“In short, there’s simply not, a more congenial spot, for happily ever aftering than here in
Apologies to Lerner and Loewe, but I couldn’t resist, especially after spending a fantastic evening enjoying dinner and a show in the “has everything” town. Readers of this blog know I am a huge fan of musical theatre, but there are few musicals I love more that CAMELOT. The new production at the Drury Lane Theatre is everything I wanted it to be; romantic, charming, funny and regal. King Arthur is portrayed by the wildly talented and charismatic Ken Clark, while his Guenevere, Christy Altomare, is equally splendid as Arthur’s tragically conflicted (and in my opinion misguided) wife.” And although Clark was my all-around-favorite, Travis Taylor brought down the house with his show-stopping, chill-inducing rendition of “If Ever I Would Leave You…”
My love affair with the story of Camelot dates back 30 years to when I first watched the movie with my mom. I love the story’s mixture of idealism and wistfulness, the deep belief that we can be better, more civilized and more at peace, but sometimes the human condition intervenes making these ideals as ethereal as one of Merlin’s spells. Nonetheless, there is always a belief that there is new light on the horizon and the glory we once had can once again become a reality.
Ask ev’ry person if he’s heard the story;
And tell it strong and clear if he has not:
That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory
CAMELOT runs through January 4 at the Drury Lane Theatre.
El Tapeo: El Fantastico! Prior to the show, my girlfriend Lisa and I ate a delicious meal at El Tapeo which is a brand new restaurant in the very beautiful Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center. The restaurant features authentic Spanish cuisine created by Chef Franco Diaz (who has also worked at St. Regis Bal Harbour Florida, St. Regis Aspen Colorado, St. Regis Princeville Kauai, The Drake Hotel, Peninsula Hotel Chicago). Located on the 9th floor of the hotel, El Tapeo has breathtaking views of the city with floor-to-ceiling, wrap around windows. El Tapeo’s menu consists of mainly tapas style dishes, although there are larger main course dishes too. On the night we were there, we ordered Datiles (fried medjool dates stuffed with almonds & wrapped in bacon) which was hands down one of the best things I have ever eaten! We also had Mejillones en Escabeche (mussels marinated in sherry vinegar, peppers, onions, garlic & cilantro) which was Lisa’s favorite and Salpicón Cangrejo de Mar (jumbo lump crab, avocado & blood orange). We rounded out the meal with coffee and buñuelos making the entire experience excelente!
El Tapeo is great for dinner, but happy hour is fun too. The menu includes specialty cocktails, Sangria and delicious Tapas at reasonable prices. There is also live music on Friday and Saturday nights (8pm-12). A few special events are coming up including an early open on Black Friday, when they will be open for lunch for those of you looking for a luxurious, delicious shopping break. They also have a New Year’s Eve special that includes dinner, drinks and live music. Interested in staying overnight? Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center is offering an overnight package for guests. For more information visit lemeridienoakbrook.com.