Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Another stop in my "favorite" state, some time off to rest, and a stop at one of my favorite theatres

The Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ

Some of the few existing show murals in the amazing Shubert Theatre 

Nebraska Theatre Caravan's mural for the A Christmas Carol tour I did for so long; this is the only one still in existence, the year before I toured to the Shubert, featuring my dear departed friend Matty Kamprath 

The Shubert Theatre, New Haven, CT; this was my 6th time playing the Shubert on tour.  I love this place.  

Corey having some puppy time at our hotel in Meriden

Another great new meme!

Yet again, my attempts to eat at Louis' Lunch, home of the hamburger, were foiled

Hey kids!  Fresh on the heels of my "boo hoo I'm sick again" blog from Colorado and New Mexico comes my newest installment filled with tales of two cities (wah wah) and lots of interesting goings on, as we head back to the east coast.  Follow me on our journey!

Monday brought an extremely long travel day from New Mexico to LaGuardia.  Thankfully we didn't have to change planes on Southwest, but it still was a lengthy flight day.  I was still not feeling well, so I slept almost the entire day on the plane.  Once we arrived in NYC, we had a pretty long drive to Morristown.  Well, right outside of Morristown.  If you recall, we played Morristown for two days last year; it was wear a friendly local stagehand tried to steal my new iPhone and another one of my packages.  Ah, memories.  I digress.  It took us a while to get into town, and once we did I was ready to lay low for the night.  Originally I had planned to take the train to NYC the next day to wander and perhaps see a show.  I realized that it was in my best interest to see the doctor and to stay put.  Though it was not what I wanted, it was exactly what I needed.  So, I made it an early night that night.

I woke up moderately early on Tuesday to get some food and head to the doctor.  I was looking forward to finding out what was going on with me once and for all.  One concern I had had was that I seemed to be having the same infection over and over, leading me to believe that it had just never gone away; part of this was being prescribed the same antibiotic over and over, or at least that's what I thought.  So, I was determined to get better that day.  After a bite to eat, I headed to urgent care.  Coincidentally, it was the same "brand" as the one I had been to recently in Kansas City.  This helped when I was examined, because my suspicions were confirmed; the pills I had been on weren't working, and I had never gotten over it.  So, they put me on a much stronger antibiotic, and I was on my way.  That is, until I got to my rental car and the battery was dead.  I freaked out for a bit, mostly because I wasn't really sure who was in town.  Most of the cast and crew had all headed to the city, and I was worried that I might be stranded.  After a phone call or two, I figured I would try it a few more times.  After about 30 minutes, the car miraculously turned over.  I drove it around for quite a while after that, and then it was time to head home and rest a bit.  Later in the day I took a drive to downtown Morristown, and visited a restaurant that I had been to when we had played the town last year.  After that, it was time to head home for a quiet night, and to hopefully feel much better the next day.

I woke up feeling considerably better on Wednesday, and I even got some good news (this will become important in the weeks to come).  After sleeping in and just generally taking care of myself, I met up with Colte to grab some lunch and coffee.  After that, I made my way downtown to pick up Gabe and Michelle at the train station, and then back to my room for rest until the show.  I knew the Mayo PAC (above) all too well from our stint there last year.  We made our way in early through traffic and stopped for coffee, and barely made it to our meeting by the skin of our teeth.  We had a lengthy sound check that night, but we were ready to go once the curtain went up.  We all had a lot of friends and family in the audience, but that didn't keep them from being a little.....well....reserved.  It was still a great show though, and afterward I made my way back to my hotel to grab my stuff and high tail it with a friend to the city.  My agent had contacted me for an audition the following day, and it was something I had been hoping for for quite a while.  I was just glad that we were back on the east coast in time for me to be able to make it into the city in person. And, that I was feeling drastically better than the few days before.  It was time to get some rest and wake up at the crack of dawn.  

I was midtown quite early that day, with plenty of time to kill.  I needed to catch a train in the afternoon in order to make it to New Haven in time to open the show there (a very familiar feeling from my train trips to and from NYC while trying to get cast on the tour), but I had plenty of time to prepare before then.  I also had plenty of time to walk around the city and sweat as though it was my full time job.  Sheesh.  It was damn hot that day.  After a quick stop to see my agent, a slice at my favorite place on 47th and a coffee, I headed to attempt to dry off and change before I headed in for my audition.  To not keep things completely covert, it was for the regional premier of Million Dollar Quartet at the Ogunquit Playhouse, about 2 hours south of my home town in Maine.  And the kicker? It is going to be directed by Hunter Foster; Broadway star, Tony nominee and the original Sam Phillips on Broadway.  Once the sweat stopped dripping from my brow, I tuned the spare Johnny Cash guitar from the show (thanks, Corey) and walked into the room to find Hunter and two gentlemen from Ogunquit.  I played Folsom, and read one of the sides.  They were extremely complimentary, and I talked to Hunter for quite a while about tour and some of our mutual friends and cast members.  It went about as well as an audition could go, and I even got to catch up with some people along the way.  Jimmy was also there to audition, as was our old pal for a couple weeks on the road and a veteran of all things MDQ, Johnny Kinnaird.  After some great talks, I gathered my things and crept through the blistering sun and heat to make my way to Penn Station.  After a brief wait there, I hopped on the train (unairconditioned car; just my luck) and made my way to New Haven to open the show that night.  Because our hotel there was quite far from downtown, I ended up heading straight to the Shubert (above), one of my favorite theatres in the country.  The backstage and dressing rooms had changed quite a bit, but it was still the same amazing and historic Shubert.  I plunked my stuff down and promptly showered to wash off the day.  I packed and repacked my things, having recovered my large bag from the loading dock (thanks to our amazing crew for having traveled it for me), and ran to get coffee before our meeting that evening.  Everyone arrived from seemingly every corner of the earth, and we had our meeting and an uneventful yet productive sound check.  The long commute made a few people late, but things still went off without a hitch.  Opening night was...well...a bit weird.  But, the show went well overall, and I was just glad to be in one of my favorite places.  After the show, I had to check into the hotel for the first time; then Jake and I met up with Colte and a few of the cast at the nearby Wood n' Tap for a bite.  But hell, I was tired.  After the food, it was time to head to bed.  

I slept in on Friday before heading out with Jake for some Sonic lunch, and something we had been looking forward to for quite a while: Love and Mercy.  Jake had turned me onto the film well before it had been released, and I was pretty excited to finally see the story of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys on film.  The wait was worth it, and the movie certainly did not disappoint.  We talked about it for quite a while afterward, and then I was off to my room for some chill time before the show that evening.  Colte had left us for the weekend, so Jimmy joined us onstage for a great show that evening, and the cast also did a talkback with audience members from the stage after the show; I always love doing those.  The boys and I headed home, and once there we all headed to the outdoor patio for a cast and crew BBQ and corn hole tournament.  We all had fun mingling for much of the night, sampling some great BBQ and just generally having a great time.  Corey had some fun with Mary's puppy (above), and we all hung out as a group for quite a while before it was finally time to turn in.  

Saturday brought a busy day as usual, with two shows and quite a bit in between.  My parents arrived from Maine that afternoon, so they met me at the theatre as I was starting laundry and we headed to get some dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant, Tarry Lounge, before the show that night.  They had seen nearly every performance I had ever done in New Haven, so I was glad to have them back in town to catch two more before the end of the tour.  I have to say....though I love New Haven and the Shubert, the audiences for the weekend proved to be a bit lackluster.  Thought it was disappointing, I was still glad to be there and enjoy that time with everyone and especially my parents.  After the show that night I spent much of the evening with my folks, and then joined some of the boys for a room hang and great conversation with Gabe, Bryan and Frace.  Then, slumber land.  

The last two shows on Sunday went much like the prior 3, and my parents and I grabbed some great food at Box 63 after the matinee.  They again saw the show that night, and did their best to liven up the crowd.  The traffic on the way home was brutal; had it not been for Jake's craving for some food, we would have been stuck in traffic for nearly an hour like most of the cast and even my parents.  Once they got in, I spent the evening catching up with my parents, and then decided to make it an early night.  

Well, I'm now CLOSE to being caught up!  Only two more weeks remain in my recap of tour events, so I hope you will tune in for what proves to be an eventful end of tour.  Thanks as always for reading, and I hope y'all are happy and healthy!!!

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