It was a bit of a last-minute idea of Frida's, and involved a small amount of scrambling. Monique was contacted for babysitting, and fortunately was available - though Kiriana had to get off work, pick her up, and drop her off as soon after 5:00pm as possible.
After all, the dinner reservations were at 6:00pm. We had "dinner and a show" tickets.
Monique of course didn't arrive until about 5:40pm.
There ensued a bit of a mad rush. Actually, it was quite entertaining. After fighting our way through rush hour traffic, Frida managed to drive us directly to the parking lot and find us a spot quite rapidly. She was also able to get us quite rapidly from there to the theater, which is right next to the casino.
The restaurant proved a bit more of a challenge. The signs were confusing. The employees weren't all that helpful, either. It turned out it was in a hotel across the street. When we got there, it turned out the information given to Stuart was a little off, and he needed to go back across the street to the ticket people for his vouchers. Which weren't available because their printer had jammed.
Even with all that, we ended up with quite a pleasant dinner. I know my salmon was excellent. There were a couple of minor cultural clashes involving hard liquor. Frida asked for an Amaretto sour, end ended up with a very nice drink they sort of invented on the spot. The sugar rimmed glass was a nice touch. Stuart asked for a black russian, and got the New Zealand version, which includes Coke.
After the delays, we finished dinner at about 7:50pm, which meant we had to run back across the street to the theater, since the show started at 8:00pm.
I believe Frida started being unimpressed with the theater. The Sky City theatre is a reasonably nice 700 seat theater, decorated in a bit of a 70s modern style - much like the rest of Sky City. It's apparently one of the main theaters in Auckland, which does say a bit about Auckland.
She proceeded to be unimpressed with the show. Some of that for good reason. I personally liked the lead - she acted reasonably well, and I thought danced fairly well. Her vocal range was a little lacking, though I was impressed by how well she kept the accent. Frida, well, was not thrilled.
And then there was the question of what parts were intentional, and what were not. "Hey Big Spender" was dissonant and jarring. Personally I thought it emphasized the falsehood of the come-on, which was brought more into relief by the marionette-like dancing.
Frida just thought they couldn't sing or dance.
And so on. All I can say is that I've finally actually seen a show I've been wanting to for a while, I now have the songs I know from it in context, and I had a good time. But then, I'm easily amused. It certainly wasn't Broadway class, but then, I don't exactly expect that in Auckland. There's only something like 400,000 people in Auckland City. Heck, the population of New Zealand is only about 4 million.
By contrast, the population of Manhattan alone is 1.5 million, a fair number of which migrated there to perform. I'd expect the performance quality to be a tad higher there.
In any case, we went out, had a good dinner, had fun, came home. In another task stream, I've updated the Google search info for the bar (Though that won't take effect until sometime in the next two weeks, when we act on the verification info), and I've put in a simple seven day calendar in the bar website. There was only one word I couldn't read on the pictures timenchanter took, and that can wait.
Right now I'm hiding from Frida and Stuart's party preparations - not that I haven't done a little help already. She invited pretty much her whole company to the house this evening, as well as the babysitter.
And it looks like they're all coming. A cultural detail: Apparently the immediate Kiwi response to an invite is "no" or "maybe," but rarely "yes." This doesn't mean they won't show up.