Archives for category: theatre

I know New York. I need New York. I know I need unique New York.

“Hello, poor people!” cried Alan Cumming as the MC, waving his hand at us all the way up in our balcony seats.”This can’t be much fun for you.” We chuckled and we were actually having much fun, but being in New York on a budget can sometimes feel like you’re missing something.


Broadway can be beautiful and cheap.

During a long weekend in the big apple I must admit that I thought how nice it would be to be rich in NYC.

Having spent my entire budget on somewhere to sleep (and ok, fine, a ticket to Sleep No More– just things related to sleep then), I decided that in New York, like everywhere else, the best things in life should be (and are often if you open your eyes) free.


Look! A new, sharp, shiny building being a bit moody.

It helped that I was there because I had $25 Cabaret tickets (Roundabout Theatre has cheap tickets reserved for people under 35 at each performance) and to meet up with this guy I like.

I resisted a cashmere sweater with an elephant holding a pink ball with its trunk and didn’t even set foot into the Kate Spade stationery store.

Instead, I watched couples kiss and practice a few shy dance steps in Grand Central Station while I waited for my Baltimore boy to arrive.


Grand Central Station is a good place to sit down and weep in, but it’s an even better place to dance in.

Instead, we walked in the rain and avoided rats in Central Park.


Walking in the rain and discovering secret gardens is free!


Taking multiple pictures of ducks is a cheap and entertaining way to spend a few minutes in New York’s Central Park.

We riffled through antique shops in Chelsea and Williamsburg and window shopped at my new favourite (or only favourite) jewellery store, Adorned by Love in Nolita (I thought we were in SoHo).


Window shopping in impossibly cool and expensive places.

We found cheap breakfasts and had falafel in the park, splurged on coffees and walked until our feet fell off.


Walking across the Williamsburg Bridge at sunset… what could be more romantic?


View from the bridge.

I love New York. I need new York. Know I need unique New York.


At the top end of Australia, over a year ago.

One year ago yesterday, my plane from London touched down in Montreal. My mother was there to meet me at arrivals and it felt a bit like one of the Love, Actually airport moments where there’s hugging and jumping up and down and perhaps even a tear of two.

I was home after over a year of travelling around the world. I was home with my mum, ready to celebrate a wedding of a dear friend with old friends, ready to take on the next adventure. A chilled-out, at-home adventure.

That was a year ago.

I’ve neglected this blog because it’s supposed to be about travel and theatre and there has been very little travel and very little theatre in this past year.

Strangely, I’ve only recently started to miss those things, things that I thought defined me more than they ultimately do, I’m realising.

This past year has been amazing and I’ve felt very happy working a 9-5 job, coming home to my one-bedroom apartment, indulging in Netflix, and having long Skype conversations.

But now seems like the perfect time to get back to it all. Shake off the comfortable routine (i.e. laziness).

And it all starts with booking stuff. My credit card has had quite the workout and (if I cover the actual costs- literally, like, with my hand so that I don’t see the numbers), I love looking at the statement. My spending represents who I think I am.

  • Train tickets to Montreal. Discount business class tickets, baby!
  • Tickets to Cabaret in New York. Alan Cumming, wait for me!
  • Tickets to Paris via Reykjavik. In January. But I love Paris when it drizzles. And days with 3 hours of light. Right?
  • And tickets to a couple of SummerWorks plays.

SummerWorks is like the Fringe Festival’s sober sister. The one who has her shit together but still likes to have a good time. But a good time with focus, if you know what I mean. So my tickets are booked for two shows that I know are going to be amazing: He Left Quietly and Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales. Check them out.

I’ll also be making myself a calendar of playwriting submission deadlines. So I can watch them go by. Wheeee!

And, mostly, I hope to have many amazing adventures to post here.

I have been back in my hometown of Toronto for 3 months now, after over a year living out of my backpack. Thinking back, my record is 3 years in one place since the year 2000. And those three years were during undergrad when I’d go home for the summer. So maybe it’s normal that my feet are itchy for my own space rather than for another hostel dorm on another continent. We’ll see how long this lasts. (I’m already getting vague yearnings to see Chile. Or go back to Ireland. Maybe take a road trip down to Louisiana.)

Winter is coming! The first snow on a dried hydrangea, Toronto.

Winter is coming! The first snow on a dried hydrangea, Toronto.

Sitting here, settling into my new one-bedroom apartment that still smells of paint, I wonder: am I, you know, a grown up? I have a lease signed, a couch purchased (off Craigslist, but still) and lugged down the street with the help of a couple strangers and a good friend. There are butter dishes and sugar bowls and a brand new toaster sitting patiently in the kitchen and very serious thoughts of buying a Christmas tree a’brewing.

Something that’s making me feel more connected (other than working 9-5) is getting back into the loop theatre-wise. I haven’t written about any of the plays I’ve seen so far because I was either so affected I didn’t know what to write or so bored that I forgot I should maybe be blogging about things.


Pig: rainbows and lollipops!

Pig (by Tim Luscombe at Buddies in Bad Times). Although this play made me feel every single emotion under the sun in a very intense way, from compassion to physical barfiness, I don’t know how to talk about it. This in-your-face show’s first professional staging about the gritty underbellies of certain gay cultures (including SM and sero-conversion parties) wasn’t my ‘cup of tea’ content-wise, but it was very well written and produced and acted. And it was nice to see a change from all the sanitized relationships we see on TV and on stage. And yes, it was provocative in the best sense of the word. I’m still reeling.

I mean- look at those shoes!

I mean- look at those shoes!

Venus in Fur (by David Ives at Canadian Stage) felt like a feel-good kid’s play after Pig. It was amusing and a bit brash but had beautiful moments. It was a crowd-pleasing look at S&M and there definitely was a perfectly sexy moment involving a boot being unzipped. But I spent most of the time wondering if the actress was really going to spend the duration of the play in those insane heels (she did and didn’t show any sign of distress).

A moment of action in The Valley. I'm glad they didn't shy away from staging this part.

A moment of action in The Valley. I’m glad they didn’t shy away from staging this part.

The Valley (by Joan McLeod at Tarragon Theatre). Um, I was never bored, but it was more a plateau than a valley (no peaks, if you get what I’m saying). Maybe I just don’t connect with Joan McLeod’s writing. Blasphemy!

But then I went to see The Gay Heritage Project (by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir at Buddies in Bad Times) and I realised I have to get back to writing. Because although you’ll read this an it will have already closed, I wanted to mark the play that motivated me to write again. To not give up on seeing shows and not to give up on the notion of creating them.

Paul, Andrew and Damien in The Gay Heritage Project.

Paul, Andrew and Damien in The Gay Heritage Project. I laughed, I cried, I learned a lot.

I refuse to give standing ovations just because every single Toronto audience gives standing ovations for every single play. But for this, I stood up.

It was both an intimate and globally important investigation. It was theatrical. It was funny. It made me sob. With only three actors, it managed to swing from big, rich song-and-dance numbers to the most quietly heartbreaking questioning. The physical preciseness of the performers was mind-blowing. It was aware of the difficulty of asking the question “is there such a thing as a gay heritage?” and it attacked the question from various angles, speeds, times, ages.

So I’ve set myself some deadlines and I will also attack. Hopefully something of what Paul Dunn, Andrew Kushnir, and Damien Atkins did in The Heritage Project will magically rub off on me.

So I’m home. I have a physical space I am solely responsible for keeping tidy. I have objects like couches and desks. And now I have a writing deadline. But these are all good weights.

Home for the holidays. You can't really tell, but that giant reindeer has ribbons as guts and brains.

Home for the holidays. The Eaton Centre. You can’t really tell, but that giant reindeer has ribbons as guts and brains.

I appreciate that I have friends to call for impromptu dinners and family to call on for help moving all my photo albums and chairs into my new apartment. I am also holding tightly onto that openness that travelling forces you to develop: I’ve become that girl who talks to people while waiting for the bus and who crashes a neighbour’s housewarming party.

I am holding tightly onto that feeling where you don’t quite know where the day will take you (the day meaning weekends and after 5pm on weekdays) and going with the flow of the buffalo.

Hello from a rainy and cold day in Ljubljana (I typed that without even double-checking the spelling. Gold star.). What’s up, Slovenia, with your 8 degrees and wet-feet weather?

I thought I’d take a little time out to invite any of you who are in Toronto to go check out the InspiraTO festival, starting May 30th.  It promises to be a very cool and original week of curated theatre. For the full schedule, tickets, and more information on the festival, please check out

My short play will be presented in the RedShow programme. It’s called Carrots in the Toy Box and was written while in the middle of nowhere in New South Wales, which seems like a lifetime ago.


I wish I could be there and am sad to miss so many pieces by so many amazing people, but I’ll count on your honest reports to let me know how it goes!

As part of pretending that I’m still somewhat being productive on my trip around the world, I’m trying to see at least one play in each country that I visit. This gives the impression that I’m doing research and getting inspired for future projects.

Weirdly, I’ve been more successful in my non-mission of eating a burger in each place I visit (there will be a burger round-up in August).

After a failed attempt to see a play in Cambodia (on World Theatre Day of all days!) due to cloudy weather and nausea (thanks, malaria tablets!), I was keen to make up for it in India, a country with strong and vital theatrical traditions. So I saw two plays. Two! I win.


Man applying makeup.


Another man applying different makeup.

In Kochi, I got the chance to take a tourist’s peak into Kathakali, a type of classical dance-drama from the state of Kerala, at a lovely and air conditioned wooden theatre in the old city.

Usually very long (like, 8 hours), they cut and dumbed this one down for tourists, complete with a make-up application demonstration and a quick run-through of the gestures and their meanings. I read the synopsis in two languages and still couldn’t quite follow the plot and my mind wandered a bit.  But I got to see what I’d learned about in my World Theatre course in 2006 in action, so I felt pretty good about that. And the costumes were quite amazing.


In full costume, a type of demon boar.


The boar and the lady.


The main character, being egotistical (spoiler: at the end he’s enlightened and no longer full of ego).

And then, on my last day in India, I was treated to Gasha by the Indian Ensemble Theatre in the beautiful and sleek theatre space Rangashankara in Bangalore.

As the contemporary play was in Urdu, Hindi, and Kashmiri, all I understood that sometimes the two characters were at school (“If you concentrate, you will go far”) and that there was a dead dog at one point.

Though I was completely right on those two points, my friend explained everything to me afterwards and what I thought had been a joyful story of a friendship was quickly revealed to be about the horrors of the political conflicts in Kashmir.

I loved the use of the simple props and quick shift between characters by actors Bhat and Sandeep Shikhar. And the theatre itself made me feel so at home (Torontonians, it was very close to the Dance Theatre). But I guess with a play like this where accents and quick dialogue, it would make sense to understand at least one of the languages spoken…

I’ve been away from home for almost 9 months now. Strangely, I haven’t felt homesick much. But there are things I miss. Mostly, it’s people (and most often my little nephews), but I also miss eating cereal at 10pm with fresh milk in my pjs, public transit I understand, and knowing where the good second-hand bookstores are.

I also miss things like the great theatre going on back at home. A festival I love and have done for years is World Stage at Harbourfront in Toronto (I clearly remember Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs starring none other than Cillian Murphy way back in 1998, and being totally in awe of it).

A Dance Tribute to Football

Jo Strømgren Kompani’s A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football (Norway). Photo: Knut Bry

As I travel, I’ve been trying to catch shows in every country I visit, but there’s nothing like having the best of the best from around the world gather in one place.

Between now and the end of May, World Stage will be presenting shows from Norway, Germany, Belgium/Portugal, Canada and the Netherlands.

Still Standing You

Beligan/Portuguese duo Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido/CAMPO in Still Standing You. Photo: Phile Deprez

 Up next is A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football (looks seriously awesome) followed by She She Pop & Their Fathers: Testament, Still Standing You, what we are saying and finally KAMP.

KAMP - photo: Herman Helle

KAMP – photo: Herman Helle

For more information on this year’s festival, please check out

If you could go check these out and report back to me, that would be amazing.

Ubud, known the artistic capital of Bali, is the place to catch a traditional dance performance. Even the most modest of shows seems to be all gold and flowers and meters of colourful fabric.

Pretty, no?

Pretty, no?

Every night of the week you’ll find yourself overwhelmed by the choice of different dances and all the different troupes performing them in different venues.

Being edgy and adventurous, Yf and I opted for the fire dance. Fire means there’s no way the show would be dull.


They don’t call it the fire dance for nothing.

We bought our tickets from one of the many sellers around town and found our venue one the grounds of a small temple. Although the surroundings were beautiful in a more humble way than, say, the royal palace, I felt a bit like we were in a makeshift tent in a parking lot alone on our plastic chairs.


So many men making such strange sounds.

Luckily more audience members arrived and the show was stunning. No instruments to create the music- just about a hundred men going “chacka chacka chacka” and “op op op!”. I was very close to being hypnotised several times, but camera flashes from the audience snapped me out of it frequently.


My favourite character. Also, the guys cracking themselves and each other up in the background when they thought no one was paying attention to them.

There were three dances for that night’s programme: the monkey dance (Kecak), the little girls’ dance (Sanghyang dedari) and the horse dance (Sanghyang jaran). The narratives were quite complicated and I didn’t follow the plot, but it was never dull.


Horse dance. Watch out! Those burning coconut husks are hot and they fly under the dancer’s feet.

A couple of nights later, I dropped into another dance show on a whim. This one was inside with glossy tickets and an opportunity to have your photo taken with the dancers afterwards.  I enjoyed the fact that the show and orchestra were all women, but it did feel much more tourist-satisfaction-driven, with many short pretty dances and a big barong beast and a bunch of little monkeys at the end. Fine, I’ll admit that that was cool. I do like elaborate costumes.

The stage was brightly lit so pictures were easy to take. I’m glad I saw it, though, to get a taste of the variety of shows and styles (this one was barong and legong dance, a classical and more ‘beautiful’ dance).


Everything that sparkles.




Little boys watching the performance and pissing their pants laughing when the monkeys came out. Maybe their friends were performing?

Knowing absolutely nothing about dance other than what I learn from TV and movies (namely Dance Academy and Center Stage, which doesn’t give me any credibility, granted) and even less about classical balinese dance, I think the best review I can give you is: if you have the chance to see the horse dance, go!

They burn a stack of coconut husks and then a guy riding a horse puppet (think a bit more basic than War Horse) dances on the embers in his bare feet. The programme notes explain it pretty well: “An entrance boy dance on a horse (jaran). Behaving like horse. He dance around a bonfire made from coconut busks. If the sanghyang song leads him to fire, then he will dance on the fire.”

Skip the glitz and go with the show with the horse. A good motto to live by, really.

Reaction shot:

Looks like we were quite happy with the experience, inspired to hold our fingers more elegantly in future, and just so slightly confused (manifested in the weird angle of the shot).

Looks like we were quite happy with the experience, inspired to hold our fingers more elegantly in future, and just so slightly confused (manifested in the weird angle of the shot).

I might be heading for an overdose. After nine weeks in the bush where I ended up addicted to Dance Academy (for lack of anything else and because it’s awesome), I arrived in Sydney starved for a bit of artsy-fartsy company.


With volunteering for the Arts Festival and as a workshop assistant at the Australian Theatre for Young People, I had my fill of theatre all day, every day, in one way or another. I haven’t had a moment to make it to Bondi beach yet (and I might skip it, actually, to go see some Shakespeare in the Blue Mountains).


Handing out flyers promoting the festival outside the train station. I met some interesting people, including the righteous king of Northern Ireland.

Walking from my swish hostel to my volunteer job on the wharf every day, I walk past Cate Blanchett’s theatre and rub shoulders with Sydney Dance Company ballerinas on their coffee breaks.

The Sydney Dance Company cafe.

The Sydney Dance Company cafe.

I spend the day playing zip zap zop and telling kids to zip it. Evenings are spent checking out shows at the festival (when I’m not totally worn out). A wonderful perk of volunteering for the festival (or knowing generous artists- thanks Dan and Clare!) is getting free tickets to shows you wouldn’t normally rush out and spend $70 on when you’re a non-gambler on a backpacker’s (or artist’s) budget.

The first show I went to see was a on a sweltering 43 degree day. In the Eruptive Mode from Kuwait didn’t quite have me erupting into uncontrolled applause, but it did make me think about how I don’t know enough about the revolutions in the middle east and how you really need to have extraodinary actors if you show is made up of monologues. I did meet a nice Swiss stats major who accepted my extra comp ticket in exchange for a glass of wine that made me sleepy.

As I waited for the bus after the play, I considered how ridiculous it was that, at 10pm, I was sweating just sitting there in a wind that felt like car exhaust.

The next night, I went to Eraritjaritjaka with Patrick, a guy I met my first days in New Zealand (he took me to a bar that rotates where only tall European ladies are allowed to work and where I had a fancy drink with lychee and elderflower and basil- I like these free tickets in exchange for a drink things I’ve got going on).


View from the fancy rotating bar.

It was a lovely piece that I decided was about poetry to stop me from trying to figure it out and just enjoy the sound of Goebbels’ music and André Wilms’ mesmerizing voice, the fun lighting, inventive use of technology, and the bending of the audience’s expectations. I didn’t get it, but I was transported.

I got to end the week with a fantastic show at the Carriageworks (awesome venue!) by Die Roten Punkte and their hilarious and irreverent punk/comedy/clown/theatre concert. If ever these guys show up at a festival in your ‘hood, check them out and say hi for me. Rock bang!

I realised I hadn’t seen any theatre for Sydney yet, though I tried to get the cheap day-of tickets for The Secret River several times and even tried to book very not-cheap tickets, but it was always sold out.  It’s apparently the new Australian classic- important in scope, production, and cultural/historical/political significance. I guess I’ll just have to read about it for now…

But I did manage to see Rust and Bone at Griffin Theatre. I felt at home instantly in the Monday rush-ticket line- unlike at the festival shows where I felt underdressed, no matter how clean my t-shirt was. The new Australian play was intimate, stark, horrifying, and hilarious all at once (and part of it was set in Red Deer). And at 70 minutes, it is my favourite kind of theatre (short and cut to the bone).

The Griffin Theatre lobby. My new favourite theatre.

The Griffin Theatre lobby. My new favourite theatre.

Weirdly, in the lobby, I met a couple who had stayed at the retreat I’d worked at (I’d served them dinner and I remembered them because it was the first time I’d heard the term “amaze” to mean “amazing”). If that wasn’t coincidence enough, one of them is a theatre director and they are thinking of moving to Canada.

Sometimes you meet people whose paths your meant to cross and plays you were meant to see. Others, not so much.

I’ve gone to look for America.

I’ve made it to California! I just calculated it and, so far, I’ve made it 6,056 km from home (not counting detours and trips back into BC). That’s 3,763 miles. That Proclaimers guy was a bit of a wuss, only walking 5oo (or 1,000) miles for the woman he loved.

From Seattle, I took BoltBus to Portland (similar to Megabus), avoiding the American Greyhound I’ve heard only sketchy things about. I don’t know- they’re fine in Canada (except when things happen that I don’t want to think about right now or ever).

The moment I got off the bus, I knew Portland was my kind of place. Even if I started my visit with a half hour uphill walk in the heat with my bag (how is it getting heavier and bigger already?), I could tell I’d love it.

Portland. Not everything has a bird on it.

I mean, even if they didn’t have any roses at all, Portland would still be awesome. It has a vibe, you know? It’s walkable (important for me since I don’t have a car and am pretty cheap so would rather not pay for busses. Wait, not exactly. It’s that I’m always a bit overwhelmed by new public transit systems and would rather walk than figure them out), it’s pretty (not everywhere, obviously. There is a quite a bit of concrete and sad parts of town), and has a tonne of nice places to look at or eat in.

But why do restaurants close insanely early in such a hip town? Some (which shall remain nameless, because come on), when the clock strikes 9:30, even have the server bring you a take-away box for your half-eaten sushi, tell you to cork the wine bottle and bring it with you as you are told, in no uncertain terms, that they are closing and you must leave.

But coolness (a healthy mix of earnest and pretentious coolness) wins this one.

Freakin’ cool buzzer at my friend’s apartment.

In cool places, people grow peppers on their balconies.

I spent a few perfect days with my friends in Portland. How lucky that an old university/theatre friend moved there a month before my arrival? That’s just enough time to know what’s hot and what’s not, but not enough time to have tried everything. Most of those things included eating.

Even though I was a boring person and ordered chocolate ice-cream, Salt & Straw lives up to its reputation and is well worth the wait in the inevitable line. The Pear with Blue Cheese was pretty good (but a little too intense for me), the Sweet Summer Corn Buttermilk Sorbet was tasty and strange (seriously sweet corn), and the citra hops and apricot was delicious. I like ice-cream and fancy-schmancy-artsy combinations of flavours.

Perfect vanilla ice-cream being dropped into espresso. And that’s how it’s done, kids.

A Canadian dog in Portland.

From Portland I took the Amtrak bus to Eugene. I’m sure Eugene is nice and fun. But not the day I was there- not for me, anyway. I only took 3 pictures: one of the hostel and two in the train station as I was leaving. That gives you an indication of the degree of my affinity for the city.

I did enjoy the Bijou cinema, housed in a church building, where I saw (for three bucks!) Beasts of the Southern Wild.

I don’t know who peed in my cornflakes that day, but I wasn’t in the mood for a place where almost every house has prayer flags and some type of installation art on their porches. I got my first twinges of homesickness, which worried me. I can’t start feeling blue so early on.

Unfortunately, the train, which had been so chilled out in Canada (or am I already being nostalgic about it?), didn’t help. While the seats were relatively comfy, I really really really wish these had had an armrest.

See, it’s a little disconcerting to be seated next to a 60-year-old surfer who drops a few too many inuendos and full-on confessions that they wrecked their sister-in-law’s computer by downloading porn. Needless to say I didn’t sleep too well- I had to watch that that hand of his didn’t cross into my side of the seats.

Bye bye, Eugene! Sorry I had to be with you on my down day. Ì’m sure things would have looked better in the morning…

So I was glad to leave and be greeted by such a friendly face as Ann-Marie’s when I made it, after an anxious 14-hour train ride and calmer 1-hour bus ride, to Santa Rosa, California.

Oh California. I’m going to see the folks I dig, I’ll even kiss a Sunset pig, California I’m coming home (of sorts).

It is quite a travel day to get to Seattle from Port Angeles if you’re cheap and don’t want to pay the $40 for the direct bus. It’s quite a day if you’d rather take the #30 from Port Angeles to Sequim, then the #8 to Port Townsend, the #7 to Poulsbo, and finally the #90 to Bainbridge to then catch the ferry to Seattle.

It’s worth it, though, because you meet people including a guy who also randomly went to the same university in Norwich, UK. And you save $36.

I imagined Seattle grey.

Arriving in Seattle by water.

The windows of the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

The Seattle gasworks, just before I got completely lost.

The troll that lives in Fremont. Not pictured: the three billy goats Gruff who are just down the street.

Downtown Seattle.

Artsy tree at the Olympic Sculpture Garden.

Across the water.

Dude eating his lunch as I creepily take a picture through a window (Pike Place Market)

Stairway in Seattle (with man).

Foutain in the Seattle Center.

Turns out, though, that Seattle is wonderfully colourful.

Pike Place Market with Peter.

There’s a fair!

Also the EMP Museum.

I  caught Dirty Story by John Patrick Shanley at the Intiman Theatre Festival (thanks for the comp, Peter! Sorry you were sick!)- I’m not 100% convinced the play makes sense, but I know it’s really me not totally grasping this level of satire. Fun night out, though, and I managed to find my way and navigate the Seattle bus system.

Also, you cannot bring your gun to the theatre.

The entrance to the beautiful 5th Avenue Theatre.

My friend Peter (who I met at the Toronto Fringe Festival two years ago and who said to let him know if ever I was going to be in Seattle and I remember things, so I ended up crashing  on his comfy couch) and I went to see Rent(flashback!) gun-free.

Rent at the 5th Avenue Theatre- Photo: Mark Kitaoka

I enjoyed seeing Rent, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s because it made me feel 18 again- it brought me back to the end of the millenium. While the cast really gave it their all (Brandon O’Neill as Collins was exceptional), the pacing was wonky (I appreciated a pause to breathe here and there, but sometimes the action was dropped only to be rushed through later). But this is me pulling at threads (“if you want to destroy my sweater”-type deal) and the whole thing could come apart if I keep going. I truthfully liked seeing this production, though they have the hard task of living up to the original. I miss Mark’s stripped scarf.

On another note, Seattle has the biggest chocolate croissants you’ll ever see. To give you an idea (if you’re from Montreal), it was roughly 4.5 Figaro croissants.

One heck of a chocolate croissant. I could not finish this chocolate croissant.