Friday, April 25, 2014

Gators, Bearded Clams and more gators

Me and the boys outside of the Van Wezel in Sarasota

The Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 

Thanks for the help....

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Sarasota, FL

We welcome Colte to our tour family!

Following the yellow brick road....

Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL

Reunited with a Camp Florida Rep student, LeAnn Meyer!

Kelly and her new little friend 

The craziest call sheet we have ever had....

Another reunion!  Colte joined us to play Jerry Lee for 2 days!

My favorite Maine brewery, but in Clearwater? Yes please!

Hello everyone!  It was another wild week out here on the road!  This one was full of a bit of adversity, but we got through it as a team!  Here are the highlights of another whirlwind week.  

We made the mid morning drive from Fort Myers to Gainesville on Monday, and arrived in the early afternoon on the campus of the University of Florida.  It was a bit of a changing of the guard that day; James was waiting for us in Gainesville, having left us 8 weeks prior in Flint, MI to take part in the world premiere of a new musical at the Yale Repertory Theatre, These Paper Bullets.  He handed in his drum sticks and Ringo wig, and made his way back to tour having closed the show in New Haven only 2 days before.  Unfortunately, he was also quite sick.  Bradley was off on his vacation to his hometown, and Lee now moved from his position as every day Carl to the Carl understudy.  We were just glad to still have him on tour.  I met James at the hotel restaurant to catch up a bit and grab a salad before taking the short walk onto campus to The Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (above).  I was looking forward to doing the show with James again that night, though I was hoping he would make it through, as he really wasn't feeling very well.  I was also looking forward to seeing a former student, LeAnn that evening, as she was now a student at U of F.  We had an amazing, sold out show that evening and following the performance we were thrown a reception in a small room off the lobby.  I was able to catch up with LeAnn (above), and to meet a few other students in the theatre department as well.  A couple of them were intent on taking us to a few places on campus to show us a good time, so Frace, Tyler, Stephanie, Kelly and I all went out on the town.  It wasn't long before I decided I needed to head back; I went to college once....and though I had a great time, I am a little past reliving those days now.  So, I left my pals on their own devices and headed back to our hotel to prepare for the morning drive.  

We had a short drive that day to Sarasota, and had a good amount of time to hang out once we got to the hotel.  There was a restaurant attached to the hotel, The Bearded Clam, so I went there to get a very good tuna melt for dinner.  Sickness seemed to be running rampant in the cast, and though Lee said he figured he would never go on again (I told him never to doubt Scottstradamus), he in fact was called upon to perform that night while James rested.  At the same time, Sean had been having some vocal problems and hadn't been at work for a couple of days.  Luckily he had an appointment with a doctor the following day.  So, amidst the fallen victims of sickness, the boys and I headed to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (above) for the first of two shows.  The show went amazingly well, and later that night we all headed to the Clam for some free libations courtesy of the company, as well a bite to eat.  The restaurant closed early, so I joined the crew, company and stage management at the bar attached to the hotel for a bit.  

Kelly and I met on Wednesday just before noon to do a little TV press for our 2 day stay in Sarasota.  We were in the green room for a while, and were able to talk to 2 lovely women who work for an animal shelter as volunteers.  And Kelly made a new friend (above).  The interview went quite well, and I headed back to the hotel to chill for a bit.  Here's where things get a bit complicated.....John had been having some awful lower back problems, and with Sean unable to sing, the company was in a bit of a bind.  So, they flew my good friend Colte Julian from Chicago (where he is the Jerry Lee u/s in the production there) to be the understudy for a couple of days, and give John some much needed rest.  So that afternoon we ran the show with Colte, as our production and the Chicago show are quite different.  He adjusted quite well to all of the changes, and after rehearsal we headed home to grab food and chill for a bit.  James was still not feeling well, so Tyler, Lee, Colte and I headed to the show that evening.  It was pretty amazing.  It was so great to share the stage with Colte again (above), after having understudied him in Footloose a few years ago at the Broadway Palm.  I was so excited when he got the MDQ gig, and he even gave me a few pointers when I first auditioned.  So, it made for a pretty awesome show.  We celebrated at the hotel's tiki bar that evening before preparing for another travel day the next day.  

We had another late call and a pretty short drive to Clearwater on Thursday, which allowed us all to get a bit more rest.  I was astonished to see a Sea Dog brewery close to our hotel in Clearwater, so after running a few errands with Colte and Tyler we headed there for an early dinner.  James joined us for a bit, and was starting to feel quite a bit better.  We took the short, yet complicated drive to the theatre that evening, one I had played on my Christmas Carol tour, Ruth Eckerd Hall (above).  So, that night Colte joined us again, James came back, and the audience was pretty unreal.  Another great show, and following that we said our goodbyes to Colte, as he had to head back to Chicago to do the show there on Friday night.  

Tyler and I drove to a mall nearby to do a few things on Friday morning and get a little lunch at Red Robin before heading to the theatre for another rehearsal.  Due to issues with rights (don't ask, I really don't know the answer) we had to take Ring Of Fire out of our show and put Ghost Riders back in as my finale song.  And because the lights and sound were designed specifically for ROF, we had to essentially tech the the readdition of Ghost Riders.  It didn't take all that long, and before you knew it we were on our way home.  However the drive was made nearly 40 minutes longer by awful traffic, construction and accidents.  After we arrived I decided to head to the nearby Dick's Sporting Goods to look for a new baseball though I really need one.  But, I did find one, and added it to my little baseball glove family.  We headed back to the theatre that night for another great show, and afterward I decided to stay in for the night.  I ordered some Papa John's and sat down to finally watch The Wolf Of Wall Street.  What a fantastic film.  

Saturday was relatively uneventful yet busy, as we had two shows.  I had done laundry the day before, but desperately needed to fold it and put my clothes and other things in my trunk.  So, I opted to stay at the theatre between to do so, and actually to work on another blog.  The shows went quite well, and I stayed in again that night before heading out the next day for what would be another 5 city week.  

So, that's the week!  Stay tuned for another blog coming tomorrow!  Another busy week full of surprises.  Thanks for tuning in! 

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