Friday, March 22, 2013

"Just an old sweet song keeps Georgia on my mind"





Hello, everyone! I hope this week's blog finds you well! After our first foray into warm weather in Texas after a few months, we headed to Atlanta; which, unfortunately, was not HOTlanta. But, it was still a great experience! I will preface this blog by saying that I honestly didn't do a whole lot of sight seeing while in town. Perhaps it was our location in midtown, or perhaps I'm just being lazy.....that does not mean, however, that there are no highlights from our week. I assure you, that is quite the opposite.

We arrived from Texas on Monday night, and were greeted with high winds and heavy rain. Fun. Especially when there wasn't much within walking distance from the hotel. But, I decided to brave the elements and walk to get dinner. Not far from the hotel was Gladys Knight's Famous Fried Chicken and Waffles. Now, this entree is a relatively new addition to my palate. However, it's fantastic. And if you think it sounds strange, or you haven't tried it yet, I highly suggest you do. Now, if you don't like chicken OR are out of luck. But, if you like one or the other, and enjoy salty and sweet at the same time...this is for you. The first place I had it was actually at the HOME of the dish, Roscoe's in Los Angeles. Now, this was quite different; the same extremely long wait to be seated, but Gladys' is much more of a fine dining restaurant. And, unlike Roscoe's, they have a number of different dishes on the menu. But, when the place has a food item in the title....shouldn't you just get that? I did. And it was fantastic. The chicken leg I got was probably the largest, juiciest chicken leg I have ever had. That, and the fluffy waffle made it pretty amazing, and well worth the wait.

On Tuesday, I ventured out a bit around the hotel, and took a trip to one of my favorite places to visit in any city, The Hard Rock Cafe. Since I was young, I have always liked going to them to look at the memorabilia and dine. Now, I mostly just go, look around a bit, and buy a pin. While shopping, I was stopped by a woman who was working in conjunction with the Fox Theatre, where we were to open that night. She had been instrumental in constructing the display in the lobby, featuring items used by the Quartet. She asked if I wouldn't mind taking a picture with her for their Facebook page. I did, (picture above) and she even bought me a free pin! To be fair, I bought 3 others before she even approached me. After a quick bite to eat, I headed off to the theatre....which, by far, was MY highlight of Atlanta....The Fox Theatre. Built in 1929 while the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, it was originally constructed as a meeting place for the large population of Shriners in Atlanta. It is a tribute to a bygone era, and an unreal place to play. Like most theatres of that time, it went through many changes; it was a movie house, then theatre, B movie house, closed down, fell into disrepair, was saved from the wrecking ball, and has now been revived and is truly stunning. It was built to mimic a castle in the mideast, and really looks like something out of Aladdin. It seats about 5,, it's a MASSIVE house. It has a few ballrooms, and some little hidden nooks and crannys (pictures above)....but more on that later. Opening night was a resounding success, and we all headed to the opening night party at Gordon Biersch, where we once again had a beer made in our honor.

The following day, I took a cab to the far reaches of Atlanta to see something I have wanted to see forever...yet another ballpark...Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, I had just missed the opportunity to go into the Braves Museum, but I at least got to walk around and take a ton of pictures (above). I, of course, am I die hard Red Sox fan, but the Braves have always been my favorite National League team. Such great players and history. In fact, though they have changed names and locations quite a bit before the 1960's, they are the longest operating baseball franchise in the country. I got a cab back home after my visit, and waited until the show.

On Thursday I ventured to the Varsity, a local burger joint, for dinner. It's set up very much like a school cafeteria, with the workers at the counter yelling "Whataya Have????!!!!!!" After the show, I went to a bar next to the Fox called the Publik House and caught up with some friends. It's always so much nicer to be in a city where you know people; it makes the road not seem quite so lonely.

Friday was a very lazy day for me. I'm not sure I left my room for more than 5 minutes before work. Oh well. Some days are just like that.
Saturday, in between shows, our company managers hosted a meal at Mary Mac's Tea Room.  It was a way of thanking us for our hard work over the last few months, and for us to sample some of the best southern home cooking that Atlanta has to offer.  We had a nice private room, and we didn't hold back from ordering anything and everything on the menu.  I ordered fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, potato salad, macaroni and cheese and some amazing cornbread.  It really was a nice way to spend the time between with the cast. 
Similarly, on Sunday before our final show, we went on a tour of the Fox, and we able to see a few things that the general public can't, as well as getting some more history about the building.  It truly is stunning. 
I'm also pleased to say that this week we started collecting for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids again, and in just one week at the Fox, we raised a whopping $18,000!!!  It's a pleasure to raise money for such a worthy cause, and an amazing organization.  I can't wait to see how much we raise when it's all said and done!
Well, that's about it from Georgia!  I'm writing you from Des Moines, Iowa, were we have stepped back into frigid temperatures.  But, we are bound to have a great week here after our our opening night.  So, here's to the start of spring, and that we can benefit from warmer temperatures soon.  Take care, everyone! 

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