Archive for August 14th, 2014

The Captain Says Hello to Dolly

Despite all of the turmoil around St. Louis this week I was determined not to miss an unique opportunity tonite. Meg and I had a chance to see the man that introduced us to each other back in 1995. He cast us as the villians in our high school musical. Through that musical Meg and I hung out for the first time and formed a bond that is stronger than ever almost 20 years later. I have very fond memories of those days and specifically of the teacher who introduced us, Rich Pisarkiewicz. Or as we called him, Mr. ‘Zark. We haven’t seen Mr. ‘Zark in person in over 18 years, so we were quite excited back in May when we saw he was co-starring in a production at the Muny this summer!

 

Hello Dolly

 

We decided to buy a couple of tickets and enjoy an evening out at the Muny. All year Meg and I have made a point to enjoy the sights around St. Louis to celebrate our ten years together and to celebrate the town’s 250th anniversary. Tonite was a wonderful evening out in St. Louis.

We started out with a wine tasting at Garland Wines in Webster Groves. And not just any wine – German Wine!!!

 

German Wine Tasting

 

Most German wine is too sugary for my tastes, but there were several good bottles that weren’t sickeningly sweet. Even Meg liked a couple, despite her strong preference for Italian wine. We bought a bottle of Pinot Gris and headed down Big Bend to Forrest Park.

We brought a picnic dinner with us and found a bench outside of the Muny where we could enjoy it.

 

Muny picnic

 

We set up by the large gazebo in front of the Muny and enjoyed our food and wine while watching an absolutely gorgeous sunset.

 

Muny sunset

 

It was already a great nite and the show hadn’t even started yet! It’s been nine years since my last visit to the Muny, and not much has changed. Except that they now serve Schlafly Beer!

 

Muny Schlafly

 

The show itself was a lot of fun and right up my alley. Hello, Dolly! was my first musical back during my freshmen year in 1993. It was a great experience that really confirmed for me that high school theater was the right choice for me. I vividly remember the big show stopping scene where Dolly comes down the grand staircase and everyone sings Hello, Dolly. I was sitting on stage at a table at the bottom of the staircase pretending to be a patron at the fictional restaurant. When Dolly makes her grand entrance I clearly remember the band teacher Mr. Dowdy killing it with an amazing trumpet solo. It gave fifteen year old me chills up and down my spine.

21 years later I was watching the same scene at the Muny and with Mr. ‘Zark as the head waiter. He played Rudolph the Head Waiter, a role perfect for him. No body plays a wacky Western European quite like Mr. ‘Zark. He was the highlight of a very enjoyable show. Lots of high stepping and goofy period costumes is my kind of musical!

After the show we decided to hang around a minute to see if anything interesting happened. After a few minutes by the actor’s backstage exit I was surprised to see the stars of the show coming out to mingle with the fans. The top-billed stars, Beth Leavel and John O’Hurley, were happily signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. I thought that was pretty cool of them. After waiting about ten minutes, we finally saw the real star of the show. Ladies and Gentleman, Rich Pisarkiewicz!

 

Meg & Mr Zark

 

He recognized us right away and was very friendly with Meg. He even called us by our character names from 20 years ago! It was an exciting end to a great nite on the town. Damn I still love St. Louis!

 

Ciao,

The Captain

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