[Riccardo Spagni] When was the last time you spent Sunday lunch at a place that made you never want to leave? I mean, when was the last time you felt so comfortable and so blissful that you genuinely wanted to stay till supper and for a few hours thereafter? Just recently I dragged my wife to Robertson on a blistering Sunday to review Fraai Uitzicht 1798, and it was just such a place.
[Riccardo Spagni] It was my first contemporary ballet. I had visions of freakish, leotard-clad dancers prancing around on stage, cueing my sudden departure as I realise I'm just not cut out for that sort of thing. To complicate matters further, I had brought a mixed bag of friends with me.
[Riccardo Spagni] I recently was told that I like nice stuff. Apparently this is a problem if I ever go to live in a third-world village in a country like, I don't know, South Africa. Whilst both of these points may be true, there is no doubt that The Grand is on my list of "nice stuff" that I like. It is like the bachelor pad of some recently divorced Russian billionaire; it manages to ooze class and substance whilst still feeling surprisingly modern.
[Riccardo Spagni] Restaurant reviews are a tricky trade. It's impossible not to arrange a review in advance unless you are some ridiculously famous reviewer, which I am not. At the same time, restaurants have a tendency to bring their "A game" when a reviewer is in the building. By an incredible stroke of fortune, however, my dinner at Sinns went unnoticed until the end. The manager and staff had no idea which person in the restaurant was the reviewer until long after I'd eaten and drank to my heart's content. The upshot is that this may be the most unbiased review I've written for a while.
[Riccardo Spagni] There are many restaurants famed for their food. Many, too, are famed for their atmosphere. Vaudeville is one of the precious few that combines both atmosphere and fantastic food into one ridiculously impressive bundle. But it is not your atypical dining experience. In order to go to Vaudeville you need first to change your mindset. You are not merely attending a live performance, nor are you going out for a meal. Effectively, what this means is that you will be paying through your nose, sure, but you will be combining the cost of a fantastic three-course meal with a phenomenal show.
[Riccardo Spagni] When I went to see Pictures of You, I had no idea what to expect. I am unabashedly lazy and I will gladly admit that I did no research on it. So I was pleasantly intrigued when a little speech was given before the show started and we were given a bit of background. Also mention worthy was the fact that Premier Helen Zille was in the audience.
[Riccardo Spagni] It has been my experience that the most common reason for any comedian to do a one-man show is that he's feeling a bit out-of-pocket and needs to make the rent for the end of next month. This leads to a rather average rehash of said comedian's most popular jokes, the vast majority of which are only mildly funny at best. Even worse is the fact that most Capetonian comics have a tendency to make jokes that go far over this ex-Joburger's head. I only recently discovered where Lavender Hill was, you know! With much trepidation, therefore, I dragged myself to see Kurt Schoonrad.
[Riccardo Spagni] I remember the first time I went to the J&B Metropolitan as if it was but a few years ago, so, having been there before I had a reasonable idea of what to expect. I have always maintained that I would never go to the Met without being in a tent. This year was no exception.
[Riccardo Spagni] I'm generally reasonably fussy when it comes to my food. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat anything as long as it isn't smoked chicken (don't ask). But whilst I find most restaurants and the vast majority of meals passable, I occasionally stumble across a place that blows me away. Massimo's Pizza Club is, by a mile, one of those restaurants.
[Riccardo Spagni] I had never seen an ice show before. There was that. And the lady I took with me looked breathtaking in her little black number. There was that too. So by the time I actually sat down in the Artscape's expansive Opera House, I was desperately trying to act cool and casual. Much to the chagrin of my partner, no doubt, I basically lost interest in the entire world around me within five minutes of the show starting. Cinderella on Ice is, without a doubt, unlike anything I have ever seen.
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