Frace and I at the Jacksonville Suns ballgame
Probably one of the biggest gloves I have ever seen
Kat and I reunited!
Some press for the boys and I
Look, ma! I'm on the tv!!
This is actually from Fort Myers. People just love my outfit
Meeting with fans in Jacksonville
The Times-Union Center, Moran Theatre
First to sign the wall tag!
Hello everyone! Welcome to my latest installment! This is the first of a long stretch of week sit downs we have, and we are more than ready! The title of this blog is a reference to a few things. Jacksonville, if you did not know, is named for Andrew Jackson himself (pictured above). Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a Broadway musical, which our very own James Barry was in making his Broadway debut. Good. Now I've caught you up to speed. Moving right along.
We had a long drive on Monday morning after our glorious day off on Easter Sunday in Pensacola. Our destination? Jacksonville. We arrived pretty late in the day, and though it was a large hotel, they were clearly not ready for us. We all had to wait quite a while for our rooms, but we finally got moved in a bit after 5. I had been looking into things to do in Jacksonville, and discovered that there was a AA baseball team in town, The Suns (affiliate of the Miami Marlins). So, I looked into tickets. Time was getting short with our late move in, but I purchased tickets, and was joined by David, Corey, Frace and Robby to the game. The Jacksonville Baseball Grounds (above) was a short walk from the hotel, so David accompanied me early so we could get our seats and see the park a bit. The boys followed later, and we were pretty happy to find our seats, just 3 rows back on the 1st base side. It's a pretty special notion to go to a sporting event like that and be totally invested, yet have no allegiance with a team. Though, the visiting Pensacola (ironic) Blue Wahoos are the AA affiliate of David's Cincinnati Reds, so that made him happy. Our seats were great, as was the food and company. The game was a bit of a rout though....the home team lost 17-1. But, we had a blast anyway. Except for when the one time I took my glove from my hand, Corey was nearly hit in the face with a foul ball. Smacked him in the hand pretty good. It was a near miss, but thankfully he was all good. We left the game in good spirits and headed back to the hotel, meeting Cody as we got in. He was making his return to the tour in Jacksonville, and the boys and I gave him a warm welcome in the hotel bar before heading to bed.
I wandered the area a bit on Tuesday morning, but sadly there wasn't much around the hotel save the statue commemorating the namesake of the city (above). I had a phone interview for our upcoming week in Nashville in the afternoon, and after having a bite in my hotel room I made my way to work. The Moran Theatre (above) was quite nice, and not too far of a walk from the hotel. Unfortunately, the audience was only about half full and pretty lackluster that night. An unfortunate trend for the week, it seemed. We tried to make the most of it afterward, when almost the entire cast and crew headed to Fionn MaCool's, an Irish bar between the theatre and our hotel. I had a FANTASTIC giant pretzel with an amazing cheese sauce, and we all sat around chatting for quite some time. It certainly made up for the not so great audience.
We had very early press on Wednesday morning that lasted for quite a while, but I think it went very well. We did a series of interviews, teasers and performances on live TV as well as radio, and Sarah, our press rep got a bunch of great pictures (above). I was pretty damn tired, but I had to stay up a bit longer once we got home in order to do a phone interview for our upcoming stop in West Palm Beach. Once that was done, I laid down for a bit to take a very necessary nap. I woke up in the mid afternoon, and walked through Jacksonville Landing to grab some "linner" (not really lunch, not really dinner) at a nearby sushi place. It had been a bit since I had some good sushi, so I was very much looking forward to it. I was quite surprised at it's quality, and after I had my fill, I walked around the landing a bit before heading back home to chill until the show. I was very much looking forward to the show that night; I was hoping we might have a bit better crowd, and my dear friend and former cast mate Kat Walker Hill-Rebidue and her husband Rick would be there! Kat and I worked together quite a bit with the Prather Entertainment Group. We were opposite each other quite a bit in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Ring Of Fire, were dance partners in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and I was even on stage for Rich's proposal on closing night of The Full Monty. In fact, I hadn't seen either of them since their proposal, so I was very much looking forward to catching up. The show was pretty....well....meh....again that night, but it was made all better by the fact that I could see Kat and Rich afterward. I should also note at this point that the boys and I were asked to do meet and greets on a rotating basis each night, and we got to meet some pretty amazing people (above). We also continued our collecting for BC/EFA in Jacksonville for the final time, and I am proud to announce that in the short time we collected, we were able to raise nearly $40,000; pretty amazing for the short period of time we were able to collect. But, moving on. So, Kat, Rich and I went back to Fionn's for a bit that night (picture above) and were able to catch up quite a bit about their lives now, the last few years of tour, and the fact that they are looking to leave NYC permanently, thus Kat being in Jacksonville for the time being. I bid them adieu, and headed back to the hotel for the evening.
Thursday was another lazy day, but I wanted to get out for a bit, so I headed to lunch with James to a place that came very highly recommended by everyone, Burrito Gallery. A great little place with a limited but amazing menu, and Vegan options for my boy James. I got a fantastic queso dip, as well a giant chicken burrito. It was definitely worth the wait. We walked around a bit, talking about the show, music, movies, and how excited he was for his family to be meeting us in West Palm in just a few days. I went back to the hotel and laid low for a while before work that evening. Kelly was being swung out for Stephanie's second show on tour, and she did a great job; the audience was actually quite a bit better that evening. Unfortunately, Susan was not feeling well that evening, so Corey Kloos our amazing prop man stepped in to help me with my wig; this was only the second time he had done so, the first being our disastrous time in Morristown, NJ. He did a great job though, and the show went off without a hitch. We celebrated Stephanie's performance that night back at Fionn's, and then headed home to rest.
Another lazy day on Friday was made better by heading back to Burrito Gallery, this time with Frace and Vince. We talked for quite a while about work (a popular topic of late) and enjoyed more amazing food before heading back to the hotel for the evening. We arrived at the theatre that evening to the news that Sean would officially be leaving tour permanently. It's never easy to hear that someone has to leave tour, but especially not when it is because of health problems. We all said goodbye to him before the curtain rose that night, and wished him well in his travels and for the continued betterment of his health. And...the trend continued. Another blah show.....but, the week was nearly at a close. And we had Fionn's to look forward to that night, so that made it better.
Saturday was pretty busy as usual with two shows. I went back to the Burrito Gallery in between with Frace and Robby for the last time, opting to get a steak quesadilla this time to switch things up. It was fantastic, and I almost wished I had gotten it the other two times. We then headed to a rockabilly clothing store, Grease and Rags, having gotten the suggestion from our press rep Sarah, and Kelly who had visited the day before. We spent quite a while in there chatting with the owner, who had seen the show on opening night. We walked out with tshirts and an employee discount; it's always nice to get a little preferential treatment, and to know that what we do is appreciated. After another ho hum show that night, I went to Fionn's for a salad and then straight home; I was feeling pretty tired.
Our last two shows came on Sunday, and the first one was pretty bad. Just not a great audience, and I think the week was wearing on all of us. I was pretty beat, so I took a nap in between shows to prepare for our final show of the week. Thankfully the show that evening was probably the best of the week, as was the audience. So, eventhough it had been a bit of a rough week, it all turned out in the end. We all headed out to swank little bar, Volstead that night, having heard a bunch about their unique cocktails. We were really the only people in the place, and had a great time sitting around, talking and trying some new concoctions. Then I headed back to the hotel to rest before our trip to West Palm the following day.
So, that's the recap of the busy but not all that exciting week in Jacksonville. I hope you had fun reading, and get ready for a lot more excitement from West Palm and especially Nashville!! Take care, everyone!