Monday, March 31, 2014

A town with a funny name, and the home of the Mud Hens

Tyler and I on a morning show in Kalamazoo

Johnny visited and played the Miller Auditorium on 2 separate occasions 

Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo, MI

The Stranahan Theatre, Toledo, OH

Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens

Hello everyone! I hope this newest blog finds you well! Yet again, my busy schedule is preventing me from adequately keeping up with my blog, so I apologize. It's tricky; on busy days I just want to sit and veg out, but I still feel the need to write. So, I am trying to get back to my usual blogging schedule. Here's what happened this week:

We left Davenport in the morning on Monday, and made the drive to Kalamazoo. It wasn't too terribly long a drive, and thankfully we didn't have a show that night (this would be the last time I can say this for the next 12 days.....). We had most of the day left to enjoy, so I opted to rent a car and head up to Grand Rapids to see a few friends. It was only an hour drive, and I had been looking for some ways to break up the monotony of our travel days on the bus, so this was a perfect excuse to do that. After heading up there, I had a great dinner at a place called Brewery Vivant, in an old monastery-like church. With some great craft beer, even better food and group seating, it made for a pretty awesome dinner. Following that I went into the downtown area to drive around where we had played with MDQ almost exactly 2 years prior. I then headed to Bar Louie to meet a few more friends. Though I wouldn't say I was very actively celebrating St. Patty's Day, it was a great evening nevertheless. 

After grabbing some Thai food on Tuesday noon-ish, I jumped in my rental and made the trek back to Kalamazoo in order to get ready for our first of two shows there. I got back with plenty of time to drop my rental off, get some food and head to the theatre with Lee and Tyler. We had a great first night at the Miller Auditorium, and following the show we headed to a nearby restaurant to celebrate Jennice's birthday! Unfortunately, I had to leave quite early with a VERY early press day the following morning.

Wednesday morning came pretty damn early, as our call was at 5:30 AM. Though it was early than I ever care to get up, Tyler and I had a great interview at the local TV station. We were back home by 7 AM, so I crawled back in bed to get some much needed rest. I woke up shortly after noon, and after lending my rental car to a couple of crew members who desperately needed to run some errands, I headed to Best Buy and proceeded to buy and inordinate amount of movies. I might actually want to start WATCHING a few of them. Anywho, I left there with my bounty, and grabbed a bite to eat at East Coast Subs to take back to my hotel. After unwrapping my new movies like it was Christmas morning, I got ready to head to work. Sean and Robby ended up going on that night, and along with a great audience, I would have to say it was the best performance both of them had done to date. By a stroke of fate, and old friend from my days at the Springer Opera House in Columbus, GA was in town on business, so we met up at Brewster's (where we had had Jennice's party) to catch up a bit, having not seen each other in nearly 8 years. We went our separate ways, and I prepared for the morning drive. 

We arrived in Toledo, OH on Thursday afternoon to a very busy hotel and perhaps the worst valet parking situation I had ever seen. This would be a source of frustration for the entire weekend there, as would the fact that it took 4 hours to get towels in my room, AND 3 of the 4 days we were there, I went without hot water. Me no likey. So, once I had finally received towels, I headed to get (terrible) dinner nearby at a "fast food Chinese" place; this was after finding the Jimmy John's closed for renovation. After eating only half of my meal (I use that term loosely), we went through the arduous task of getting our car out and headed to work. Our music supervisor Ethan (who I know from years ago as my music director for Johnny Guitar at Cortland Rep) was there that night to watch the show and give us some much needed notes and critiques. Following the show I headed back to my room and laid pretty low for the night. 

After having an all too familiar cold shower on Friday morning, I took a walk to see the nearby Fifth Third Field (above), home of the Toledo Mudhens; AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. It's a beautiful little park, and they had probably the best team shop I had ever visited, save the one in Boston at Fenway Park. I took a few pictures, got some coffee and headed back to the hotel for a hectic afternoon. 2 long back to back interviews (though great) and the undue stress of trying to get our car out of the valet simultaneously to get to our music rehearsal at the theatre. It was quite long, but very welcome. Ethan's insight helped us make substantial changes to the show, and I think we were all glad to have a bit of a refresher. We took those notes into that evening's show, for which our assistant director Scott was also in attendance. The show went quite well that evening, and we resumed our BC/EFA collections following the performance. I opted to stay at the theatre with the short time between shows, and because I needed to do some laundry before our crazy week of one nighters that was approaching. 

Saturday was a pretty busy day with 2 shows, and because of the lengthy drive, not too much down time between. Stephanie made her tour debut that afternoon (YAY!) at the request of the creative team, and she did great! Both shows went extremely well, and I headed to a place called Frickers with Frace and Robby following the evening show. Sunday was much the same, but Bradley joined us on stage for both shows, and that evening we returned to Frickers with Brad and Tyler joining our little group. 

So, there is the moderately calm week that transpired. The following would be anything but. Thanks for tuning in, and keep your eyes peeled for the next installment, recalling our 5 cities and 5 load ins in 5 days!

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