I bounced out of bed this morning to tell you all about my magical night at Lyric Stage. Somehow I had never seen the Rodgers & Hammerstein version of Cinderella on stage before and well, I was blown away. The set, costumes, and the performances were amazing. Not only that but the show was hysterically funny!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before the show, my bestie Irene and I ate dinner at Toussaint. It’s right next door to the historic Majestic Theater, where Lyric Stage often performs. You can park once, walk to a fabulous dinner, and you’re mere steps away from the show. (Thank goodness because we left Toussaint with 7 minutes to spare, made curtain on time and still had time to snap a few photos and flip through the program!)
My server told me that the head chef at Toussaint studied with Julia Child when he was young. How cool is that!? Seeing as Boeuf Bourguignon is a classic Julia child dish, of course I wanted to order it. Alas that’s more of a cozy fall dish and it was 105 degrees in Dallas yesterday. But I’ve made a note to try it before Little Shop of Horrors in October!
Toussaint crafted two specialty cocktails to celebrate Lyric Stage’s production of Cinderella (how fun!) and of course I ordered both…for research. I do this for y’all. I started with The Glass Slipper, made with Citadelle Gin, elderflower, lime, Haslinger champagne, and edible glitter. Light, airy, and delicious.
The Prince Charming Old Fashioned has bourbon, Cynar, and bitters. I don’t think I’ve ever had Cynar before! It’s an artichoke liquor but don’t let that fool you, it’s delicious. It tasted a little different from a classic old fashioned but not so different that a fan of old fashioneds wouldn’t be satisfied. I certainly was! Plus it comes with Amarena cherries (as all good old fashioned drinks do), an orange twist, and one large ice square.
We ordered the Korean Garlic Bread to start. It’s lighter than it looks and sounds…picture a heartier popover filled with smooshy garlic cheesy goodness. Oh my heavens, it was good.
For dinner I ordered the smoked tomato and mushroom risotto with chicken and was absolutely delighted. Risotto is something I love to order at restaurants because I don’t particularly love to make it. I’m not patient enough to make risotto! Dare I say this might be the best risotto I’ve ever eaten. So often risotto dishes are heavy and creamy but this tomato-based risotto was full of flavor and super saucy. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and though it would be perfect filling and hearty without it, the juicy chicken was a lovely addition.
The dessert though is where things really get interesting. When we ordered the strawberry hibiscus creme brulêe, I was picturing a normal looking creme brulêe with strawberries on top and maybe a hint of hibiscus. So imagine our surprise when a vivid pink bowl was set before us. We were giddy! I’ve never had a creme brulêe this unique before. It’s a must-order dessert.
We were so enchanted with our Barbie pink dessert that we almost missed curtain. The house was packed (I hear Lyric Stage has the best publicist in town. Oh wait! It’s me!) and brimming with excitement to open Lyric’s 30th season. The 21-piece orchestra had me in tears literally before the curtain opened. It’s so rare to find a theater that even has a live orchestra these days!
The cast was absolutely phenomenal. Rachel Nichole Poole sparkled as Cinderella. She truly sings like an angel and she has perfect comedic timing. Sadat Hossain was the most lovable Prince, giving charming a whole new definition. And my friend Sydney Cornelius brought down the house as the fairy Godmother Marie. Her duet with Ella, “Impossible,” made me cry! The crowd went absolutely nuts for it.
Julia Rose Hartman gave a sizzling performance as Ella’s stepmother, eating up the role with every line and mannerism. Tara Park was met with uproarious laughs for her role as the evil stepsister. Her physical comedy was amazing to watch. Someone get this woman on SNL!
If you love the spectacle that makes Broadway so wonderful – immersive sets, gorgeous lighting, fabulous costumes, incredible music – then you absolutely MUST see Cinderella at Lyric Stage this weekend. What are you waiting for? Get tickets at lyricstage.org, book a table at Toussaint, and for heavens sake, leave room for the creme brulée!
Do the impossible,