Nothing like a day that consists of brunch and a show. I was lucky enough to have such a day and I’m going to share it with you. Too late, you can’t change the channel.
Let’s begin with the brunch which I enjoyed at Taberna del Alabardero, 1776 I Street, NW, Washington. This is without question an upscale and high-end Spanish restaurant, in business in DC for about 30 years. It is owned by a gentleman from Spain and I do believe it is the first traditional Spanish restaurant in Washington.
This isn’t his only attempt at a restaurant. The veteran public relations lady who invited me, Jill Collins, told me he has over 20 restaurants and hotels in Spain. My goal is to visit all of them, but I’d settle for half.
The brunch began April 1 and during my visit, the place was nearly full. Taberna del Alabardero is open seven days and there is a parking garage next door (with validated parking). Plus there is also street parking. I mention this because that’s usually the first question I get when talking about a Washington attraction or restaurant.
About a block away you’ll find the World Bank and many embassies. So there are upscale folks dining here. So don’t go in wearing jeans or t-shirts. Look like you’ve been out to eat in a refined restaurant before.
Meals are prepared by celebrated chefs Cesar Mayorga and Carlos Gomez. You can be really adventuresome and try the 5-course tasting menu ($75.00). But whatever you order, you’ll be satisfied.
There’s a weekday Happy Hour from 3 to 7, vegan and gluten-free items are available and during brunch on Sundays live guitar music. I started to sing along and I’ll never forget what management told me, please sit down and be quiet.
Reach them at 202-429-2200 or go to alabardero.com.
Next stop, a matinee at the Kennedy Center, about two miles away. I saw, for the second time, because I didn’t get enough at my first viewing, Shear Madness. It has only been playing in DC since August 1987.
This is actually one of the longest-running nonmusicals in theatre history. It opened in Boston in 1980 and in Germany in 1963. Some will argue it is the longest-running show.
The Boston production spawned 50 U.S. touring companies, it has been produced in 23 languages, seen by nearly 13 million and was written by Paul Portner.
It’s set in the city where it is playing at the time. So that means there are lots of references to that town. In Washington, you can imagine the fun they have with political references.
The show, of course, is scripted but there is plenty of improv. One reason is that there is audience participation. The setting is a unisex hair salon. There is an unseen murder so all folks in the salon are suspects.
In Act 1 the police ask audience members for any clues. So they help with the investigation. In Act Two the audience actually gets to vote on the guilty party. Lots of laughs.
So with the audience involved it’s possible each night there’s a different ending. The cast is prepared for that. They just switch to the ending for that character.
The Kennedy Center is on F Street, NW. There is a garage connected to the building, a few garages nearby or street parking. Reach the box office at 202-467-4600. Shear Madness closes for the summer June 10.
Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson.
His past accomplishments include being named a finalist in Baltimore Tourism’s Employee of the Year Program and winner of Toastmaster’s Speaker of the Year contest. He was also twice a heartthrob for the American Heart Association’s gala fund raiser.