Estadio, Te Aro & Deadly (7th October 2010)

Jono and I went to Estadio for dinner before seeing a show in town tonight. Neither of us had been to Estadio since the old Temperance Bar was taken over and converted to the now Latin American restaurant and dance venue where many of the local Latin dance schools hold dance classes and parties these days.

On entry to the restaurant from the entrance on Blair St, we were greeted by a friendly Latino (it was obvious from his accent) who showed us to a corner table in the busy restaurant. Hmm, I wasn’t expecting it to be this rowdy on a Thursday night and felt we were rather cramped into our corner as there was a large group of people in the restaurant, probably there for an after-work function. The venue now has a fresh coat of colourful paint on the outside and indoors, decorated with all things Latin American – from statues of gods and goddesses to display tropical fruits and parrots, and pictures of exotic Latin American places and life of its people – quite a different feel from when I was last here when it was still Temperance Bar.

We sampled 2 of Estadio’s locally brewed craft beers – I had their Summer Choppi (a very light lager made in the tradition of South American-style pilsners) while Jono had the Half Whit Pint wheat beer. Both tasted good but not enough to justify us paying $9 each for the beers which was really steep. They have quite a broad menu of food from across the Latin American countries though I was rather disappointed to find that they only had Caldinho de Feijao (black bean soup with bacon and croutons), which was the nearest thing to my favourites Brazilian dish, feijoada. I had their Moqueca de Peixe (steamed fish, prawn and coriander in a dende coconut broth served with basmati rice). Cost $20 and reminded me of a very rich Thai red curry, perhaps due to the dende oil used in the dish (a thick, dark reddish-orange strong-flavoured oil extracted from the pulp of a fruit from a type of palm tree grown in Africa and Brazil) which is commonly used in cooking in Bahia, Brazil where moqueca is a traditional dish in the region. Jono had the Pollo Ballotine (cost $23 for the dish which was free range chicken stuffed with dried figs, sweetcorn and bacon served with sautéed red cabbage on a port wine jus) and we shared a side of green beans with toasted pumpkin seeds (cost $5). Who would have thought green beans with toasted pumpkin seeds would be so yummy – we had to fight for our veggies! Overall, the food was good and interesting in flavours. We’ll have to come back another day to try out their desserts – they all sound so delicious but we didn’t have enough time to fit one in before the show!

We headed to Downstage Theatre to see show Deadly, a circus, theatre and dance performance portraying the relationship of a man and a woman, and the 7 deadly sins. We got 50% off full price tickets for the show which would normally cost $46 for a ticket but we paid the same cost for 2 – this is a deal I got from GrabOne, a website that has daily deals on events and dining in your NZ city that I encourage you to subscribe to if you get out and about town like me. Savings of 50% or more? Hell yeah!

The show started at 8pm and was a 1-hour show with no interval performed by Argentineans Rodrigo Osis (I’ve met him at WOW) and his partner Virginia Molina. Their act began with portraying Gluttony where the two performers were constantly trying to take a bite of each other, getting their bodies twisted up together as they reached out to find more flesh under their clothes. Greed was interesting in that it had the performers both intertwined on a trapeze. Virginia was so strong, able to hold on to the trapeze while letting Rodrigo rest his head on her heel and hanging beneath her. It was amazing to watch Virginia snake and slide her way around Rodrigo’s body – there where moments of “Will she just slide off and fall to the ground??” but she would just slide back up and down again at ease. Pride had Rodrigo showing off his fantastic skills on the Chinese pole making pole-climbing look as easy as walking; Wrath looked much like they were trying to ‘kill’ each other and Sloth had Virginia squatting on Rodrigo’s shoulders as he continued to ignore her and read his newspapers.

I’m sure they depicted all 7 sins but it was unclear to me which act is for what sin as they transitioned from one behaviour to another. Personally, I would say the show was more physical theatre than circus with a bit comedy slotted in between. Very different from most circus shows I’ve seen and it was odd for me to watch Rodrigo looking serious and dramatic for his character in this show – where’s the mischievous clown I met at WOW? Hmm, I think I much prefer him as happy, mischievous clown than all dramatic like this. Kind of felt his talents were restricted to the script(?).

Deadly is on at Downstage from the 6th – 23rd of October so if you’re keen to see a different form of circus, go check it out!


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