Ah, La La Land. Well, folks, this blog marks the end of an era. We said goodbye to two members of our original cast on closing night. Cody Slaughter, our Elvis, and Alyssa Marie, our Dyanne understudy both have left us, but we keep trucking on. Eddie Clendening, original Chicago/Broadway/Off-Broadway Elvis, joins us in Toronto through Tokyo and Katie Barton is on as our new Dyanne understudy for quite a while. Though we welcome them with open arms, we will miss our original cast (see the picture of the full company on our last day together above).
Los Angeles was full of adventures, drama, mystery, intrigue....everything you would expect from Hollywood. So, it true Hollywood style, ala Quentin Tarantino, I will relate my experiences from the City of the Angels in no particular order.....since I can't seem to remember the exact order of things....which is why I never wait this long to write my blog. Ce la vie.
Our opening night was full of glitz and glitter. Quite a few stars showed up to the historic Pantages Theatre to see our show. Most notabley, Pricilla Presley was there....and boy howdy did she love Cody. She came backstage to take pictures with the cast, and praised Cody and the rest of the boys and m'am. Pretty amazing.
The boys and m'am did quite a bit of promotion for the show in our two weeks in LA; the coolest one was that they peformed on Good Morning, LA, AND on Access Hollywood....the latter broadcasting nationwide. Pretty damn cool, and great exposure for MDQ if you ask me.
I was only in LA for 6 hours before, and when I was here, I got the BEST 6 hour tour I could've possibly gotten from a buddy of mine, Kyle. I got to hang out with him for an evening this time, and throughout my time I was able to see a lot of great new things, and revisit some of the places he took me. The observatory at Griffith Park was a must see for me. When he took me there, it was under construction, so I could only view it from afar. This time, I was able to go up there and view the entire property and take pictures of the Hollywood sign, as well as the LA skyline. The reason I NEEDED to go up there, is that one of my favorite movies, Rebel Without A Cause was mostly shot there. They even have a statue commemorating James Dean (see the photo above, and the one of me reinacting one of my favorite moments from the film). So rad.
I went to probably the biggest record store I have ever seen near our hotel.....Amoeba Music. Hot damn is that an awesome store. I of course found some Johnny Cash rarites, a Motorhead record, and most importantly, stickers for my guitar case, and buttons for my tour tribute jacket (when I leave tour, which may be never, I will show you the finished products of each).
A few of us took the trek to Anaheim to visit Disneyland. Though I have been to Disney World quite a few times, it was a fantastic experience to visit the place that started it all. Though they are both obviously very similar, there are quite a few differences between the parks. Even the rides that are at both parks are markedly different. And, they have California Adventure....which closed and reopened just before we got there. The newest, coolest, and most impressive part being Cars Land. The Radiator Springs ride is supposed to be the best ride in the world. Having ridden it....I can tell you it is TOTALLY worth the 3 hour wait. I assure you. So cool, that I had to buy and watch the movie Cars; the park is EXACTLY as it is in the movie. Breathtaking, really.
Above all, it was great to hang out with some old friends, and visit with some new ones. It definitely lifts my spirits to not only have good people on tour to be around, but to find different and new people to spend time with.
Well, I left LA and headed home to Maine. Again, it was great to spend some time with my family and to reconnect with friends. I went to a birthday party for one of my old coworkers, and it was great to hang out with them outside of work. And, I got to see a show at Maine State Music Theatre; Legally Blonde, featuring my friend Lara. Not only was it a great show, but it was awesome to hang out with her and the cast at my favorite brewery, The Seadog in Topsham. It's a very special theatre to me; it's in the town where my dad taught high school for 40 years, I saw my first shows there, and it was also my first professional theatre job. Things certainly come full circle.
Now we are here in Toronto, the first of two international stops on our tour. So, I'm sure I will have a lot more to talk about in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for my blog from Canada, eh?