At the strange little Oasis Bar at the Comfort Inn in Orange, TX
The King, baby
A glimpse of history
On the campus of Ole Miss
The Gertrude C. Ford Center, Oxford, MS
The UT Tyler Cowan Center, Tyler, TX
The Lutcher Theatre, Orange, TX
Along the river in Baton Rouge
The Baton Rouge River Center
Hello everyone!! This blog is about 2 weeks late, but better late than never! Having made my first trip to the campus of Ole Miss, I couldn't help but use a line from one of my favorite Billy Joel songs, We Didn't Start The Fire. But, I digress. On with the events of the week!
We made the short bus ride to Oxford, MS on Monday, and settled into our digs. Similarly to our recent trip to the University of Indiana, we were housed on the Ole Miss campus, though this time we were in a hotel that was not attached to the student union. It was a very nice hotel, and short walking distance to both the theatre and student union. It turned quite cold that night, so I decided instead of venturing too far, I would head to the union to grab a quick bite to eat. Following that, I spent most of the night in my room trying to thaw out.
On Tuesday I woke up a bit late, but decided I was well overdue for a workout, so I went to the well equipped gym at our hotel. Following that I got ready and headed to the union for lunch and coffee, taking some pictures of campus along the way. After buying an Ole Miss shirt at the book store and some ridiculously long lines for a salad and coffee, I raced back to my room to do a phone interview for our upcoming engagement in Omaha. An old friend and former cast mate from my summer at Seaside Music Theatre in Daytona Beach, FL, Amanda Wansa Morgan is now a professor at Ole Miss; she had contacted me about doing a masterclass/talk with some of her theatre students, so I decided to ask Frace to come along with me. We sat in their black box theatre in the same building we would be performing in (above), The Ford Center. It was really nice to be able to sit there with him and impart some of our knowledge and experience to the students, who had some pretty amazing questions. We were there for quite a while, and actually had to race through the halls in order to make it to our call for the show. That night marked the first 6 shows that week that Frace would do as Sam, since Vince was on vacation. Shortly after our meeting, Robby found out he would be on as Elvis as well because Cody had a debilitating headache. Though it was freezing outside, and the promoter feared they might not have everyone present in the sold out audience because of some uncharacteristic freezing rain and sleet, they were a boisterous crowd, and it didn't look as though there were any empty seats to us. Following the show, Frace, Robby, John and I made our way to the downtown area to grab some food. There was very little open, as most businesses had closed in anticipation of the nasty weather. There were also no cabs around, so we had to hoof it back after we ate. It was frigid and slick, but we made it.
Wednesday was a bitterly cold and messy day, and as we made our way to Tyler, TX we were forced to reroute across the Mississippi River due to a massive chemical spill, and adding about an hour and a half to our drive time. We did, however get to pass through Jerry Lee Lewis' hometown of Ferriday, LA, as well as Natchez. Because of the long day, most of us just chilled at the hotel. I ventured out in our rental car with Cody and Brad to get a bite to eat at Outback Steakhouse before laying low the rest of the night.
Because we had cars, I was able to run a few tiny errands on Thursday. I like to do my taxes well ahead of time, so I faxed all of my paperwork to my accountant, got a smoothie, and hit the mall for a few. We made our way to the UT Tyler Cowan Center that night (above), and prepared to do the show with Sean on as Jerry Lee. The show went quite well, and that night I went to an extremely crowded Applebee's with Frace and John for some food before heading back to the hotel to geek out on some music and video clips with Corey and Patrick.
Friday brought another relatively short drive to Orange, TX. Once we got in, I got a little bit to eat before driving to the Lutcher Theatre. It was nice that we could look forward to being there for two days, even if there wasn't all that much around to see. Another great show that night, and the majority of the cast and crew hung out in the very strange but very welcome Oasis Lounge (pictures above) in our Comfort Inn's lobby. After a fun night with all of us running the juke box, I turned in.
We had two shows to look forward to on Saturday, but also a home cooked meal at the theatre in between. Both shows went extremely well, and the meal in between was not only fantastic but much needed. We all stayed at the theatre in between, as we had a short promo rehearsal, a couple of video shout outs to tape for Denver, and with the drive it wouldn't have made sense to leave. Following the long day, a few of us adjourned to the Oasis before heading to bed.
We drove to Baton Rouge, LA on Sunday, and were greeted with some very temperate and very humid weather. The Indigo Hotel we were at was very nice, and in a great area downtown. We didn't have too much town, but I walked along the river and took quite a bit of pictures. The show that night went amazingly well, and afterward most of us headed to one of the only places that was open, Schlitz and Giggles for some amazing thin crust pizza. I then made my way with a few people to the Belle Of Baton Rouge Casino....it was pretty lame. None of us stayed very long, but it was a bit of fun while it lasted. We also said goodbye to Johnny Kinnaird that night, as he was with us to allow Frace to go on for Vince, who would be joining us the following day in Omaha.
So, sorry that this blog is so overdue, but my Omaha blog will be on it's way in the next few days. I hope everyone is well, and that you are staying warm wherever you are!!