrated to the U.S., apparently because his brother had gone there earlier.) I don't imagine that they ate out much.
Susan Dennissusandennis on May 18th, 2017 05:44 pm (UTC)
Goldberg's! Yes! It is very excellent - probably it would even past your test. I didn't think of it because it's a full blown restaurant but it does absolutely have deli food. It is actually on the side of Bellevue closest to me so not so far away. I just got a note - an hour ago - from my New Zealand friends who will be here in July specifically asking if we could go back there again while they are here.
fauxklorefauxklore on May 18th, 2017 07:19 pm (UTC)
I will have to try it the next time I get to Seattle. It is, alas, not a city I get to all that frequently.
fauxklorefauxklore on October 16th, 2018 05:50 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you've heard, but Goldberg's has closed!

Apparently, their rent got raised unacceptably high because the owners of the property want to build new condos there.

Rumors are a new deli might open on Capitol Hill (Dingfelder's, currently just a takeout window)at 14th and Pine.
Susan Dennissusandennis on October 16th, 2018 06:16 pm (UTC)
I did NOT know this and if I'm whatever the American equivalent of gobsmacked is. Crap oh damn.

I'm not reading good things about Dingfelders BUT I am reading that Jewish delis are Seattle's Next Big Thing so maybe there is hope.

But nothing can replace Goldberg's. I sent word to my New Zealand friends who are already ripped by the Sears news.
fauxklorefauxklore on October 16th, 2018 07:26 pm (UTC)
From what I read, the food at Dingfelder's is good, but the prices are high.

For what it's worth, I had surprisingly good deli food in Richmond this past weekend.
Susan Dennissusandennis on October 16th, 2018 07:32 pm (UTC)
Which reminds me... Remember our free bus in downtown Seattle convo a while back?

Well, we've had some news. They started up this shuttle service this Summer. Free to be discontinued in October but come October, they reupped until next year with bigger, better coverage.

Free. So not the best but better than squat!