Monday, June 10, 2013

6/5/13-6/9/13: Worcester, MA

What a great way to end the week!

Before we got to Worcester for our weekend of shows....we spent a Golden Day in New Orleans!!!

Now NOLA is one of my all-time favorite cities.  I've been there twice with tours before: Once we drove in for the day when we were playing Baton Rouge and Once we played there for a weekend but had the whole week off there beforehand.

We actually drove straight there directly after our last show in Jackson - and got to the hotel around 2AM.  In a normal city, you'd go straight to bed but NOLA is still kicking at 2AM on a Wednesday night so a bunch of us went out for a nightcap at Cafe Lafitte In Exile.  Which, as it turns out, is the oldest continually running gay bar in the country.  They even have a letter posted on their wall that the US Army sent them back in the 60s notifying them that they were 'under watch' because it was rumored that soldiers were frequenting the bar and they were known for hosting 'undesirables'. Very interesting...  After our drink and a little stroll down Bourbon St (just to see what was left of the night) and a little 3AM was off to bed.

Next morning, I walked through the French Quarter, where we were staying.  I love the architecture there - there's no where in the country that looks like the French Quarter in New Orleans.  Such a sense of history and mystery and danger - very gothically beautiful.  I wound up at the Cafe du Monde in Jackson Square for some of their signature beignets and chicory coffee.

Then I wandered down through the French Market for a bit.  Round noon or so, I met up with my roommate Mark, and we took a streetcar down to some of the cemeteries in the Warehouse District.  NOLA cemeteries are outstanding places for some great gothic photography.  I felt like something right out of an Anne Rice novel.  The graves are so interesting as well - very ornate.  But more interesting is how they work.  The reason whole family lines are able to be buried in the same plot is that they will lay the body out unpreserved on a slab in the building and after a year, when there are just bones left, they come in and push the bones off into a pit dug inside the grave.  So different...

Just outside the cemetery, we stopped in a little coffee shoppe/herbal store/hoodoo store.  You know, they sold lattes, capsules of fire ants, bat blood ink, and lotions and things.  Only in New Orleans.  Then it was time for lunch.  Our friend, and superstudy Lexie, lived in NOLA for a while and suggested we hit up her old employer, the Palace Cafe on Canal Street.  O. M. G. Lets just say Crabmeat Cheesecake and Andouille Encrusted die for...

Next stop was the Voodoo Museum in the Quarter.  While Voodoo still remains a mystery to me - it was interesting to stroll through some of the altars and dolls and read up on Marie Leveau - the original Voodoo Queen of New Orleans.  If you're in town I definitely recommend stopping in - I mean there's a woman with a live snake draped around her in the lobby that chats with you...whats more New Orleans than that...

All in all - a great day off!

Then we flew into Worcester - which is about 40 minutes outside of Boston.  It was our last big sit-down (5 shows) until we get to Portland in 2 weeks.  It also happened to be home base for Jen Fogarty, our Wednesday.  So the shows there were awesome - its always great to play someone's home town.  They showed us much love!  In a string of well timed luck, we ended up with some free tickets to give away for our last show - and my good friend, from Curious George, Hillary was able to come and see the show!  She lives up in CT and I get to see her periodically when I'm traveling through the area or when we're both in NYC auditioning.  Last year we played her home town with Grinch and she and her family graciously had me over for Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was great to see her and I was so happy she was able to come and see me fly :).

 And to top it all off, they Tony's were going on...and performing in them was one of our Pugsleys!  He was a part of A CHRISTMAS STORY last year, which was nominated for Best Musical.  So he's been away all week rehearsing and then appearing on the show.  Was kinda cool to watch him in the showcase they did for the show - and even though they didn't win (go Pippin and Kinky Boots!) I'm sure it was a thrilling once in a lifetime experience for him.

I love watching the Tonys.  It reminds me of what a close knit community we are in the arts world - and even though I've never been on Broadway myself (yet, thank you very much) - It reminds me that anything is possible in this field.  A great way to end the week, indeed...