The Theatre Part of My Life

October 26th, 2010

I have alluded to my theatre background before.  I’ve been working on some shows lately, so I thought I would share a little about them.

Ian Novak and Kathy Logelin in "Betrayal."  Photo by Michael Rothman.

Ian Novak and Kathy Logelin in "Betrayal." Photo by Michael Rothman.

ShawChicago performs concert readings of plays by George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries.  You can catch a performance of Candida by Shaw on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 and Mondays at 7:00 through November 8.  Performances are at the Ruth Page Auditorium, 1016 N. Dearborn in Chicago.

Oak Park Festival Theatre has a production of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 5:00 through November 13.  The show is at The Performance Center at 1010 W. Madison in Oak Park.

If you have some time this fall, catch a theatrical performance.  You won’t be sorry you did!

How to Hire a Caterer (Part Two)

October 14th, 2010

In a previous post, we looked at how the size of a catering company affects your choice of caterer.  Here are some further thoughts on how to hire a caterer.

Can your caterer do this?  Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

Can your caterer do this? Photo by Magical Moments Photography.

Once you have narrowed down your list of caterers, how do you make a final choice?  The first question you want to be able to answer is, “What is your budget?”  If you tell a caterer you don’t know what your budget is, they are likely to give you their most expensive menu.  So, how do you have any idea what your budget is?

Catering prices are generally broken down into three parts.  The first part is for food and is usually calculated on a per-guest basis.  The second part is for service and should generally be a price per server per hour.  The third part is for rentals.  Not all contracts have that third part.

The food cost is the part that has the most flexibility.  Think about what you would pay per person for a restaurant meal of a quality comparable to the caterer’s food.  Most caterers (but especially smaller caterers) can give you a menu within any reasonable budget.

But the best way to figure out which caterer to hire is to meet with them and taste their food.  Most caterers will do a tasting at no charge.  Some charge for a tasting but will sometimes credit the amount against any future order.

Before you go for a tasting, talk to the caterer about a sample menu so they can make you something you will like.  Then feel free to taste, savor, and ask questions.  Use the tasting as an opportunity to get to know the caterer and their staff.  And always taste the food from more than one caterer before you hire.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when you are looking for a caterer is that they are working for you.  You should be able to get satisfactory answers to your questions and get a menu within your budget and to your taste.  If you can’t get these things, keep looking until you find a caterer you can work with happily.

Need recommendations for a caterer?  Check with your event planner!

Vendors I Know–Reverend Rebecca

October 6th, 2010
Reverend Rebecca, as she appears on her website.

Reverend Rebecca, as she appears on her website.

As a non-traditional wedding planner, one of the things I am often asked for is a referral to a non-traditional wedding officiant.  There are many people who fit that description and I don’t even pretend to know all of them.  But one such person I have worked with is Reverend Rebecca Armstrong.

The first time I worked with Reverend Rebecca, it was with a very traditional couple, and she created for them a warm, personal, and very traditional ceremony.  The next time, my clients were a lesbian couple who wanted to include some non-traditional elements in their ceremony.  Reverend Rebecca accommodated them with the same ease and grace.  Her flexibility in working with people of all sorts has given me the confidence to recommend her to just about anyone.