Thursday, September 28, 2006

Drink champagne until I puke...

For those of you that might get this in time, here's the scoop:

Tonight, Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mannequins, Pleasure Island, Walt Disney World

11:00pm (ish)

For those of you non-cast members, we will be able to buy discounted admissions for you. Let us know in advance.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Opening Night, It's Opening Night!

Well loyal readers, it's begun. The show officially opened last night in Columbia, SC to another standing ovation. And a well earned company party followed at the hotel. Open bar. Need I say more?

DISCLAIMER: Anything I may ever divulge in this blog about problems onstage, offstage, backstage, etc. will never be things that affect the quality of the performance for you the audience. Unless otherwise noted. The show is great.

That having been said.

Our load in and opening performance were plagued with technical glitches. The show was held for 20 minutes to due to scenic issues. 15 minutes before the show started, the decision was made to cut a piece of scenery that required some last minute blocking changes. It was a little nerve wracking for those of us who knew everything that was going on, but the audience loved the show. I just got back from rehearsal and it seems that everything is fixed. The scenic piece that was cut last night has been re-hung and everything looks good. We have a show tonight and one more tomorrow night, following which I hop in the car to head...


Thursday in Orlando kids. I believe there may be some socializing going on Thursday night. Not sure what, not sure where. But I don't have to be anywhere until Friday afternoon in Sarasota where we play this weekend. If details develop soon enough about Thursday, I'll post them here.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Columbia...gem of the ocean??

I'm trying really hard to keep this thing updated. But boy, it's hard with this kind of schedule. Sleeping in, drinking, rehearsal, drinking, dinner, drinking. Just kidding...sort of.

We've moved! Owensboro, Kentucky has seen The Producers come and go. We finished our tech rehearsals and had two wonderful previews that ended in two standing ovations. The show is ready to open.

The end of our stay in Kentucky was filled with some pretty atrocious weather. So on Friday evening, I went to the theatre at about 5:30pm to pick up Justin M., our keyboard programmer. We decided to have sushi for dinner. (In Kentucky. Who knew?)
Well, as I walked in the lobby entrance, I was immediately ushered into one of the backstage windowless hallways where I was informed that we were under a tornado warning. There was a HUGE storm system aimed directly at Owensboro and tornados had touched down 45 minutes away. Eventually this all passed and the show went on only 13 minutes late. The rain continued however and the entire western half of Kentucky was flash-ly flood-ed.

Favorite Luerne quote while under a tornado warning:
"If you did Wicked right now, you could make the tornado the end of the show."

Saturday consisted of driving to Columbia, SC with the aforementioned Justin M., followed by a night on the town as today, Sunday, is a "golden day". A golden day is basically just an off day. No show, no travel. They are a scarcity in touring life and should be enjoyed to the fullest extent allowed by law.

And that's where we are now. Tomorrow's call is 11:30am for a walk-through of the theatre, sound check, and a full dress run. Tomorrow night is a 7pm half hour for a 7:30 opening.

I'll let you know.

Here are some new goodies:

Brad Nacht as the Chrysler Building, I mean Roger De Bris

The fabulous (and tall) Liz Helms is truly a "Producer Babe"

Karyn McNay and Heidi Suhr as the Usherettes

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Will it flop or will it go?

In just over one hour, at 7pm Central Standard Time, we will be having our first preview. The first paying audience. More to come...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blogging is hard when the bar is open

There is not a single IHOP in the entire state of Kentucky. Excuse me, but does the "I" not stand for "International"? Has Kentucky seceded from the Earth? I know I've been in Canada for a bit, but I'm sure I would've heard something about that. Now I realize that some may argue that the "International" applies to the French toast, the Belgian waffles, or the Swedish crepes with lingonberries. But if this is the source of the "International" moniker, then I believe we'd all be dining at the HOIP, the House of International Pancakes.

Thank you for reading on.

We have now finished two days of tech rehearsal and are way ahead of schedule. Everything is progressing splendidly. Tomorrow (or later today if you notice the time stamp), we will be diving head first into "Springtime for Hitler", by far the largest production sequence in the show. However, I will not be there for much of that as I will be at...

orchestra rehearsal.

Today, we had our first orchestra rehearsal and Mr. Wetzel has never been as happy a camper (no pun intended). The band is simply brilliant. The reduced orchestrations sound just as full as the CD. The keyboard programming is better than the 1st national tour of Wicked, and every player is just rock solid. Our lead trumpet is screaming, the 3 reed players are switching instruments at the speed of light, and I get to play a cash register. On top of all of this, the players are having fun. At the end of a very long day, we had gotten as far as "Springtime" and our musical director decided to break for the day instead of diving into a long number. The band decided to raise the threat level to orange and demanded that we at least play through it. The real reason probably being that most of the band ended up saying the line, "Don't be stupid, be a smarty. Come and join the Nazi party". It was a tremendous rehearsal.

The hottest little tidbit right now is the rumor that Mr. Brooks himself will be attending our preview performance here in Owensboro. It seems that he's a good friend of the President of the performing arts center here. It's also rumored that he's out of the country, so I guess we'll see.

Mr. Brooks? Jason Wetzel it's nice to meet you will you hire me on Young Frankenstein?

And finally, the pic of the day.

Here's Heidi, one of our female character ensemble as Lick Me Bite Me. Yes, that's the character's name. The girl is 25.

And now off to bed so i can put the Ritz on in 6 hours.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My old Kentucky home

Made it to Owensboro. I did not end up staying over in Indianapolis. Sorry, Eric. Arrival time in Owensboro was approximately 3:30am (2:30 am Central). Unfortunately, I had to go get breakfast to waste time until the hotel's night audit was finished. Which was fine as I was slightly hungry anyway. No IHOP in sight.

The next week will basically consist of tech rehearsals, orchestra rehearsals, putting it together (bit by bit) rehearsals and then we finish next week with two previews. This is all happening at the
River Park Center in industrially beautiful downtown Owensboro.

We're staying at the Executive Inn, a few blocks down from the theatre. It's Branson, Missouri INSIDE. Seriously, go to their website and click on the "entertainment" link.

Well, I will be here for a little over a week so I will update more once rehearsals get under way.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ain't no stopping us now...

...we're on the move.

Schedule for tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13, 2006

8:30am - wake up (oh god)
9:15-9:30ish - check out
10am-2pm - rehearsal - our final day in Kitchener, Ontario

2:30pm - THIS:

This will be my day.

Fortunately, I'm only driving to Indianapolis to stay overnight with my Hoosier friend Eric. Which will leave about 3 hours of driving on Thursday afternoon to get to the theatre for a welcome party. Free alcohol. And food.

Long story short (too late): I have my car with me. As many of you know, I spent the summer in Brunswick, Maine working with
Maine State Music Theatre. I didn't accept my contract on The Producers until after I was already there. So I am driving the first few legs of the tour. Thankfully, our second stop is Sarasota, so I'll be able to drop my car off in Orlando. Of course this meant driving from Brunswick, ME to Kitchener, Ontario to Owensboro, KY to Columbia, SC to Sarasota, FL.

But when you got the show biz in your blood, kid, you'll do anything.

*cigar wag*

The show is looking good. We're definitely ready for tech. I'm definitely ready to hear an orchestra. We are pretty fortunate to be carrying our entire pit with us on the tour:

Keyboard 1/Conductor
Keyboard 2/yours truly
Reeds 1, 2, 3
Trumpet 1, 2, 3
Trombone 1, 2

That's 13! 13 musicians. Ha Ha Ha!

And now some fun:

In my element

Um...quality time

Rehearsing "I Wanna Be a Producer" with Leo and the Producer Babes

Off to pack. See you in the States!

Some more goodies

So here they are, our Producers.
Max (Jason Simon) and Leo (Austin Owen).

And our beautiful Ulla, Elizabeth Pawlowski.
Many different herrings, anyone?
Also, our website is up and running, though there isn't much on it yet. Our full itinerary is not even listed. But there's more to come I'm sure.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I almost forgot

On an all new Behind the Music:

The first laugh you hear is me. Go figure. I'm in the background on the right at the piano. Go figure, squared.

A new beginning...

Okay, so that sounds like the title of the next Encore show.


I've decided to reignite my failed attempt at a blog. Now that I'm out on the road with the national tour of The Producers, I thought that this would be a great way for everyone to get a glimpse of life on the road. First off, the title is an homage to our show. If a national tour has more than one company on the road, most often they are named. For example, the musical Rent has had the "Roger" tour and the "Benny" tour. Just as creatively, The Producers has had the "Leo" tour and the "Max" tour. See how that works? Well, our tour has unofficially been named the "Keeping it Gay" tour. And trust me, we are.

I'm currently in Kitchener, Ontario (I know), where we've been rehearsing. Originally we were in New York City, which would have been much more convenient for me coming from Maine. We got moved to Toronto because of security issues. Our director and choreographer (2 people) are both from London and were having problems flying into the United States and getting work visas, blah blah Bush sucks blah.

Toronto was a dud, when the studio we rented was way too small. So here we are in the middle of Ontario, in a great space mind you, but with not much to do outside. But fear not, dear reader, for I leave the Great White Way, I mean North, on Wednesday afternoon for.....


I get to stop overnight and visit a friend in Indianapolis and then it's on to Owensboro, Kentucky where we start tech rehearsals on Friday the 15th.

Part of the reason I decided to continue/restart this blog was because I knew I'd be online a lot on the road and I would have the time that I didn't think I had before to concentrate on something like this. So we'll see how it works out this time.

Pack up the luggage, la, la, la...
(Joke copyright 2006 Colin Byrne)

Next stop Owensboro!

From Kitchener, Ontario, Canada (land of the Toonies) where it's always Springtime for Hitler,