Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a matinee performance of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. After entering the large tent on 45th street you are whisked away to a lavish salon crammed with paintings, a bar, and chic sputnik chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. You sit at tables and can dine during the performance, and I was eager to try the newly added tea service. The show is delightful fun, and I highly recommend it. But if you go, don't have tea.
|Love the salon style paintings and sputnik lights|
The show has a historical Russian theme (based on a segment of War and Peace), and offers typical Russian fare such as borscht and pirogi. I was shown a picture of a beautiful samovar prior to attending, and I assumed the samovar would be used for the tea to go along with the theme. This was a very wrong assumption. The samovar was sitting at the hostess stand at the entrance. It was decoration and not for use. The tea menu had a few nice choices, and we were deciding between Darjeeling and an Oolong. When I asked for Oolong, the server said they were out of every tea except for the flavored white blend, and a blackberry tea (which was not on the menu). That was a huge disappointment since I don't care for flavored blends, but I ordered the blackberry tea, full of hope. Let me point out that pots of tea are $25. At this price, I was expecting a large pot, with loose tea. Maybe even a fancy cup to go along with the Russian theme of the show. A tiny one-serving pot showed up with water that was barely warm enough. Along with the pot, the server handed us 4 tea bags. The tea was meant for the 4 people sitting at the table, but the pot was only large enough for one bag. I can understand inflating the cost a bit, but this was offensive. I go to the theater regularly and I know the concession prices are inflated, but I've had tea at 4 star restaurants that was far cheaper. The bags are from The Republic of Tea which is a nice brand, but sadly not worth anywhere near the $25 price point. The tea was pleasant enough, it had a strong blackberry taste with a hit of sage. It's not what I would have chosen myself, but it was satisfying. Sandwich, scone, and sweet platters are also available for purchase.
Despite the tea debacle, the cast is amazingly talented and we loved the show. The eclectic music and sexy costumes enhanced the experience. During the show two of the actors placed their tea cups on our table, and I got to gaze longingly at the lovely little cups. If we were served tea in fancier cups, it may have improved the tea experience a bit.
|one of the cups used in the show and our plain white cup behind it|