Last year I began volunteering one day a week at the city’s AIDS support center. I am a receptionist for the testing and counseling departments. I leave hungry at 2:00, so one week I asked a regular client to recommend a local eatery. (I don’t know downtown very well at all.) He highly recommended Ivy’s, a small restaurant/bar that is owned by a gay couple. I went to check it out.
Ivy’s is a little establishment situated in the middle of a renewed urban district, a very nice area. Inside, the small bar is separated from the cozy dining room with a half wall and paned glass. I sat in the restaurant side and had a terrific “special” for a good price. This place was great: low key, homey, very friendly staff, good Midwestern "comfort" food.
I returned there a few more times, reading or paying bills while I enjoyed the food. Sometimes the TV would be tuned to a soap opera or a sports channel. The bar had a huge plasma screen visible from many seats in the dining room.
One visit put me in the dining room with a view of the bar. The only other customers eating were a couple of women in a booth. A couple of guys were at the bar. I ordered the special and got out my bills.
After I had written a few checks, I heard a distant chorus singing a show tune. I looked up and saw that the big screen in the bar had a stage show on. I watched what looked like the opening number with great interest. My server brought my lunch and I had to ask him, “What are we watching? I’m pretty sure I don’t get that channel.”
“Oh, that?” He smiled. “That’s a DVD the bartender brought in. It’s an off-Broadway show called ‘Naked Boys Singing.’”
And, by golly, it was. Lots of boys. Very fit. Singing, dancing, kicking, twirling, leaping, and smiling. I was smiling too. This lunch was not quite what I expected.
When my server came by to refill my drink, I asked, “Is there a plot?”
He said, “Does it need one?”
Guess not. I finally remembered I still had a few bills left to pay. I finished lunch, paid bills, and got up with more songs yet to be sung. I thanked the server for a great lunch and told him my world had expanded a little bit that day.
I’ve used up one Ivy League frequent diner card and I’m nearly done with the next.
P.S. The song "Enormous Penis," featured on my playlist samples, is not part of the show. But it should be.