Meeting some patrons in Tallahassee
Our not so lovely hotel in Daytona Beach
Brie and lobster omelet at Another Broken Egg in Charleston, SC
In the state of the art recording studio above the Loft, Columbus, GA
A long overdue reunion!
He is following us....
Beautiful trees in Tallahassee
The view from my hotel room in Daytona Beach
Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach, FL
The sights around Charleston, SC
Our awesome wall tag in North Charleston, SC
Bill Heard Theatre, Rivercenter, Columbus, GA
Hello, everyone! I hope you enjoyed my last two blogs that came back to back after being long overdue. This blog recaps our last split week for quite some time, and it happened to be another week with 5 shows. But, what better way to have a busy week than to see some sights and be reunited with friends? Here goes nothing!
Following our weekend in Clearwater, we hopped on the bus and made the drive to Florida's state capitol, Tallahassee; also home to Florida State University. It was nice to have a day with travel but without a show. And thankfully the weather that awaited us was quite nice. We moved into our hotel, and were surprised by how nice it was as well! James was starting to fee quite a bit better, so he joined me across the street from the hotel in a small grassy clearing (above, Spanish moss-covered trees) so we could play a little catch with my new glove! It was nice to be out in the fresh air, throw the ball around and talk nothing but Red Sox for a bit. After wearing our arms out, we headed into the hotel for a salad in the hotel's restaurant. It was great to have a rare evening without having to go to work, so I invited a bunch of people over for a movie. Well, sorta. I asked people if they wanted to watch one, and Tyler was nice enough to offer the suite he had gotten. So, later in the evening a few of the boys showed up and we watched the classic, Spinal Tap. Quite a few of the boys hadn't seen it, and people had been talking about it for months, which is why I suggested it. We all had a great laugh, and it certainly hit home considering a couple of the venues we have played (Kennewick, WA comes to mind). We hung out for a bit following the end of the movie watching random funny videos and YouTube clips. All in all, it was a great way to spend the night off.
I woke up late on Monday, and following a bit to eat, I headed across the street to throw with Lee. James joined us after a bit, and it was really nice to enjoy the fresh air again, and to work out my new glove. I certainly wasn't used to throwing, in that my arm was pretty sore from the previous day. After talking and throwing for quite a while, we adjourned to the hotel to rest before the show that night. It was a bit of a walk to the theatre that night, and James joined me as we walked through an area that looked more like Savannah, GA than Florida. Spanish moss all over most of the trees, and a few very creepy but awesome cemeteries along the way. We arrived at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, and immediately I was reminded of Spinal Tap the night before. The Civic Center (above) is home to the FSU Seminoles basketball teams; and my dressing room I shared with Corey and James was the women's home locker room....a little interesting. Similar to Kennewick's ice arena, except this time it wasn't 40 inside and -5 outside, thankfully. Despite the interesting surroundings, it was a pretty great show. And they threw us a pretty big reception afterward, which is always nice. They had a ton of fantastic food, and I got to talk to quite a few patrons. Most importantly, I got to speak to some young kids who came to the show with their parents; all interested in the arts and big fans of musical theatre. I milled around for a bit, took some pictures (above) before heading home. Frace began his week long run as Sam Phillips that night, and his girlfriend Haley was joining us for the week. So, the three of us along with Tyler headed to a local rooftop bar. Unfortunately they closed pretty early, but we were able to enjoy a few drinks and take in the beautiful views from the outside deck. There was also a group from FSU shooting a movie on the outer deck, so we watched that for a bit before moseying home.
Tuesday brought another travel day. This one was a pretty long drive through the rain to Daytona Beach, FL, another of my old haunts. I had done a summer stock there at the now defunct Seaside Music Theater in 2003, and also The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2007. Ironically, one of the first performances of a new musical (you may have heard of it), Million Dollar Quartet was the show immediately before Drood. Pretty crazy coincidence, because that is when I found out about the show for the first time. Ain't life funny? Anyway, we moved into our hotel on the beach. Sounds nice, huh? Well, not so much. First of all, it rained for much of the day. Second, the hotel was pretty terrible. Water dripping everywhere, a messed up elevator, and sand fleas, etc in people's rooms. Thankfully we were only there for the night. Though there were some other issues to follow. Regardless, I took a walk to the nearby Winn Dixie for a few things, though the fact that every refrigeration unit in the store was broken and there was spoiling food everywhere certainly didn't make me want to buy much. I made my way back to the hotel to chill for just a bit before heading to work. The Peabody Auditorium (above) was an interesting venue. An older place, not necessarily suited for our show. We had to cut quite a bit of things, but our amazing crew made it work none the less. It was a bit of a weird show....but we made it through. And the audience seemed to be quite into it. Afterward we headed back to the hotel, and Tyler and I went to the nearby IHOP for some food and conversation. I made it an uncharacteristic early night when we arrived back at the hotel before 11:30. However, when I got there I found that my room key didn't work. And I had a feeling it had nothing to do with my keys, but the actual lock and the battery in the key card entry. So I went to the desk. The clerk gave me new keys and had the security guard escort me up with a set of master keys for the door. Key card, no go. Then the master key didn't work. After about 45 minutes, tries by me, the guard and the front desk clerk, I finally got into my room under the circumstances of not being able to leave and get back in again. So.....I was locked in my room for the night. With sand fleas coming in from the balcony. So much fun.
I was glad to check out of the El Caribe (above) on Wednesday morning and make our way to the next stop, North Charleston, SC. I was thankful that we would be in town for 2 days, but just wished we were a little closer to the historic downtown of Charleston. We had a very long drive that day, and didn't get in until about 3:30 that afternoon. I got a bite to eat and made my way to the theatre that evening, looking forward to performing for my friend Kira as well as some other friends in the audience. A few of us went to Buffalo Wild Wings nearby following the show, and then retired to the hotel relatively early.
The next morning I ventured into Charleston with Kira, who was nice enough to drive me there. She has quite a few friends at school there, and along with being able to visit them while she was there, she had quite a bit of knowledge of the historical areas of town. So, we walked around quite a bit before stopping at a lovely little brunch placed called Another Broken Egg. I had an amazing lobster and brie omelet (above), and we caught up a bit on each other's lives, and some of the recent "drama" on tour. We then walked all over the city, seeing historical churches, theatres, beautiful houses and even the water front where Fort Sumter, birthplace of the beginning of the Civil War, was in the distance (all pictured above). We walked all over the place, and what a beautiful day for it! I got some amazing pictures, and we had a pretty amazing day. I needed to rest a bit before heading to the theatre, and then it was off to work. Another great show that evening, though I wasn't feeling the greatest; not sure if it was being in the sun all day, not having a full dinner or what it was, but I was nearly exhausted by show's end. So, following the show a few of us went back to BWW for some food, and then it was time for me to retire. Not only was I not feeling well, but we had an early call and a lengthy drive the next day.
It poured all day on Friday as we drove to Columbus, and all night as well. Because of the weather, accidents and traffic we got into Columbus later than expected. That was disappointing, as Columbus is another old haunt of mine, and one of my favorite places. I did two small tours that were based out of the Springer Opera house in Columbus over the span on 2 years, as well as playing Orin, the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors on the main stage there between our stint in Tokyo and opening the second year of tour in Orlando. I lived and worked there for the better part of a year, so it is a very dear place to me. Our distance from downtown as well as the rain prohibited me from really doing anything before the show, which really didn't set well with me. But, the boys and I made our drive to the River Center (above) that evening, and I even took them on a bit of a scenic drive to see some of my old haunts. We ran through the rain to get to work, and I was blown away by the theatre. Though amazingly gorgeous and unexpected, it could never hold a candle to the majesty of the Springer, just a few blocks away. I had a plethora of friends in the audience that night, including a very dear friend, Theresa and her husband, in the front row. It felt pretty amazing to be in a town I loved so much and to get such a warm welcome. Following the show I took Tyler to meet Theresa, her husband Randy, and my friend Izzy from the Springer at a popular hang, the Loft. Corey and Patrick joined us later, and we had a marvelous time. The owner of the Loft asked us if we wanted to venture upstairs and view his $2.5 million recording studio.....um....duh!!! So, we took a tour of the studio as his guests, and hung around the Loft until late in the night. I took the boys to Picasso's Pizza, one of my favorites, for a late night bite before heading back to our hotel to prepare for another travel and show day.
Saturday was a pretty monumental day. We made the long drive from Columbus to Pensacola, FL and got to our hotel in the early afternoon. Marking Frace's last show of the week, or last show before a day off as well as Tyler's last show for 3 weeks, it couldn't have gone better. A beautiful old theatre in a gorgeous downtown that was renovated, the Saenger Theatre (above) was a great home for us for the night. It also marked our 750th show of tour, which is pretty mindboggling. The crowd was pretty unreal, and it was a pleasure to spend such a great evening with them. Most of us headed across the street from the hotel to The Woodshed for the duration of the evening, grabbing a bit of food and some celebratory drinks. What a way to cap off a busy but amazing week.
We had the luxury of not traveling or performing on Easter Sunday; a rarity for us as of late. After waking up quite late, I headed downtown with Mr. Barry to grab some groceries and lunch at a local grocery co-op. Some amazing local produce and food made for a delightful experience with my no-food-with-a-face-unless-it's-fish friend. We had gotten wind that Corey was at a bar downtown called World Of Beer, so we joined him for a bit. I got a lovely mixed beer called a Chewbacca as the three of us chatted up each other concerning work, the Beatles, music in general, and the blasphemous 20-somethings walking by "bearing" cardboard crosses and yelling religious admonishments. We parted the blasphemous sea and headed to the Tin Cow where we got truffle fries and I had a spiked Irish Cow milkshake. MMM. Alcoholic Milkshake. After finishing our guilty pleasure food, we headed back to the hotel, where I chilled and laid low for much of the evening, preparing for our travel the next day.
Another long week, but many weeks of sit downs are in our horizon. Thank you for tuning in, and look for my blog from Jacksonville very soon!!!!!!!!!!!