It's the day of the show, y'all! Time to wrap up here and get ready for the next adventure. I took a final run along the river, washed some laundry, and started packing. S and I joined Eli, Mihai (the artistic director), and Anca (Mihai's wife) for lunch at a new local restaurant called Adi's Steakhouse.
Adi's Steakhouse has an interesting business model: they rely entirely on referrals from previous customers. They don't advertise and don't even call themselves a restaurant. Rather, the only way you can get a table for he first time is through a referral. It's a little weird to me, but if they can generate buzz through a little bit of exclusivity, more power to them.
The meal was excellent. We started with bread and two pate-like spreads: tuna and artichoke. Then, an awesome green salad (the tomatoes here in Romania are perhaps the best common tomatoes I've ever had, btw). For my main course, I had the ribeye. I'm not usually a steak guy, but the head waiter (Adi himself?) talked it up extensively. It was exceptional beef from Argentina. Finally, for dessert, we sampled a few dishes, including a Hungarian rum cake that I'll dream about tonight.
Back at the room, we took a small snooze. Well, I did anyway. S has had a very rough time sleeping since she arrived. The beds are terribly hard and she can't get more than 30 minutes of sleep without waking in pain. Hopefully Croatia will be better.
I got to the theatre about two hours before curtain to help the clowns warm up. They were in great spirits and used the warm-up to tease each other and limber up. There was an exchange of gifts and some preshow celebration. Then, the show...
...which was awesome. The clowns were excited, which rubbed off on the audience. The audience was excited, which rubbed off on the clowns. The show was terrific! Not flawless, but exceptional, with everyone using each others' energy to create the piece. The curtain call was easily 10 minutes, and Eli and I were pulled up on stage to participate. After the show, there was a party in the upper lobby, where I got to talk to most of the cast and say goodbye to them. S took off for home early, but I stayed a little later. Truly a great night. Congratulations and thank you to everyone at the National Theatre of Romania - the cast, the administration, the crew, the audience... you made this experience memorable and exceptional! Thank you so much!
And so ends a very busy spring for me. Since mid-March, I've opened four big shows in four different cities on two different continents. I've had two dance pieces premiere at a national conference. All this while teaching full-time at UCI. I've earned a break.
Tomorrow, we fly to Croatia to meet Chris & Elysia! Hooray!