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Dancin' On the Lemon Grass
by Don Doman

Great music, great dancing, great food, and great friends.On Friday June, 18, 2004 we traveled to Olympia to eat at the Lemon Grass Restaurant (212 4th Street) and attend a performance of Dancin' In the Streets at the Harlequin Theatre. What a great time we had.

Even though traffic was stop and go all the way from Tacoma it was well worth the trip. It was the beginning of a beautiful summer weekend and President Bush was addressing the troops at Ft. Lewis. This may have contributed to the throng of people on the freeway, but I think it was probably just the normal amount of Friday afternoon commuters.

Keep the food a coming.Peg and I arrived early , along with our granddaughter Talia who just graduated from Curtis High School in University Place. We began ordering appetizers. Next Nita Sell and her husband Robert arrived, so, we ordered more appetizers and then got down to business and ordered a whole bunch of dinners to share. If no one had joined us we would have left several pounds heavier . . . but pretty darned pleased with ourselves. We kept ordering as new people arrived, so that no one would leave hungry (fat chance as they say). Also, by ordering that way new arrivals didn't have to wait for their dinners. We all shared family style and the price was only about $13 a person including refreshments and tip! What a relief from Tacoma prices.

Toe tapping and sing along music from the sixties . . . under no protest.Good friends Jan Runbeck and Mike Mowatt drove down from Tacoma just for dinner. They left after dinner while the rest of us (Nita and Robert Sell, Peg and Don Doman with granddaughter Talia Neill, Kathleen and Rick Olson, Liz and Mike Dunbar, Melinda and Jake Fey, Kathy and Al Isaac, Mike Jones and his friend Sharon) walked four very short blocks to the theatre.

What's really amazing is the caliber of performers that are drawn to the Harlequin. We frequently see some of the same actors performing in Seattle as we do in Olympia . . . and not just as walk-ons, but as featured players. This is quite a tribute to the Harlequin and the heart of that theatre's Artistic Directory Linda Whitney and Managing Artistic Director Scot Whitney.

Dancin' In The Streets featured songs from Motown records and the dances they inspired. Most of the people in our little group knew the words to the songs and possibly the dance steps. Kathy Isaac would have loved to have gotten on stage, but only Nita and Robert were invited up. That's the advantage of having front row seats. The rest of us just enjoyed the entertainment and kept our thoughts of the old days to ourselves.

Me, back when I was dancin in the street . . . and on the tennis court in 1964.

Dancin' In The Streets did almost that. The performance was excellent. The band, the dancers, the singers all gave an exciting performance that left the audience wanting more . . . I guess we'll just have to come back next year.


Winding down and relaxing. Jan and Peg listening to Mike.


The runners Jake and Melinda. Serving and sampling.


Always looking for more fun and excitement. Good food and smiles.


Keep the food a coming. Do I look like a rock star?

We enjoyed ourselves so much, we went a second time . . . well, Peg and I went a second time and brought some other friends along who couldn't make it the first time.

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