The Blue Dome; not exactly sure what it was used for, but the whole district around it bears it's name
The Tulsa Performing Arts Center
Some new tour swag!
With a fan after our closing show
Hello everyone! What do ya now? My blog is long overdue. Again. Par for the course. But, it was a great week with some really nice weather in Tulsa. So, here are the highlights:
We had a moderately long drive ahead of us on Monday as we made our way from Kansas City back to Oklahoma. The crew joined us on the trip, and after a few hours (which I slept through as usual), a lunch stop at a mall and some more driving, we landed at our hotel. Thankfully it was only a few feet from the venue, and also in a really nice area of downtown with plenty of bars and food options around. After settling in, I opted to eat at the hotel restaurant, as it was raining pretty heavily outside. I had a really nice meal there, and after hanging with Frace and a few other people I decided to head back to my room early. I have quite a few movies that I have purchased but have been waiting to stream, and that night I decided it was time to watch American Sniper. It was well worth the wait, and I was glad to have knocked another movie off my list.
After a late start on Tuesday, I walked all over the downtown area taking in the sights, and taking a few pictures. The area I wandered the most was called the Blue Dome District, so named for the blue dome (above) that still stands in the area. There were some great shops down there, featuring music and wares from lots of local celebrities including J.D. McPherson. I window shopped for quite a while before heading into a local deli for a great turkey sandwich. I made my way across town to check out the local minor league ballpark, and even stopped in to check out James E. McNellie's, a bar we would be heading to for a special occasion later in the week. I went back to my hotel to chill for a bit before heading down to get a coffee in the great coffee shop in the lobby, and then making my way across the hotel's courtyard (see pictures above) to our venue, The Tulsa Performing Arts Center (above). It was a really nice and modern venue, and we were very much looking forward to being there for the full week. We all had swanky private dressing rooms, and the crew had a very smooth and quick load in which always puts everyone in a great mood. Opening night went extremely well, and if the reaction we got from the crowd was any indication of what the week would be like, we were VERY happy to be in Tulsa. Following the show I opted to go to the hotel bar for some food and a drink with Jake and Colte before turning in for the night.
I got off to a late start on Wednesday; sleeping in and bumming around my room for quite a while before heading for lunch at the amazing local Mexican restaurant, El Guapo. I hadn't had a chimichanga in quite a while, and had been hoping to find a place to get a really good one; I was not disappointed. And, there chips and queso blanco really made the difference. After a fantastic lunch, I wandered around a bit again before heading back to the hotel to chill for the rest of the day. Another great show followed that evening, and while there Corey asked me to be a part of a reading for a new script he and Em had been working on. So, after grabbing a bite at the hotel after the show, Gabe, Frace, Bryan, Jimmy, Em, Corey and Dani headed up to Jeff's amazing suite (complete with grand piano), to help them hear their words out loud. It was a really great time; a very intelligent and thought out script, mirroring some of the recent racial and police enforcement issues that have been plaguing our country as of late. Following a great reading, I made my way to bed.
Thursday morning came very early for me, as I embarked on some early press with Gabe, and through the course of us doing a few interviews, we did easily one of the best radio interviews either of us had ever done. Once back at the hotel, I climbed in bed and slept for most of the day. After laying low and trying to chill for much of the day, I made my way to the theatre that night for another great show. Following that, the cast and crew met at the nearby James E. McNellie's for what I have come to call "Crew Appreciation Night". I started organizing it on our first tour because of our tireless and amazingly hardworking crew. Though all of our crews have been great, I can easily say that no crew has deserved the cast's praise more than our current crew. We had a really great night talking to different groups of people, and the folks at McNellie's were really on top of it; keeping a detailed tab for the crew, and not missing a beat with ordering food and drinks for everyone. After the festivities, some people headed to the local dive bar Arnie's for a bit afterward. I was ready to turn in, so I opted to head home before most folks.
Friday brought some pretty heavy and awful rain, so I barely left my room for the day. The only time I went out was to get food at the deli, and then returned to my room to stay warm and dry. The show that night was probably our best yet, with an audience to match. Later in the evening I headed to Arnie's and assumed I would be there by myself, but was shortly joined by Lou, Briggs and Anthony for the rest of the night. After a great evening with the boys, it was time to rest and prepare for the double weekend.
Saturday was a usual busy double day, but both shows went amazingly well. I was pretty tired after the matinee, so I opted to head to my room and nap for a bit. After an equally great evening show I was invited to embark on a little adventure that evening. It was Justin's 25th birthday, and a few people were heading out to a local bowling alley to celebrate with him. I had already been invited out by a few members of the crew, so I joined them for a quick bite at El Guapo that evening. Then Rachael, Anthony, Briggs, Mary, Andrew and I headed to the local improv theatre for a shadow cast showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. For those that have never partaken in this ritual, you sit and watch the movie with a group of people, shouting out audience participation words and phrases while watching a cast of "actors" act out the scenes on screen. I have to say, I have done it a couple of times, and this cast was particularly awful. We did have a great time together though, so the night was not a waste. The movie ended quite late, so it was time to head home afterward and prepare for yet another double.
Another two great shows followed on Sunday. We were all pretty blown away by the folks in Tulsa, and though we had gotten restless with our out of character week sit down, we certainly weren't ready to leave the good people of Tulsa behind. In between shows I got an amazing pizza (locally grown mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and garlic, and extra virgin olive oil) at STG before heading home to chill in the short break before the evening show. Following our closing performance there, I headed back to my room to chill for quite a bit. Later on, Gabe and I headed back to Arnie's for so much needed one on one buddy time. We were out a bit late, but ended up heading home with more than enough time to get some rest before our travel day the next day.
It was a great and eventful week in Tulsa, and I was so glad that it worked out for us to show our appreciation for the crew, which was WAY overdue. It was sad to say goodbye to the amazing audiences there, but thus is our life out here on the road. I hope you enjoyed this week's installment, and there are many more little bits and pieces of excitement headed your way soon! Stay tuned for news from our next week of adventures!