One of Canada’s National Treasures is Christopher Plummer, who most people only know as Captain Von Trapp from the Sound of Music. He did a one man play called “Barrymore” originally at Stratford and then followed it up at the Music Hall in Detroit. The conceit of the play is that it is the last months of John Barrymore as he would recall his past milestones of his career. The young people in the audience could barely associate that John Barrymore was the Great-Uncle of Drew Barrymore, but they would never know each other. We could not make it to see it in Canada, so when it came to Detroit, it was a guaranteed show to see. From the first moment when he walks onto the stage with a rolling bar reciting a very ribald limerick he had the audience in the palm of his hand. He went from the risqué to brilliant orations of Shakespeare and back, with perfect diction and a great command of the English language that seems to be lost in today’s theater. I thank God that Mr. Plummer is such a fine theatrical actor, that he would pause enough for the laughter of the audience to diminish before delivering another great line. It was one of the fastest shows that I have ever seen, because we were laughing so hard.
Prior to seeing the play at the Music Hall we decided to have dinner at Intermezzo, which was a new restaurant in the Harmony Park area of downtown Detroit. It was a lively restaurant, that was hot, but the flame flickered out too quickly and it is now part of the annals of former restaurants in Detroit. They served all classic Italian dishes as well as some Nouveau Cuisine dishes as well. We both had veal dishes after a calamari appetizer.
We also had a wonderful Pio Cesare Barolo wine from Italy. It was a classic interpretation of a Barolo wine with an amazing nose. A deep color and a taste that had a wow factor with subtle fruit and tannins that really should have been allowed to age for another ten years. Yes, we drank it too young, but that is the way of the world in restaurants. The wine overpowered the calamari and the veal, but it was a great wine, and a great segue to all the alcoholic asides that we would see after dinner courtesy of Mr. Plummer.