Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rick's Roadshow: Vienna, Austria

I have been traveling again here and there. Recently I had a brief business trip to Vienna, Austria. My time was exceptionally limited but in between meetings and such I snapped a few photos along the way, as I always try to do while traveling. Vienna is a delightful European city, and exceeded my expectations during my brief visit.
Vienna has old world charm but is thoroughly modern in what it has to offer to visitors. The architecture alone is amazing, a wide range of influences including Renaissance, Roman, Greek, Gothic and German. With every step I gazed in awe of the details along windows, edifices, doorways and bridges. The cathedrals and small churches are inspirational and inviting.
No visit to this region would be complete without a beer garden, sausages and local Viennese cuisine. At the suggestion of my business colleague, lunch one day was at Plachutta, a well known group of restaurants locally owned. I had the Wiener Schnitzel which is one of their specialties for sure. In general the food in Austria was very good, and the locals are quite friendly. Just next door to the restaurant was Moulin Rouge (see below) but I was too busy to every go in at night.


















The Vienna Opera House at night

An example of the architecture I enjoyed so much





























Spending time in meetings with business colleagues is important, but it is also good to spend time in the evening relaxing and enjoying the local culture. This was exactly the case one evening when I attended the symphony to hear "The Sound of Vienna" a classical concert of Strauss and Mozart. Held in the magnificent Kursalon, built in 1865 in a Renaissance style, it is a truly splendid setting to hear the music of these celebrated and revered composers.
During the intermission, I ventured outside onto the terrace of the concert hall. It was a foggy night, but I was struck by the beauty of this view. The building was dramatically illuminated, and the dome of a nearby cathedral was just visible through the fog. It was a memorable evening without a doubt.
The concert included several intervals of ballet, as well as several opera performances mixed in. Sitting in the audience, I tried to imagine what it was like to live here in Vienna during the time when Mozart walked these streets, and presented his music of the day. I closed my eyes and gave thanks for the blessings of my life, to have had the opportunity to experience such beauty and culture. Needless to say Vienna made quite an impression on me. I would recommend a visit to this wonderful city should you have the opportunity to visit sometime.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daniel Radcliffe Wows Broadway in 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'

I recently had the opportunity to entertain some customers in New York, and brought them to see a show on Broadway. I chose 'How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying'(H2SIB). It's a fun musical that is enjoying tremendous success in it's second revival since the original bow in 1961. The story is a satire on big business, corporate life and office politics (anyone who has ever worked in a corporate office can appreciate this storyline). "H2SIB" stars Daniel Radcliffe, everybody's favorite boy wizard Harry Potter. Without a doubt, the theatre had a significant number of people who were clearly fans of Mr Radcliffe, and were visibly excited by the opportunity to see Daniel on stage. Admittedly I too, found it rather titillating having long been a fan of the Harry Potter series. That being said, I am also a fan of Broadway theatre and musicals especially.

image from digital book I purchased on iTunes
Mr Radcliffe gave an impressive performance on every level as J. Pierrepont Finch who goes from window washer to business executive. He has great stage presence and easily commands attention of the audience. He executes a flawless American accent, and has impressive vocal abilities considering he is not classically trained as a singer. Perhaps it was his dancing that I found equally impressive (incidentally the choreography is really terrific).

With respect to the show itself, the music from How to Succeed In Business is top notch. With a retro feel, it is packed with genuinely catchy and toe-tapping tunes. I left the theatre singing and wanting more, which is always a good sign I think.

image from digital book I purchased on iTunes
John Larroquette is a pure delight as boss J.B. Biggley. The supporting cast were all excellent, in particular Rose Hemingway as love interest Rosemary Pilkington, Tammy Blanchard as the sultry Hedy LaRue and Ellen Harvey as Biggley's secretary Miss Jones. I don't claim to be a theatre critic so this isn't intended to be an all encompassing review. However I do know this: I LOVED How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and highly recommend it for anyone to see if you can get to New York. You will leave the theatre smiling and feeling good, and that is certainly worth the price of a ticket.

Don't just take my word for it, here is a quick video review of the show too.

Disclaimers...

This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.