Thursday, May 10, 2012

Eclipse Theater

On the Celebrity Eclipse, I took the glass elevator down to deck five. Dropping down I watched the library slip by and I watched people in the opposite elevator as they rose up. I walked down a long hallway past flashy boutiques, the Molecular Bar and the flashing lights of the Fortunes Casino. Terry was in our cabin reading, while I made my way to the Eclipse Theater to see an Iron Chef style cook off. I sat in the nose bleed section of the upper level to try and capture some sense of the enormous space.

The chipper activities coordinator announced the contestants. Two passengers had been picked to compete against each other with the help of some of the ships chefs. I believe they only had 15 minutes to prepare their dish using the raw produce available on the back tables. The female contestant talked smack by saying her opponent wasn't even working his pans over the burners. She had a point, the crew chef was helping out quite a bit.

When it came time for the judging, an oval platform rose up with three passenger judges. One judge was from France and she said that the female contestants dish reminded her of her childhood. The male contestants dish however had too much spice. Every judge actually didn't like the male contestants dish. They didn't hold back their criticisms. The female contestant won.

I was still working on the sketch as everyone rushed out of the theater. It seems that these cruise ship activities are designed for audiences with short attention spans. A tech came out of the sound booth and approached me. He told me I would have to leave the theater. I can't believe it. This was the second time I had been interrupted while trying to finish a sketch on the cruise. I asked why. He said they had to rehearse that evenings performance. I asked if I could do another sketch of the rehearsal. No, he had rules to follow and I left fuming. I don't like being herded around like cattle. The final color washes were added in the cabin. We never returned to the theater to see the show.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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