Monkeys and Meatballs

After a very frustrating meeting at work, a friend invited me for a drink to recover.  I felt like such an adult when I responded “Actually, Steve and I are going out for dinner before we go to the theatre, but I can squeeze you in at 5.”

Now there’s something you don’t say every day – or when we lived in Brisbane – something you don’t say EVER!

I sashayed down the lane-way to the bar in my new navy dress and lady-like cream stilettos, ordered a wine for my friend and then was forced back into childhood by ordering a juice because my tastes haven’t yet matured to appreciate fermented grapes.  Stupid bubble. Always ready to be burst.

With the gossip over and the drinks drunk, Steve escorted me to a cosy Italian restaurant halfway between the office and the theatre.  We’ve wisely learnt that we can no longer eat like we used to. Gone are the days where a McDonalds Family Box for 4 was consumed like a starter for 2, so we ordered just an entree and main to share. I must point out that healthy Italian food is an oxymoron so we decided on a meatballs to start and a sausage, cheese & rocket pizza to finish.

As if the friendly Italian waitress and warm atmosphere weren’t already making for a great start, we were delighted when the “entree” came out in a pot looking more like a pie than a meatball.  There is something special about the wait staff bringing your dish out whole then cutting it for you at the table – even if it was simply de-topping the pie. It was DELICIOUS!

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The pizza quickly followed and it was also quite tasty.  For me, a pizza is a pizza.  This one was on a more traditional Italian base and also had a really delicious sausage which in true Italian pizza style was sparse or on 1 piece ,non existent.  Nevertheless, I was a happy and somewhat bloated customer.

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We thanked the staff and headed off to the theatre. Strutting down Collins Street (well I was strutting, Steve was doing whatever Steve does), I was delighted to spot the KING KONG sign.  Planning the night to perfection, we arrived a few minutes before it started and took our nose-bleed seats that put the production into our price bracket.  To our delight, the view was unobstructed even if far away and the show commenced quickly.

Set in the great depression era, the actors wore vintage clothing styles but it was mixed with modern music, modern dancing, lasers and shiny space suits. Despite the eclectic approach, the play was amazing – or at the very least the monkeys were. There were two. A little one and, of course, King Kong.  What I hadn’t quite expected was that King Kong would be so mobile – guided by puppeteer ninjas, dressed in head to toe black indicating you can’t “see” them on stage.  Pulling on huge strings, draped over holds in the ceiling, the men would put all their weight into pulling on the rope simply to move the arm forward like King Kong was walking on his knuckles.  When Kong was taking over New York, ninja’s would leap from his head to the floor holding onto a rope causing his arm to slingshot into the air.  The result was a captivating and almost believable show. At the point where King Kong was presented to the audience in New York – you could hold your breath and wonder, if this wasn’t just a story, what it would be like – you – sitting there – watching a great beast before you.  Quite the amazing experience.

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