Sunday, November 16, 2008

Don't worry. There are no pirates.

Rehearsal is approaching and we just recently held another round of auditions to cast a few more men. In the first round, we didn't find someone that everyone agreed on to play Underling, the butler. Also, both of our ensemble men turned down their offer. In addition to the principals, there are 2 male and 2 female ensemble roles as well as 1 male and 1 female swing. Fortunately, we have finished casting these roles and also found some new people for "the file". Just in case.
Only two more weeks until we start play practice. In the meantime, I definitely have my work cut out for me. Our tour will be using 8 musicians, which means that the orchestration from the 1st National Tour has to be reduced. The music supervisor and I have split the show in half and must now re-orchestrate the entire show from 15 players down to 8. My eyes are already burning as if I've been staring at my laptop for the last five years, pun intended. At least there isn't much else to do in Williamstown, PA where I can see the snow flurries outside the window. 
Our band will consist of:
2 Trumpets
1 Trombone
3 Reed players (Flute, Clarinets, Saxes)
Keyboard/Conductor (yours truly)
I'm sure that updates will be coming more frequently in the next few weeks. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

My mother was like that...

"I mean basically she sings a rousing anthem about alcoholism."-Man in Chair

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Now, let's visualize...

Here's the link for our new tour website. It's not complete yet, but it does have an abbreviated schedule and some basic info about the show.

In the meantime, you can persue the website for the current 1st National Tour that is closing shortly.

Keep checking back for updates!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A pu-pu platter of tunes...

Well, here we go again. I'm going to try and restart this blog for the next set of adventures on the road. On December 1st, I will officially start rehearsals for the National Tour of "The Drowsy Chaperone". This time, I will be going out as the Music Director and Conductor. We will tech the show in St. Charles, MO during the week over New Year's and we officially open in West Palm Beach, FL on Jan. 6. It's a pretty short tour, closing on June 14 in Oklahoma City, however I'm sure there won't be a shortage of stories. And as much as I'd like to think I'm going to behave a bit more on this tour than I did on Producers, I will also include the Bar Watch feature. Matty, you're welcome. Entries might be slow coming right now until things start to happen, but keep checking in and maybe you'll find a Toledo Surprise.

The Original Broadway Cast, featuring Bob Martin and Sutton Foster, perform "Show Off" at the 2006 Tony Awards.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mr. Bialystock, I cannot function under these conditions!

Yet again, here I am apologizing for the delay in updating. So, to appease the frothing masses, here is a cool video. I found this through Graham, a Maine State Music Theatre actor, who also worked on the load-in/out crew in Portland. Because the video also includes the reset of the stage for the next performance, what you are about to watch took approximately 5 hours in real time. Enjoy!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Hop Clop, it's been so long!

I know. I know. We have lots of ground to cover, let's just move on.

So when last we left off, I was heading into Penn State for the weekend, which turned out to be extremely nice. Within the company, I was "that guy" who knew where to go, where to be, where to eat. Speaking of eats, I present a special edition of the Bar Watch for Penn State, University Park. I know at least one of my readers will personally enjoy this.

University Park, PA
Gumby's Pizza, specifically Pokey Stix
D.P. Dough Calzones, which somehow even taste better at 4am
Ye Olde College Diner - Mac and Cheese, with a grilled sticky ala mode for dessert.

Gay Bar: Chumley's

The other nice part about the weekend was that my family got to visit, stay overnight at our hotel (could've been tricky), and see the show.

Let's zoom through the rest here to bring us up to date, shall we? Please stand clear of the doors.

Amherst, MA
Sucked. We ended up having all of our shows except opening night cancelled due to slow sales. I was also quite sick and lucked out by getting a single room, so I stayed in bed for two days and watched TV, except for running out to get hot and sour soup. Having the car though did allow me and ensemble cast member Thay to take a little side trip to Boston to see the regional premiere of Hairspray at
North Shore Music Theatre. Another good friend Brian "B.C." Cimmet was assistant music director and playing in the band.

Amherst, MA
NONE. Even if I wasn't sick, there was still nowhere to go and the campus was DRY! Double suck to you Amherst.

Portland, ME
As far as I'm concerned, one of the greatest cities in the country. And the home state of many summer friends from Maine State Music Theatre (see link to the left). Props out to Mainers: Steve, Kat, Lori, Jimmy, Stephanie and Derrick and Jason. Derrick and Jason were both interns at Maine State last summer and Jason is now in the national tour of Captain Louie, the Stephen Schwartz children's musical.

Portland, ME
Gay Bar: Styxx
Exactly what you would want a gay bar to be named, right?

Philadelphia, PA
Back to the home state AND Dann
y L.! Philadelphia was our first week long sit down of the tour and it was great. The houses were quite empty, but overall a good stay. We were right downtown near the stores and the theatre.

Philadelphia, PA
Gay Bars: Woody's and The Tavern, whose piano bar is not as fun as P-House's used to be.

So much for zooming along.

Washington, D.C.
Sort of. During our stay in Philadelphia, we were informed that our entire week in D.C. was cancelled due to lack of sales. Uh-oh. So that meant...

Orlando, FL
One week layoff. Bar Watch, Pulse, Parliament House. IHOP with Luerne. Yada, yada, yada.

Pensacola, FL
Back on the road. Trying to zoom here. The town: Ugh. The theatre: Ugh. The hotel: Ugh. The audiences: The best we've had so far. Amazing. Also in Pensacola, we celebrated two big birthdays on the same day: Austin, our Leo, and Kasey, our music director. That was a good drinking night. And the brownies!

Pensacola, FL
Dan and Ron's Video Bar

Tallahassee, FL
Another reason I'm never going to the Panhandle again. After Amherst, our second "arena" show. You ain't seen Broadway until you've seen it on Jumbo-vision. Nothing to report here, except the aforementioned Austin (Leo) is an FSU alum and we also celebrated Dan's (asst. company manager) birthday at...

Tallahassee, FL
Cafe Cabernet
Sounds gay, non?

Savannah, GA
Beautiful city. Unfortunately, we were not staying downtown. Old, historic, charming. One night after the show, a large group of us took a ghost tour downtown. Savannah also marked our return to a performing arts center as opposed to a renovated vaudeville house. Also here, we ate at Paula Dean's restaurant, The Lady and Sons.

Savannah, GA
1 Gay Bar, 1 Drag Show, 1 Karaoke Bar, and 1 Strip Club. All in one night to celebrate John West's (Carmen Ghia) birthday.

Albany/Schenectady, NY
I do want to point out that on the drive to New York from Georgia, I did stop at JR's Discount World in North Carolina for cigarettes. That shout out was for Danny. Played Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, an opulent theatre that we packed full for a week. Thank God. We also had a great Greek diner next to our hotel, where they closed down one night to make a huge Greek meal for us and lots of shots. Ya mas!

Albany, NY
Gay Bars: Waterworks and Club Phoenix. If you're ever in the area, just know which one to go to on a certain night of the week.

Binghamton, NY
Crap theatre. Crap audiences. Best thing here is that the hotel, the theatre, and the bars are all within about 3 blocks of each other. Celebrated Gregg's birthday, our drummer and one of my best tour buddies, at Dillingers. And two nights before that, drank 10 cent beers from 6pm-1am. Ah, tour. Also met Joshua who is an afternoon drive DJ on the local mix station and a friend of Justin, our keyboard progammer. (see earlier entries)

Binghamton, NY
Gay Bar: Prism
Nice crowd and a fun karaoke night

Are we there yet?

Scranton, PA
Close to home. Close enough to go shopping with Mom, Dad, and Nan at the mall one morning. Also bought new glasses here. Silly asides. Stayed in a marvelous Radisson hotel housed in an old railroad station building. For you travellers out there, all Radissons have the Sleep Number beds and wonderful pillows as well. Courtney Cox Arquette and I are both 45s. The theatre here in Scranton is actually a Scottish Rite Cathedral, which I've always found is the right surroundings when doing a Nazi musical.

Scranton, PA
Hotel Bar: Trax
We are all very tired here. The Hotel Bar will do just fine, especially if they serve food after 11.

Newark, NJ
Trying to zoom again here. Our hotel was actually in Elizabeth which sucked. Especially when people had things like laptops stolen and then our crew bus was broken into. So we moved into downtown Newark for the last night of our stay. Got to see two shows while we were there.
Spring Awakening - absolutely loved it. Can't stop listening to it. I agree with everything Matty said in his blog review. (see link to the left)
The Apple Tree - Kristin Chenoweth was a delight. A charming, delicate, subtle show. Luscious orchestra.
One night out in New York, along with Aaron W. (Trumpet 2), I got to catch up with ex-Orlandoians (?!?) Nathan, Shannon, and Katrina. We drank the Duplex closed and then Aaron and I proceeded to drink until about 7am, which as it turns out will still make you drunk until intermission of your matinee. Who knew? Also got to see Justin for a few hours and talk to some other friends as well. Newark also takes us over Christmas, so I took the car home (FOR THE LAST TIME!) and did the traditional things, which for my family also includes celebrating Festivus. Festivus for the rest of us!

Newark, NJ
Um...New York City. Duh.

First bus ride to...
Norfolk, VA

I think I'll leave off here and resume later. You have had more than enough to read and I thank you for your patience and diligence. Here's one more link for you. Even though most of you know my feelings toward this particular demonic website, please visit the 2006-2007 National Tour of The Producers MySpace page! Be our friend.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Keep the door closed

Let me begin this entry by addressing the performance of Company that I just saw in New York.

What a disappointment.

I'm not going to beat around the bush here. What a real let down! My two major issues with the production were (in no specific order):

1. The actor/musician concept doesn't work for this piece. I thought the Sweeney Todd revival was brilliant, but the idea was that they were players putting on a show. It doesn't work here. For me, the show needs a gritty reality that depicts New York and you don't get that holding a shiny trombone. Also, not that they weren't well played, but these orchestrations don't allow the score to soar. And to be fair, I felt the same way about the Roundabout revival a few years back. Jonathan Tunick captured the entire essence of New York in his original scoring.

2. Bobby was a dick. I could've cared less what happened to him at the end of the show. I kept asking myself during the show, "why are these people friends with this asshole?". Bobby has to be detached, but not to the degree that Raul Esparza played him. He made no journey whatsoever and when he started playing the piano for the beginning of "Being Alive", I only thought, "wow, I guess he had to take some lessons for that".

That's it in a nutshell. If you'd care for more, please e-mail me and I will be more than glad to oblige.

Back on the road...
Overall, the trip into New York was fabulous. I got to hang out with my good friends Dan and his girlfriend Minami. Dan is the trumpet player for Grey Gardens on Broadway and it looks like Minami will be heading to Japan for a year to work with a huge theatre company there. The next day was spent traveling to Morgantown, WV. Things seem to be heading into a rut. Morgantown was cold and rainy. Audiences were very small (very receptive, but small), and our hotel was about 12 miles outside of town, which is a real pain in the ass. We also had some more rehearsals during the day in Morgantown which is somewhat boring for me. Somewhat.

The small audiences have actually been a trend that will be addressed shortly, so we're told.

Morgantown, WV
Legends (Hotel Bar)
As noted above, we we're so far outside of town it was hard to go anywhere else. It was very nice though and we held our Halloween Party there which was quite a sight.

This weekend: Penn State University! My old stomping grounds. Quite excited.

I hope you all enjoyed the tour commercial. Here is another clip of the end of the "Keep it Gay" number. Matty, look at the fabulous John West
as the uber-gay Carmen Ghia.