(Logo refers to April performances but it does run through May 6.) Otherwise…
What a fun day this was! On a recent Sunday afternoon, icy-rainy, cold and windy aside, a friend and I caught the Sunday matinee of Mamma Mia! at Manchester’s Palace Theatre which I must say gives reason to be called “my favorite theater” by many. Big enough to feel like “going to the theater” but small enough so there’s not a bad seat in the house, we had first row center balcony and except for not a lot of excess leg room, these are ideal seats. You can see everything, hear everything (very good acoustics) and we totally enjoyed the performance. Fun, well-casted, a teense risqué and with an excellent live orchestra as part of the talent, the ticket prices don’t break the bank and it was just a real treat! Especially for seniors where tickets are $30 (up to $45 otherwise), this is a great time-out kind of escape.
The Palace is the kind of theater where you can sort of feel its 103-year history. It was built in 1915 and went from “the” place to go for nationally known performers to a point where after talkies put a lot of theaters under, it was used as a theater-style classroom by a local university, and even for a while it had warehouse storage use. It had even experienced some flood and fire damage in its sad days, but in the ’70s, WHAM, it was completely renovated and brought back to life, bigger and better than ever. Odd admission, some older theaters creep me out. The Palace Theatre though? It has a very sweet and loveable vibe to it. And it’s quite beautiful. We have a video clip on our Facebook space ( @AboutTownLocal ) so be sure to check that out also to get a feel of it, though the cast had just done themselves in with a rather athletic number that preceded its closing piece.
There are a number of restaurants within walking distance and with our 2pm showing letting out at around 4:30, we opted for an early dinner somewhere close. I’d passed Taj India when I turned right on Amherst Street from Elm St. It’s right on that corner and it just looked inviting. Plus it was a short 2 blocks from our cars (see map below). This was my first time eating there and my companion’s first experience with Indian food at all, and we both found the Taj India to be delightful! She is definitely not into spicy and we wanted to share two selections so we ordered Chicken Tikki Masala and Chicken Tikki Saag to be prepared “not too spicy.” These were two very different but compatible tastes which was plenty for two (even three) so we had leftovers to bring home. Our total bill with teas came to $36.86 so this was definitely not a pocket cruncher either! I’d definitely eat here again.
Parking! Oh wow, what a treat! Most of my own theater experiences have been either in Los Angeles or Boston and this was just soooo simple. Just behind the theater, in the middle of the next block north, is the Victory Parking Garage. Free on the weekends and with tons of spaces (all indoor parking), it’s a scant 1/8-mile walk from/to the Palace, door to door.
The Palace Theatre is at 80 Hanover Street, Manchester – (603) 668-5588 – www.palacetheatre.org
Taj of India is at 967 Elm Street, Manchester – (603) 606-2677.