Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kicking off the tour in our Nation's Capitol, furloughs and all....

 DC Metro L'Enfante Station
The Great Emancipator

"Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!"

The Jefferson Memorial

My DC tradition since my first visit when I was a little boy

The Eisenhower Theatre in The Kennedy Center
Hello, everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying the fall weather!  It was actually a warm couple of weeks in DC, but the weather was great for walking around; it was certainly a lot better than the ice cold temperatures that we endured the last time we were in DC. 
It was a pretty short drive from York, PA to Washington, and we were there in the early afternoon.  I had a bit of time to get acclimated to the area we were staying, which was actually Arlington, VA.  I walked with Sean to get some moderate groceries, knowing that because we had kitchens it would be very convenient to have a few things on hand.  Later that evening Amy arrived, so I took the short train ride to Ronald Reagan airport to meet her and cabbed it back.  I had been having major problems with my iPhone, and even after taking it in to get it "fixed" in Lancaster, PA, it still wasn't working.  But I also knew I didn't have much time to find an Apple store to get it fixed. 
Tuesday morning came very early, and me and the boys headed to the Fox studio nearby to do an interview and play a little teaser.  We had a bit of time off, and then headed off to the Kennedy Center to do a full rehearsal/sound check in preparation for our first preview that evening.  We were overwhelmed by the warm response we received, and celebrated a bit at the hotel bar next door at the Renaissance.  The following day, with the full day to ourselves, I was able to find an Apple store not far away.  The bad news was, there was no way for them to fix it, so I had to get a new phone.  C'est la vie.  We headed to the International Spy Museum following our trip to the mall.  Amy and I had a lot of fun there, and though I hadn't heard the greatest things about it, I thought it was pretty amazing.  The majority of the exhibits and "artifacts" they had were from the history of espionage; most of them from the Cold War era.  It was just really to cool to see tools of the trade that had actually been used, and to know that the museum wasn't all based around James Bond or other movies, it was an actual history lesson.  Around the time we left the museum, my parents arrived at our hotel.  So, we went over to greet them before my last preview that evening. 
On Thursday morning, I went to do two more TV interviews by myself.  One on NBC, and one for a mainstay of DC television, the Arch Campbell show.  Arch's show was very laid back and a lot of fun, and I felt the whole day of press went extremely well.  I had a bit of time to chill, and then Amy, my parents and I headed to an Italian restaurant, Kora.  Because of our distance from the theatre, and maintenance on the Metro, I had to leave more than an hour to get to the theatre.  We had a nice early dinner there, and I headed off to the theatre.  The audience blew us away; I can't remember the last time I saw an audience stand for our bows and not one sit down before our finale ended.  It was pretty unreal.  Afterward, my parents, Amy, the cast and I headed back to the Renaissance Hotel bar to celebrate a bit. 

On Friday, Amy and I took my parents to Ford's Theatre, and the new annex that houses all sorts of artifacts and exhibits all based around Abraham Lincoln and his assassination.  Amy and I had been there before, but my parents hadn't been in years; the entire set up is completely different, and they really enjoyed it.  After all of the trips we have taken to DC, and my parents living in Maryland shortly before my father went to Vietnam, they have been there quite a bit.  And this trip was one of their favorites.  We drove around a bit after that, passing the WWII Memorial, and the Martin Luther King.  I had really wanted to go to the Jefferson Memorial, because I hadn't been in years, and it's a bit off the beaten path for a walking tour.  So, we drove out there and took it all in.  It's really quite magnificent, and I was glad to be able to take a ton of pictures and refresh my memory as to what it was like.  Shortly after we got back from our trek I had to head to the theatre, and following the show a few of us went to Buffalo Wild Wings close by. 

My parents left in the morning on Saturday, and with my two shows that day, it left little time for exploring.  I took the Metro to meet Amy on the National Mall, and there were a bunch of food trucks around, so we sampled the eats, and I got to have a staple of my diet on every trip I've ever taken to DC: the bomb pop.  When I was little, it was always one of my favorite things, and I probably couldn't have cared less about any of the sights (save perhaps the Air and Space museum, because they have astronaut ice cream....).  We also walked around the sculpture garden near the Smithsonians which was really quite nice.  Sunday was much the same, as I had another two shows.  We tried to go to the American History Museum, but the exhibits that were closed last time were this time as well.  That night after the evening show we were invited to a get together at our director Eric's house in Virginia.  I had been there last year with the cast on Christmas Eve, so it was nice to go back and let loose with the cast a bit. 

On Monday, because it was a full day off and Amy's last full day in town, we headed out to the National Zoo.  I've been to quite a few zoos in this country now, and this was definitely one of the finest.  There was a bit of craziness there though, as a few buildings and exhibits were shut down because of "suspicious activity".  There were police, FBI, fire fighters and helicopters landing on the property.  A little disconcerting, but we had fun nonetheless.  We then took a long walk from the Mall all the way to the Lincoln Memorial (by far my favorite thing to see in DC, no matter how many times I go there), and then to Constitution Gardens, where there is a memorial to the signers of the Declaration of Independence, which I had never been to. 

We had some time before Amy left on Tuesday, so we took the Metro out to see the National's ballpark and take a few pictures.  And, of course buy some stuff at the team store.  We then headed to get some lunch at Good Stuff Eatery, which turned out to be exactly as advertised.  We took the short trip to the airport, said our goodbyes, and then it was time for me to head to work; once again, the DC audience did not disappoint.  I also forgot to mention earlier that Robby became the first Thunderstudy to go on as Elvis.  He nailed it!!!!

Wednesday was a relatively busy day, as there was a full put in rehearsal for the Thunderstudies, and I was there to be Cash so that Frace could focus on Sam.  Following the show that night, James and I sat around talking about the show, music, and most importantly, the Red Sox. 

I did an advance radio interview the next morning, and then the performing cast did a photo shoot for all of our upcoming press and print media.  I can't wait to see how well they come out! Before the show, John and I headed to a local restaurant to do a talkback to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids sponsored by Broadway Across America for some donors who seemed very pleased to see us, and prepared to enjoy the show that night.  And, Frace got to do his first show as Sam!  And let me tell you, having experienced the same thing he did, it is REALLY nerve wracking the first time; but just as Robby had, he did an amazing job. 

On Friday, I decided to head to the mall where I had had my iPhone "fixed", and do a little shopping for myself.  After a new pair of black jeans and some shaving accessories, I headed back home, and then off to work record some new versions of Riverside for the end of the show.  That night, Katie began her weekend run as Dyanne!  What a great couple of weeks for the Thunderstudies!

Saturday and Sunday flew by with two shows each day, and because the government furlough began the Tuesday before, sight seeing was pretty much out of the question.  The MDQ press team had approached me about organizing the boys to do our version of Sweet Caroline to send ahead to the Boston press team, in the hopes that the Red Sox would use it at one of their upcoming playoff games.  So, we rehearsed on Saturday in between shows, and then recorded it on Sunday.  I think it came together pretty well, and you can watch the link below! 

It was a pretty great couple of weeks in DC, but with all of the time spent on our commute, and the government shut down, I think we were all ready to leave.  Besides that, I hadn't been to Boston in quite a few years, so I was looking forward to doing some exploring there; and of course, living up being in the same town as the Sox for a couple of weeks! 

I'm writing you in the midst of our second week in Boston, and it's been incredible thus far.  But, all of that is for next time.  I hope this finds all of you well, and please keep reading! 
Click the link below to watch me and the boys do our version of Sweet Caroline for our upcoming visit to Boston!!

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