Plymouth

A night of pampering and theater



Courtney at the Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center.

At first blush, Plymouth appeared to be a bit of a challenge for this good time girl, particularly on a cold winter evening. But thanks to your suggestions, I was able to formulate a fabulous plan around a visit to the Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center, which sits on the short main drag in town. Offering a focused dinner menu, beer and wine, popcorn, candy and entertainment, the Flying Monkey appeared to be a one-stop entertainment shop; however, it would go against the spirit of this column for my evening to start and end at one location. Since my date and I needed to be situated for dinner at the Monkey by 6 p.m. and we had about an hour drive, our options seemed limited for pre-dinner cocktails.

Enter: The Common Man Inn & Spa. A close relative of the Flying Monkey, this complex also falls into the one-stop category. With a restaurant on-site, a full-service spa with indoor pool and rock-enclosed hot tub and a bevy of adorable rooms to choose from if one wanted to stay overnight, I decided to extend my definition of "evening" and ease us into our Plymouth outing with some quality time at the spa.

Arriving a splash before 2 p.m., my date and I checked in for our services: a facial for me and a massage for him, followed by side-by-side pedicures. Planning ahead, we wore swimsuits under our comfy clothes and toted our evening outfits and toiletries separately. Aside from being a purveyor of good times, I have to admit that I'm a bit of a spa junkie. To all my oily-skinned friends out there: the Phytomer Purifying Facial at The Common Man Spa has changed my life. A typical male, my date was a bit skeptical about the pedicure portion of my plan, but this spa offered the perfect setup to get him over the hump. We sat together on a raised pillow-laden couch, with our feet dipped into a divided basin of warm water, drinking cocktails from Foster's Boiler Room. While our feet cured in paraffin, our accommodating nail techs fetched us cheese and crackers, the Common Man's trademark snack. Then my date headed into the pool area as my nails dried - no, no polish for him - and I met up with him shortly after. After a soak, we had access to the locker room to shower and re-dress for Part 2.

At the Flying Monkey we were seated in the upper balcony, which afforded us the perfect view of the evening's headliner: Paula Poundstone. A smart ad libber, a bit cat crazy and a staple on NPR's "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me," Ms. Poundstone has been one of my favorite comedians since I worked in morning radio and interviewed her. The menu offerings at the Monkey are typical to what you'd see at a large catered event, but my stuffed sole and my date's prime rib were solid. Aside from the Monkey's overall charm, the best part was that we were able to order a bottle of wine - one of my favorite standbys, the Menage à Trois blend - and nurse it during the show without the interruption of a server. And in addition to theater candy, we were able to share a slice of the Common Man's chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. After this experience, I am convinced that the Flying Monkey is a true gem of New Hampshire.

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