Monday, May 14, 2012

Downtown Riverside

On saturday, my mom and I went into Downtown Riverside, to see 'Miss Saigon'.  She was really excited about this...  I had heard of the show, but didn't know anything about it.

My mom and I are hardcore musical fans and have been lucky enough to see a ton of them as well.  With that being said, I think at times we can be a little critical.  However, we both went in with open arms, because neither of us had ever seen the show and we didn't know the music either.

More on this in just a moment.

Before the show, we went to dinner.  We decided to eat at 'Crescent Jewel'.  It has a bunch of stuff in the burger and salad categories, but with a bit of a Cajun twist.

Crescent had a lot of promise... nice staff and fun presentation.  That all flew out the door when the nice staff was really slow and our food was brought out lukewarm.

We got 'frickles' (fried pickles) and smoked gouda smothered fries, with bacon as appetizers.  They came in cute little cups.  The taste on the fries was really good... but they were warm, not hot.  The frickles were not crispy and toward the end tasted a little too salty (also warm).  And I love salt!

For our main dishes, my mom got a lovely salad with chicken and the chicken was actually a good temperature.  I got... a grilled cheese sandwich with smoked gouda, applewood smoked bacon, and green apple slices.

I don't eat stuff like that... ever, so I feel like I really went out on a limb here.  It was pretty good, but I would have liked the sandwich to be hot.  I just couldn't figure out why it was taking so long to get the food to us, as there were not very many people in the restaurant.

I give Crescent Jewel 3 out of 5 stars.  I would try them again, just to make sure our time there wasn't part of a fluke.  A bunch of potential here.  They have a nice outside dining area and that helped in my grading.

On the way to the Riverside Fox Theater, we stopped by Casey's Cupcakes.  They won 'Cupcake Wars' and we were excited to try their cupcakes.  They don't close until 9pm, so we figured since it was  just after 7pm, that they would have plenty of cupcakes left.


They had zero cupcakes left and none of the staff thought to make any more cupcakes to carry them to closing time.  When we walked in a staff member said, "As you can see we are all out of cupcakes."  The staff was not very nice and told us to come back at 9am the next morning.  That would be all good and well, if we were going to be there at that time.

Casey's Cupcakes... get it together!

Now for Miss Saigon.  This production deals with the complexities of war and the lives that are connected to it.  They  speak of love that is separated by vast oceans... children left behind by their American fathers, like they don't matter at all.  These things happened in real life and so there is an emotion that comes along with that.

I wanted to feel something as I watched this musical... but everything felt rushed, pushed along.  They didn't give you enough time to form a connection to the faces of the real babies in an orphanage, left behind because their mom's had been forced into prostitution and their dad's went back to America.

They didn't give you enough time to feel the struggles of the women and other people in a war torn country.

There just wasn't enough time...
Not enough thought...

All of this left me wondering, if the production that my mom and I saw was extremely different than the  original, that won many awards.  And for that, I am not grateful.  I am sorry if you love 'Miss Saigon', but it really left me wanting... more of everything.

On a side note, the last time I was at the Fox Theater was around 2006 and they were just about to start the renovation process.  It looked horrible.  What I saw over the weekend was amazing.  The new look is fantastic!

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