Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Night at the Theater

   Tuesday evening I went with my grand daughter Britton to attend a concert at the Triple Door, a dinner theater in downtown Seattle. Linda had arranged this as a Valentine's treat then ended up being out of town. Britton was gracious enough to fill in for Grandma Linda and we had a great time.  We had great seats as our table was only thirty feet away from the performer, Led Kaapana, a well known Hawaiian vocalist and slack key guitar virtuoso. The concert was very fun. It was obvious that the performer was having a good time as he told a lot of jokes and laughed a lot. Britton's reaction to the concert and the whole experience was also a little entertaining at times.

A view of audience at the Triple Door dinner theater

    The dinner was wonderful and yet not outrageously priced. Our dinner ended up costing less than the concert tickets.  However, part of that was due the the fact that Britton turned out to be a pretty cheap date. There were all sorts of wonderful things on the menu, most of it Southeast Asian.  I ordered the wild ginger fragrant duck, while I had just about persuaded Britton to try the Phad Thai noodles with chicken. At this point the waiter advised Britton that they also had chicken nuggets although they weren't listed on the menu.  Britton's eyes lit up and she was on that like the proverbial duck on a june bug. Kid comfort food easily carried the day.

   Britton enjoyed her chicken nuggets and even remarked how much better they were than normal chicken nuggets. Since we had paid a bit more than one would pay for chicken nuggets at McDonald's I was glad to hear we had gotten improved quality as well.  Britton ordered a root beer to go with the chicken nuggets. My only mistake of the evening was allowing a refill on her root beer. My penance for this error in judgement was to escort Britton to the ladies room three times before we headed home.
I enjoyed the duck immensely. It was a bit hard to eat the salad that came with it as it was in rather large pieces and they had turned the lights pretty low by the time I got to the salad.  The duck also came with steamed buns, brown rice, and a sweet plum sauce. The steamed buns were to bread what marshmallows are to candy. They were extremely light and fluffy.  I also had my favorite fancy beverage to accompany a nice meal, San Pellegrino Sparkling Mineral Water.

   I wasn't sure what the dress code might be at a dinner concert like this so I had settled on dressy casual.  When we arrived at the Triple Door I noticed that there were a lot of Hawaiian shirts in the audience. I remarked to Britton that I had missed a good opportunity to wear an Hawaiian shirt. She responded with sage advice that I shouldn't be worried about what I was wearing.

    Led Kaapana explained that the Hawaiians picked up the guitar from Spanish cowboys who came to herd cattle on the islands. When the Spanish left the islands they left some of their guitars behind. What they didn't leave was any kind of instructions for tuning a guitar. The Hawaiians were thus left to their own devices and made up their own tuning for the guitar. This resulted in the Hawaiian slack key guitar style. He also told how he ended up playing the guitar.  He grew up in a large family of about ten kids. They had only two instruments, a ukulele and a guitar. He originally wanted to play the ukulele but he had too many other siblings fighting for the ukulele. Since there was less competition for the guitar he ended up a guitar player.  He had an ukulele on stage with him and he did play a few numbers with the ukulele, but he mostly played the guitar.
Led Kaapana playing the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
   I enjoyed the concert very much. I felt badly that Linda missed out. Maybe we can do that another time. I liked Kaapana's music enough that I bought one of his CDs that they were selling at the intermission.  He was pretty amazing with the guitar. I'm sure a real guitar player would have been even more impressed than I was.  However, I have no plans to take up the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. I think I have enough on my plate trying to learn half a dozen songs on the ukulele.


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