Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend
Tuesday, May 29th

First of all, the weather in Houston has sucked. It has rained, at one point or another, every day since I arrived a little more than a week ago. It has ranged from warm to downright hot and the humidity has been high. Not my sort of weather at all.

Friday, Sheila Marie’s plane dodged the thunderstorms, bringing her to Houston for a long weekend. We shared a late supper (I love be able to cook at the Residence Inn!) before we crashed for the night. Saturday morning, she helped me finish up the potato salad I was preparing for the Spamily Barbecue (I boiled 10 lbs of potatoes and a dozen eggs on Friday afternoon) and then helped me schlep it to the theatre. We walked the ½ mile or so to the theatre under cloudy skies, but by the time I had shown her around the theatre, a downpour had begun – so a cab was necessary to take her back to the hotel. A second cab brought her back to the theatre after the matinee for the Spamily Barbecue. Karl (with the help of the local crew) through us a Texas Barbeque to celebrate the Spamalot Tour’s 500th performance! The guys from the fly rail grilled up brisket and sausage outside the loading dock and many people brought sides and cakes. We had a really good time hanging out and enjoying the delicious variety, despite the showers. Saturday night I got to spend a rare evening with Sheila Marie! Since Ken was preparing to leave for his vacation on Sunday, Brian Bogin was in town to sub. Four Stage Managers was more than we needed to do the show, so Ken let me leave early and hang out with Sheila Marie; a welcome surprise.

The 500th Show Commerative Cupcake (thanks, Fran).

The grill meisters under their big umbrella.

Fran, Francesca, Angelina, Brian & Tim enjoy the barbecue on the loading dock.

Ken, Karl, Nate, Jonathan & Sheila Marie

Julie & Amy commandeer the grill to whip up a grilled banana dessert.

Sunday, we had more backstage goodies at intermission of the matinee as it was Karl’s (our Company Manager) birthday. At his request, Piper got Red Velvet Cake as well as a Double Chocolate Cake. Delicious! Casey arrived in time for a between shows meal. Sheila Marie and I had explored downtown Houston a bit in the morning – there’s not much in the immediate vicinity of my hotel, but there’s some life closer to the Buffalo Bayou – and found a couple of restaurant options. We had a nice Italian meal at Birraporetti’s before I had to dash back for the evening performance. Casey got the quick version of the backstage tour before the show then he went to visit a friend in Houston while I did performance #503 and Sheila caught up on some work she’d brought along for the trip. After the show, we met up with some of the Spamily at Little Woodrow’s for after show drinks. Little Woodrow’s had an awesome beer selection and a huge outdoor patio. We lounged in the more comfortable night air and enjoyed the company into the early morning of Memorial Day.

Casey & JV backstage during the preset.

Casey & Sheila Marie at Little Woodrow's.

Mike & Esther

JV & Nate

Mike modelling Nate's hat.

Sheila with a gardenia in her hair.

Mike & Sheila (If I'm ever killed in a horrible fireworks accident and Sheila Marie runs off with an un-identified man, this is him...)

We woke up late on Memorial Day to find gray and rainy skies. Our original plan of a drive down to the Gulf of Mexico didn’t seem like such a great idea in the rain, so we headed to the Houston Museum of Natural Science instead. On our way, we stopped off for some tasty Tex-Mex and margaritas. Apparently, many of Houston’s families had the same idea we did as the museum was jam packed. We bought tickets for the butterfly exhibit and the planetarium. At the entrance to the butterfly house was an exhibit on all types of insects. The variety and sheer number of insects is amazing as is their adaptability to all sorts of niches. Just before we entered the butterfly house itself, there was a display of chrysalises and hatching butterflies from all over the world. Again, the variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and appearance (some were metallic looking) was really surprising. The butterfly house was a great big greenhouse heated and humidified to be a rain forest setting. Inside, there were butterflies and moths from all over the globe flitting around, feeding, and just hanging around. The room contained a waterfall and all sorts of tropical plants with winding paths throughout. We had to walk slowly and look everywhere as many of the butterflies were quite well camouflaged when at rest, only to be brilliantly colored when they opened their wings to take flight!

The Butterfly Conservatory

After a disappointing show at the planetarium (it was more of an Imax sort of “wow look at that animation” movie than educational sky show), we headed off to the mecca of Houston shopping: The Galleria. No sooner had we arrived and gone in one store, then the mall closed early for Memorial Day. Fortunately, there was a giant movie theatre nearby and we all took refuge from the continuing rain with Shrek the Third. It was enjoyable and diverting. After the movie, we indulged a bit with a bottle of wine and steaks at Ruth’s Chris. Ruth knows how to treat a steak. The sizzle of butter, sautéed spinach and a good piece of beef, mmmmmm.

This morning, Casey and Sheila Marie were kind enough to take me grocery shopping (a car makes it a lot easier to buy a 12 pack of soda). Then we had lunch in a Vietnamese café downstairs from the Residence Inn. Houston has a large Vietnamese population and a multitude of all kinds of Asian restaurants. The spring rolls were light with shrimp and vermicelli noodles. All three of us enjoyed our varied dishes and I sampled a coconut milk, egg yolk and soda water beverage (sweet, and fizzy with the very distinctive yellow taste of eggs). After lunch, it was time for Sheila Marie to head to the airport (boo!). Casey was nice enough to take me along on the trip to Bush Intercontinental Airport to say goodbye and then to drop me back at the hotel before he headed for Austin.

We had a fun weekend. Good to have another hunk of my real-life family here for the day off. Also good to be able to spend so much time face to face with my wife.

Not sure what’s on the agenda for this week in Houston. With Ken away, there’s no rehearsal scheduled, so I have all my weekday afternoons free. Houston is really a great big driving town, making getting around is a bit of a challenge. I’m determined to see an armadillo before I leave Texas and the Houston Zoo’s at the other end of the light rail that runs near my hotel, so perhaps there will soon be an armadillo photo on the blog soon…


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Backstage Scene

Backstage Scene
Thursday, May 24th

Your intrepid reporter was standing backstage with the charming Keith Reese (Head Carpenter) on opening night in Houston. The 30 hour marathon of load-in and show #495 was nearly over when we shared this exchange:

JV: "You're almost there brother."
KR: "Yeah."
JV: "This is some crazy schedule. It's almost like summer stock or something."
KR: "It is; only on a bigger scale and with a lot more assholes."
JV: "Genius."

Opening night in Houston went well. No one was killed. We brought the show to the people. The crew went home to hibernate (and then got up Wednesday morning to deliver our trunks). Since I have four weeks to explore Houston, I took Wednesday off from the National Eating Tour and hid out in my hotel room. I did laundry, watched Law and Order, wished I could cook like a combination of Ina Garten and Paula Deen and read the New Yorker. I only emerged in time for a quick bite on my way to show call. There's a Subway just up the street from the hotel. I was standing in line when I received the following text message: "You're so predictable." That was followed by one that read: "Over your right shoulder." Tony (one of our sound men) is on to me and my enjoyment of Subway. We've run into one another while "eating fresh" in nearly every city.

Today we have understudy rehearsal. Lyn our new Lady of the Lake Cover will make her debut during the rehearsal. Tomorrow night Sheila Marie will wing her way to Houston and the National Eating Tour will resume. If the weather stays nice, we will celebrate Spamalot's 500th performance with a barbecue on the loading dock between shows on Saturday. Casey will join us on Sunday and the three of us will have a day off to explore town on Monday. Looking forward to a fun weekend.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Houston, TX

Houston, TX

Tuesday, May 22nd
It's a rough day to be a Spamalot stage hand. The load-out in Louisville got started around 9 PM. The crew was then on the 6:30 AM flight from Louisville to Houston. They crashed out at the hotels in Houston for a couple of hours. The spotting call here in Houston began at 6 PM on Monday night. The whole crew was called at 10 PM to begin the official load-in. When I arrived at 8 PM this morning (Tuesday), the load-in appeared to be on track. Hopefully, they will have a couple of hours this afternoon to crash out before show call. All of this was necessitated by the long haul (1100 miles) from Louisville to Houston and the refusal of the presenters to compromise on the Sunday evening / Tuesday evening show schedule.
The good news is that the theatres on both ends of these moves are spacious. Plenty of room for the show to layout the way it's designed to. The Hobby Center is another great big, modern performing arts center. We're in the Sarofim Hall. It was built as an indoor home for Houston's Theatre Under the Stars (formerly housed in an amphitheatre), so the ceiling in the room has fiber optic stars that shimmer during the show (with an occasional shooting star tracing across the ceiling). It's a really pretty room (especially for a modern performing arts center).

The exterior of the Hobby Center.

Sarofim Hall - the stars are the blue circle at the top of the photo.

Sarofim Hall from the stage.
The good news continues: we're here for four weeks! That means 3 days off in Houston! Sheila Marie and Casey will be here over the Memorial Day weekend. Looking forward to day off with my wife - a rarity. We'll have to see how Houston celebrates... I checked into the Residence Inn last night and happily buried my suitcases in the back of the closet. Tomorrow, I'll go real grocery shopping (lately my groceries have come from the CVS) and prepare some of my own food! Hooray for fresh vegetables It's the little things...

I've stolen a few more photos:

Francesca calling the show.

Our office in Louisville was a converted dressing room, so the bathroom/shower was open to the rest of the room. Our lobby board box made a lovely cover for the urinal...

Spam Management with Colonel Sanders. Creepy.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

On the Banks of the Ohio

On the Banks of the Ohio
Saturday, May 19th

Greetings from Sunny Loohavul (say it like you have a mouth full of marbles)! We’ve been here a week, and I can already hear my speech slowing down. Heaven only knows what I’ll sound like after 7 weeks in Texas…

It’s been a really pleasant week here. We drove down from Indianapolis on Monday. It was an easy little drive (less than two hours), but the time in the car was sufficient to give me a sunburn on my bald head (the sun roof seemed like a good idea). Francesca and I arrived around noon and had the balance of the day at our leisure. I did some laundry and then hooked up with Denise Watkins. We realized that it had been nearly 10 years since we’d really seen each other; she and Randy made the trip up for our wedding, but those 10 minutes of face time hardly count. So much has happened in that time, but our connection hadn’t changed at all. She took me out to Bardstown Road (the funky/artsy neighborhood) and we did some shopping before we settled in for dinner at Ramsi’s café. Ramsi’s sort of reminded both of us of the Tuba Museum in Okemos – the same sort of eclectic menu ranging all over the globe. The goat cheese stuffed dates were delicious! We were joined by Denise’s friend Amanda for dinner and then we all adjourned to Molly Malone’s (could you guess that it was an Irish bar?) for a nightcap before they dropped me back at my hotel for the night.

We’re staying downtown at the Galt House, right on the Ohio River. My room looks west along the river and I’ve been enjoying watching the tugboats push all manner of barges along the river (this morning one came east pushing 15 barges of coal!). There’s also a pair of paddle wheel excursion boats that come by occasionally. The bigger one, The Belle of Louisville, is a real-deal steamboat built in 1914, making her the oldest and most well traveled steamer in the country still in operation. There are a series of falls in the river here at Louisville (the reason for Louisville’s early existence was as a portage around the falls – now there’s a canal and series of locks). The falls were also the jumping off point for the Lewis and Clark expedition. Louisville has lots of river related history and the same sort of cool mid-1800’s and turn of the century architecture as Buffalo.

The Belle of Louisville

All went well at the Kentucky Center this week. There’s plenty of room both onstage and in the dressing areas. After being jammed into Indianapolis, the space was welcome. We welcomed a new flyman this week: Nate. We also welcomed our soon to be head of Wardrobe Wayne. Our very own Jamie Karen has had several bashes at the role of Lady of the Lake as Esther has been feeling under the weather. It’s been fun to watch our third Lady in as many weeks. All of them have made very different choices.

Denise and Amanda came to the show on Tuesday night. Afterwards, they took me out to the Maker’s Mark Bourbon Lounge. I enjoyed a very tasty Maker’s Mark Manhattan and one last night with Denise before she had to be on her way back to Morehead.

Wednesday morning, I met up with Piper and Nigel for breakfast at Lynn’s Paradise Café. Lynn’s was one of roadfood.com’s recommendations as well as a local favorite that Dad passed along from his coworkers in Louisville. Its reputation is justly deserved. Attached to the restaurant is a gift shop called “The World of Swirl”. Inside are all manner of kitschy gift items and totally unnecessary things. The diner is decorated like your wild and crazy “artistic” aunt’s house. Every table is furnished with a different wacky lamp (ours won the prize for ugliest – it had tulle projecting off in all directions), a set of toy animals and a deck of cards. The food was delicious. I had the Kentucky French toast. It was made from cinnamon swirl toast and topped with white chocolate sauce, candied pecans, strawberries and bourbon whipped cream. It was the perfect dessert for breakfast combination.

Lynn's Paradise Cafe.

Once we had escaped from the gift shop, we piled Callie, Graham and Darryl into a cab and headed off to Churchill Downs. It was a cool (for Louisville – high of 70) but sunny afternoon that we spent at the track. I made all manner of losing $2 bets, but we had a really fun time pretending that we knew what we were doing. Of course, a couple of mint juleps didn’t hurt our confidence… The track was really pretty with its two spires and it was a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Though we are a couple of hours from Cincinnati, there are Skyline Chili franchises all over Louisville. Thursday, I got to sample some of the famous chocolate infused chili over spaghetti. The chili is sort of like Mexican mole sauce, not chocolaty at all, but rich and delicious. It is, however, a mess to eat – thank heaven there were bibs provided!

Yesterday, I took a tour of the Louisville Slugger factory and museum. Very little of the work on the bats is done by hand. The bats are turned by computerized lathes. All the preferences of the major leaguers are stored and used to turn out bats to order in as little as two days. While I was there, they were making bats for Derek Jeter – the tour guide gave me the weird end piece that they cut off his bat once it’s been through the lathe. Of course, they have all kinds of historical bats on display. My favorite was one of Babe Ruth’s sluggers. He made a notch around the logo for each of the homeruns he hit with the bat; 25 in all before he eventually broke the bat. They also had a video screen/pitching machine that let you stand at the plate and take a fastball from the major league pitcher of your choice. I took a 90 mile an hour pitch from Roger Clemens. I have no idea how hitters can see the pitch and make a decision whether to swing or not in the 3/10 of a second it takes the pitch to travel those 60 feet 6 inches.

The Louisville Slugger Factory - home, shockingly, to the world's largest baseball bat.

I took a stroll over to the Brown Hotel after the bat factory. The Brown Hotel is famous for the Hot Brown. Invented at the hotel in 1926, the Hot Brown is a broiled open face sandwich of turkey, bacon and mornay sauce (a parmesan and cream sauce). While the sandwich was tasty, it wasn’t revelatory. It was a yummy combination of its parts, but not a magical combination. The crab cakes in Baltimore, for example, were a revelation. This isn’t to say that when passing through Louisville you shouldn’t have one…

On the topic of things you should eat while in Kentucky, don’t miss Derby Pie. Derby pie is a combination of pecan pie and chocolate – GENIUS! Though I did not travel out to the Melrose Inn for the official and super-secret original version, the one Ken treated Francesca and I too this afternoon here in Louisville was very tasty.

Monday morning we’re on planes to Houston and a four week sit down. I’m looking forward to a whole day off (with my wife, no less!!!) and to visiting with Casey. It’s been since I was in Boston since I had a day all to myself – that seems like forever ago. I’ve really dug some of these smaller cities we’ve been playing lately. Indianapolis and Louisville were especially fun.

Below are some more photos from Buffalo and Indy:

The Spamily Dogs at play. Roz, Zoe, Satine, Patisse & Missy frolicking outside the post office in Buffalo.

Tim's Birthday.

JV w/ Julie, Francesca, Ryan, Amy, Callie & Piper

Piper, Francesca, Ryan, Julie, Mike, Callie, Tony P., Amy, JV and Robert w/ the Pagoda at IMS.

Piper's Birthday.

My whole first roll from Buffalo and Indy is here.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Weekend Flew By at 225 MPH…

The Weekend Flew By at 225 MPH…
Tuesday, May 15th

After the rain cleared for our baseball game, it stayed beautiful all weekend. Friday morning Mom, Dad and I had breakfast at LePeep before we headed off to the speedway. The breakfast was the first of two delicious (and incredibly varied) we had at LePeep. We arrived at the track just as it opened for practice. I had forgotten the indescribable sound that Indy cars make and that very specific smell of burned ethanol that they leave in their wake. Just walking into the track, I got goose bumps and a wave of memories from days past at the track. The three of us settled into some sunny seats along pit road (right behind the Foyt Team pits!). Shortly, members of the Spamily began to call looking to meet up. By 1:30, or so, there were a dozen of us at the track. Everyone enjoyed themselves in a very laid-back sort of way. Mom and Dad got to meet some of the kids (and marvel at our chorus girls with plates of fries and beers nearly as big as they are). We also took lots and lots of photos. We even harassed some poor race fan into taking a billion photos of us in the stands. My film has gone off to snapfish and Dad promised to email me some of the photos he took – I’ll post the best as soon as I have them.

Thanks to Francesca (these photos are lifted from her blog):

Some of the Spammers in the stands on pit road.

Callie (and one of those giant beers) relaxing on the infield grass.

Robert, Amy, Julie, Piper and Callie in their best "Charlie's Angels" pose.

Friday night, Sheila Marie arrived and the five of us went to the Slippery Noodle to hear their house blues band. The Slippery Noodle is Indiana’s oldest, still operating bar. Its history is crazy! Opened as the Concordia House, the inn was a stop on the Underground Railroad. During Prohibition, the bar was home to the Brady and Dillinger gangs who took target practice in the stables out back (they claim that some of those slugs are still in the timbers). More recently (as late as the 1950’s) there was a bordello on the premises. Nowadays, they have live blues most nights. We had some really tasty nachos and a good time catching up.

Saturday morning, it was back to LePeep for a light breakfast with Donn and Rhoda in anticipation of the main gastronomic event of the day… Between shows, all six of us headed across the street to the Rathskeller. From Indy’s oldest bar, we went to Indy’s oldest restaurant. Opened in 1894, the Rathskeller is located in what used to be a large German social club. Inside their basement digs, you might as well be in Bavaria. We all ate until we couldn’t anymore and then we stuffed in some dessert! Schnitzel, wurst and sauerkraut abounded along with an impressive selection of beer (too bad I had to go back to work). It really was a Mother’s Day meal to remember.

The bar at the Rathskeller

Donn, Rhoda and Sheila Marie came to the show on Saturday night. Afterwards, I gave them the nickel tour backstage. Then, we adjourned to the hotel bar. We settled in for “one drink” and were joined by Suzanne from the Spam Hair department. Soon, much of the Spamily had come down and nearly all the dogs were in the lobby. The Westfalls got to get acquainted with many of the folks from the tour. I’m sure, however, that we stayed up way past bedtime.

Pike High School presents Spamalot? What the???
The Pike HS Prom was being held in the ballroom upstairs from the theatre. (At least we got top billing...) We all hung out outside the stage door rating the prom-wear. Who knew zoot suits were still in style?!?

The Pike HS Stage Management Team...

Sunday, I had to bid farewell to my real-life family as everyone headed home and I headed off to work. It was a really wonderful weekend in Indianapolis. Great food, beautiful weather and a chance to reconnect with my family.

This week, we’re settling into Louisville. The theatre is expansive, there’s racing at Churchill Downs, I just passed a Skyline Chili franchise, and Denise is in town to show me the sights. I’m looking forward to the week ahead!

The following two pictures are lifted from Fran's blog (at her invitation):

Calling Friday night's show.

Ken modeling the Lady of the Lake headgear. GENIUS!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bring out the Tarp Tour

Bring out the Tarp Tour
Thursday, May 10th

First, a correction: The Murat Centre is not a former Masonic Temple. It is, in fact, a Shrine formerly belonging to the Shriners (“Having Fun and Helping Kids”). They still hold their meetings and maintain a lounge in the North end of the building. Glad we cleared that up.

So, a quick change booth in a truck; what a genius idea! That is, until it rains. During the intermission on Tuesday night, the heavens opened in a deluge of rain. While the truck had one of those loading dock seal flaps around the opening, this proved not to be water-tight (probably fine for a load-in, not when there are thousands of dollars worth of costumes open to the elements). A mad scramble to stop the leaks ensued. It was nearly the end of a very long and very tense load-in (everyone had been haggling over the little available space all day) and tempers flared a bit. Hats off to Ken and our whole crew though, as they pulled together, stopped the leaking, and got the show back up on time. The rest of opening night in Indianapolis was pretty smooth and there was a work call on Wednesday to spread a tarp over the truck.

Wednesday was set to be our second try at Spamalot goes to the ballgame. More than 20 people signed up to see the Indianapolis Indians take on the Syracuse Chiefs Wednesday at 2 PM. The weather forecast was less than reassuring on Tuesday, so I did not pre-purchase the tickets. Thank heaven I didn’t. About 11 AM it began to rain. About 12:30 it began to pour and thunder. At 1:30 it was still raining right along. Four of us showed up (in the rain) to see the game. However, around 2 PM the rain lessened and the grounds crew pulled back the tarp. At 2:30 the first pitch was thrown under gray, but dry, skies. By 3 PM the sun was out and it was 80 degrees. It turned out to be a beautiful day for baseball! Mike Berg, Matt Allen, Erik Hayden and I enjoyed the sunshine, company and some classic baseball fare. While the home team wasn’t able to overcome the Syracuse starting pitcher’s complete game (5 hits and 1 run), we had a blast. Early in the game, Mike shagged a fowl ball and was roundly booed by the whole stadium as there was a little boy headed for the same ball. He tossed the kid the ball and was rewarded with a round of applause. (To be fair, the ball was clearly Mike’s. Later in the game the same kid caught another ball tossed into the stands by a player and then won an autographed ball in a raffle. Lucky brat.) The “Atlas Gym Flex-Cam” was panning the crowd encouraging men to flex on the jumbo-tron when Mat suggested that perhaps it should alight on him (he’s a pretty buff guy). Sure enough, the camera settled on us! Matt jumped up and tore off his jersey and t-shirt. Before he could even get the t-shirt over his head, the camera cut away. We all had a laugh about the control room screaming: “Take camera two! That guy’s getting naked! Take camera two!” Much fun.

I’m enjoying being back in the Midwest. All of my favorite fast-food comforts are close at hand. There’s a White Castle, Arby’s, Johnny Rockets and Steak and Shake all within 2 blocks of our hotel. (Yay for chili five way!) I’m also happy to find Squirt everywhere and pleased to be reacquainted with free refills. While none of these things are good for my waistline, they are a sure signs of home.

Mom and Dad arrived this evening. They picked me up from this afternoon’s understudy rehearsal and took me out for a quick bite at Agio (an Italian/Mediterranean joint) just up the street from the theatre. Massachusetts Avenue runs past the theatre and is the up and coming artsy strip in Indy. There are lots of cute looking places to choose from, but we made a great choice. I enjoyed my pesto very much. Mom and Dad both enjoyed their entrees as well.

I’m looking forward to a family weekend with Sheila arriving on Friday evening and Donn and Rhoda arriving in time for brunch on Saturday. Before everyone’s here, though, there’s time for one more night of Spamily fun with a party at Mitchell’s (our hair supervisor) real-life home tonight.

Should be a fun weekend!


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Some Photos

Some Photos
May 9th
Hooray for Snapfish!

Some photos from Rochester are here.

The tail end of Rochester and the beginning of Buffalo are here.
(The rest of Buffalo is still in my camera...)

Some highlights:

The Rochester Auditorium

Anyone need some storage space - at the Rochester Auditorium?!?!

Me soaking wet with my plate of red hots, white hots, hash browns and macaroni salad. Piper still calls this: "the garbage plate". I'm very proud.

Post rain-out at the Dinosaur Barbecue. Jeff, Tony Holds, Tony Pitsley, Piper, Francesca, Ryan, Cuz & Mike Berg digging in.

The Darwin D. Martin House - as it looked under re-construction.

Michael and Adam w/ their suicide wings. Please enjoy the look of dread on Adam's face - the smell alone frightened him.

Moments later: JV, Michael, Adam, Amy & Piper w/ our wings at anchor bar. Please note the look of horror on Michael's face and the tears on Adam's. Behold the power of the suicide wing.

Piper, Siobhan and Esther at Parkside Candy.

The next couple of photos come from my friend Fran and depict a few moments in Buffalo I neglected in my post.

Ricky B and Jeff are enjoying our "ice cream social". The ice cream shop next door to the theatre hosted us all on Thursday night in exchange for an autographed poster. What a great deal for us! And who doesn't enjoy free ice cream?

Shot night on Saturday (May 5th) was hosted by the "Texicans" in the hair department. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we all enjoyed tiny little margaritas. As Tim had just celebrated his birthday, he got first crack at the jalapeno pinata. Now, this hallway isn't very big and that's an aluminum bat - everyone gave him a wide berth and "hotter/colder" instructions. When he nailed it on the third swing, candy and flavored condoms flew out!

As Peter Lawrence pointed out on his visit to Buffalo, tour life can get a bit esoteric. We're in our own little bubble traveling around the country. As with any group, we develop our own inside jokes. Francesca has created an on-going monument to one of ours here. Kitty and Baby (Kitty is the girl, Baby is her cat) were found in one of the ensemble dressing rooms in Toronto and were rescued from oblivion by the Stage Management Staff. They began travelling the country. As I understand it, their first costume came in Detroit at Christmas when they acquired Santa Hats. By the time I met them, in Naples, the had changed into sunglasses and beachwear. Now, they get new outfits every city. Francesca dresses them as local celebrities or at least in locally appropriate attire. She is a mad genius. See if you can figure out who they are in each city. She promises to keep the Kitty and Baby Gallery updated.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Egg Salad

Egg Salad
Tuesday, May 8th

As some of you may know, I'm a little obsessed with egg salad. So, when the Hoaglin Cafe (where Stage Management and Company Management ate our load-in lunch) claimed to have the best egg salad in Indianapolis, I went for it. Now, it should be noted that I don't go for plain ole' egg salad. I like a lot of gack in it (maybe some cheese and definitely some mustard). The egg salad at Hoaglin's had dill (genius!) in it and finely shredded onion. It was served on sour dough with thick slices of crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and melted cheddar cheese. While I can not claim to have tried all the egg salad in Indianapolis, I will say that all others have their work cut out for them. I ordered a side of cauliflower salad with my sandwich. I wasn't sure what to expect with such a salad, but I was very pleased with the result. Indianapolis is off to a good start!

The Murat Centre, where Spamalot will spend the next week, is another converted Masonic Temple. The building and the lobbies are very pretty. Very Turkish in their inspiration. The outside of the building looks a lot like the Fox in Atlanta with its towers and onion dome. Live Nation, who owns the theatre, has made the back of the theatre into the main entrance (the parking lot is in back). So, they've painted the rather plain back of the theatre to match the more decorative front (it looks like a Disney set). The backstage space is small and the dressing rooms are tiny. The principal dressing rooms have a toilet right next to the dressing table (sort of like a prison cell)! The male ensemble's quick change booth will actually be built one of our 53' trailers backed up into the loading dock... I'll update everyone on how that goes in a future post.

The actual front of the Murat Centre.

Roadfood.com recommends the Rathskeller here in Indy. As an added bonus, it's right across the street from the theatre. Bring on the German food!