Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1/28/2014: Aimes, IA

Another uneventful trip/show day here.  Seriously - your mind starts to blur on these one nighters and all the shows start to feel the same.

We got in a little early today from the drive though, which was very nice.  There was time to walk over to the little Mexican restaurant, La Azteca, for lunch.  And I was really glad that I did…the food was so good - real authentic Mexican - almost as good as when we were in El Paso if you can believe that..(In IA!).  Then there was time for a little nap back at the hotel.  That really made the difference in the show tonight.  Just having some real time off between getting off the bus and having to go to the theatre…its was so refreshing.  

After the show, our little TV club got together to catch up on the latest 2 episodes of American Horror Story: Coven - since the finale airs tomorrow night.  Its been so difficult to find a time to watch it lately that we'd gotten 2 weeks behind.  But I'm ready to find out who the next Supreme is now…

And the best part of the day is…10:30AM bus call!! Whoo Hoo - lately its been 6 or 7 AM calls - which were starting to kill me (lol)..sleep...

Monday, January 27, 2014

1/27/2014: Wausau, WI

Another cold one today.

On our way to Wausau, we stopped off in Madison for lunch.  Madison is a really nice WI town - when I was doing A Christmas Carol at the Armory Theatre in Janesville, WI - Madison was the closest 'big city' to us - so we hit it up a few times.  I got it in my head that I wanted to go to this pub that I'd been to before what had some amazing cheese curds and beer cheese soup.  So when they dropped us off and I looked it up on my phone and it was only .3 miles away, I was stoked.  What I didn't count on was the wind.

OMG.  It was like -15 or something without the wind - which was cold enough. As I made my trek (seriously only about 8 blocks) to the pub - I hit an area of open space around the Capital building…and the wind hit me.  By the time I got to the pub I (no joke) could not feel my legs whatsoever.  I was certain that I had frostbite or something awful.  Apparently my jazz pants are not made to keep out the cold…It literally took about an hour and a half of being on the bus AFTER our lunch break for my legs to fully regain feeling.  Awful  - just Awful…

I am so glad that we did the overnight drive last night though - as we got into the hotel around 4ish and only had about 30 mins before we were back on the bus to theatre.  The hotel we were at was fairly quaint - and the theatre was nice.  We had a bunch of the same locals from when we were in Appleton, WI last year - so that was fun.

After the show, I met up with Amanda and Galloway to film a little Soap Opera-esque scene I had written for my Vlog.  They were brilliant - it was so funny - and the Vlog piece turned out fantastic - one of my favorites!!  Fester At The Movies!  Check it out!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

1/26/2014: Grand Rapids, MI

Hoo Boy - we've had some crazy travel days on the bus lately - and some crazier ones coming up…

Today we drove into a Matinee (always fun) in Grand Rapids, MI.  We arrived to a catered lunch - which was very nice actually.  I always enjoy when the theaters cater us - its usually something good.  This time, there was a really good ship scampi pasta - loved it.

The show itself went well - and we were out of there before we knew it…We had some of the same locals from when we were in Kalamazoo last October - so that was fun to see some familiar faces.

After the show - it was back on the bus and another 5 (almost 6) hour drive to get a head start on the travel to WI tomorrow.  Weather was bad so the going was pretty slow.  But we finally made it Rosemont, IL - where we crashed at an Aloft for the night.  I love those hotels.  I gotta say, you really get a better night sleep if your surroundings are comforting as well as comfortable - and Alofts just do that for me.

On a side note - I've been watching Dexter on our travels.  I've never actually seen any of the episodes before and I am loving it so far.  Almost through Season 1 and can't believe that I've never tuned in before…OK - long day tomorrow too, so I'm out...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

1/24/2014-1/25/2014: Clinton Township, MI

Well - on our way to Clinton Township we had a night off (finally) in Chicago.  I wish we'd had more time actually - I love Chicago.  I got to spend 2 weeks there with my Grinch tour 2 Christmases ago.  Plus we traveled through there with both George and Thomas - and of course my parents are from there…so Ive been there quite a bit…

I had originally planned to go to my favorite restaurant, Moto, while I was in town - but sadly I found out that they were closed most of this week to get ready for a big anniversary celebration that they were having next week.  Super sadness.  BUT that did mean that I had the evening free - so a small group of us went out to Second  City to see one of their sketch shows called Clowncar Named Desire.  It was hilarious - so glad that I decided to go out and see it.  PLUS my friends Laura and Sam (from George) came to see it - and then back to our hotel bar for bit afterwards.  It was a very good night - and a much needed break.

Then we made it to Clinton Township for the weekend.  The shows went very well  - as usual.  Nothing too eventful - thank goodness.  And now we're back on our one-nighter track and off to Grand Rapids!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1/22/2013: Mason City, IA

Damn its cold here!

And for me to say that -- that's a lot of cold! (lol)

On our way to Mason City we stopped in Cedar Falls for lunch - and went to this little dinner that is known for their lose-meat sandwiches.  Its an IA/midwest fare that I've never actually had before (only heard about it on the old Roseanne sitcom).  Its kinda like a sloppy joe - but better…we also came across this great cupcake place.  They had an ENORMOUS selection of gourmet cupcakes and were selling them for $2!!  I probably would have paid $6 a cupcake in NYC…at least.  And boy were they good….Cherries Jubilee and Tarimisu…awesomeness...

We arrived in Mason City and headed to the theatre, where our stage manager, Suzanne, greeted us in a Parka.  The theatre itself was freezing - which actually made for a very delightful show for me.  I didn't' sweat and I could leave my Fester coat on the entire show.  Though I doubt my request that all of our theaters be kept at 25 degrees will be taken into consideration…

After the show, I met up with my Aunt Debbie - who I haven't seen since I was touring with Curious George about 5 years ago, my cousins Patrick and Kelli - who I haven't seen since I was about 7 years old, and Kelli's 2 daughters - who I've never met.  We headed over to Denny's (which was actually one town over) and chatted for a bit.  It was nice to talk with them - especially since I hadn't seen Patrick or Kelli (aside from Facebook) in over 20 years…  Thats one of the cool things about traveling around the country - your bound to come into contact with friends and family who you've lost touch with - because you are literally going EVERYWHERE there is to go… The girls were absolutely adorable and had made me some drawings.  A very nice evening.

On our way out of the restaurant and back to the hotel, the already freezing temperature (it was about -9 when we got there…) had dropped to -25 with a windchill of about -50….thats cold.  Kelli accidentally touched the metal of the outside door to the Denny's and it actually burnt her hand it was so freezing.  

I certainly hope it warms up a bit...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1/21/2014: Burlington, IA

So this town was one that reminds you of what a privilege it is to see live theatre in some areas.  Burlington is a very small town from what I got to see of it - which technically wasn't much.  But everyone there seemed incredibly happy to see us and have us in their town.  The venue surprised us with a catered meal when we arrived - which is always appreciated.  And the crowd seemed to really enjoy the show.

The venue itself was a little more like a high school gym than an actual theatre - and probably the smallest place that we've played.  So there were a lot of changes to be made to the show on the fly - and we lost about 5 feet of stage which meant that the dance numbers were a little more snug than usual.  If nothing else, it meant that we were more alert and on our toes - which always makes the show a little more fun.

We stayed at the Pzazz Casino Resort and Spa - which included a bowling alley attached to it.  The manager was awesome and stayed open for us so we'd have something to do to unwind after the show. There was much bowling, laughter, drinks and pizza to be had.  And its always fun to hang out with the Family in a no-show setting.

Monday, January 20, 2014

1/19/2014: Charleston, WV

I just learned that the situation in Charleston is so bad that Erin Brockovich was in town talking to the town about their legal options.

Needless to say I did not drink the water.

I did however cave and ate the pizza that the company bought for us - even though I'm sure that the crust was made with local water - so if I get cancer in the next 5 years - this is my proof that I can join Erin's class action suit…

Not much else to say about the town.  We were in and out so quickly - since everyone was anti-shower and everything here, we were anxious to hit Indianapolis the next day to at least wash the show from the day before off.

We were also only in Indy for the night on our way to Burlington, IA.  So I didn't go out to explore or anything - but we'll be back in May.  Its currently where the tour is scheduled (so far) to end.  We did have another game night in Indy though - played through Zombie Dice and Cthulhu Dice and a longish game of Killer Bunnies (Im glad that that one is catching on…)  Now off to below 0 weather and IA! (gulp)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

1/16/2014-1/18/2014: Norfolk, VA

I'm also not a stranger to the Norfolk area.  Thomas and Friends Live had their tech rehearsals in Portsmouth (which is just over the river) and then came back to play Norfolk a few weeks later.  Curious George also played here way back when.  Its a nice town with a lot of monuments and things dedicated to General McArthur - who must have lived here.  

First day here, Mark and Betsy and I headed out to breakfast at The Brickyard Diner - a very quaint little place right next to our hotel.  They had a really nice breakfast though and we were sad to find out that they weren't open on the weekends so we'd have to find a new place to go on Saturday.  After that, I walked around the mall for a bit - with some success…I found a really nice hoodie sweatshirt (my favs) at American Eagle's clearance rack and picked up some facial wash/makeup remover from Lush.  That one turned out to be the best find - as it takes off all the show makeup without drying my skin at all - which has been a big problem lately as the weather gets colder and the air drier. 

Second day we had a double, so I was really only out and about for breakfast. We went to this other diner a little further down the road called D'Egg Diner.  It was ok - but not at all what I was hoping for.  I order their Brisket Eggs Benedict - which sounded absolutely awesome.  But the brisket itself was dry and the eggs were cooked to the point of hard boiled instead of poached like they should have been.  Even the OJ I ordered seemed watered down and hardly tasted like orange.  Not Good.  In fact the only good thing about breakfast was that we were joined by Julie - our former tour tutor.  She was in town visiting her sister and thought she'd come see the show and hang for a bit.

The shows were good - but that double was hard.  It seemed like we hadn't done one in ages, even though our last one was last week…

We did get a little game night in though - so that was fun.  Played some Agricola and Bunnies with the gang.  Oh how I love spreading the love of killing rabbits to my casts.

Tomorrow should be interesting though - we're headed to Charleston, WV - where they're having all the problems with their water supply… we'll see how that goes...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

1/13/2014-1/15/2014: North Charleston, SC

It was nice to be back in the Charleston area again.  I've been through here several times with tours - most recently with Thomas and Friends Live at the theatre where we performed.  Charleston was also a favorite of my parents to come and visit on vacations - so, I've been to the sights many times and its always fun.

Our first day in I headed over to the Outlets right near the hotel - just to have a look around really.  My main goal of the day was to try and see Saving Mr. Banks at the movie theatre.  When I looked at the map - it showed that the theatre was right across the street from the Outlets, so I thought "Perfect."  I'll kill a little time at the mall and then just walk over.  Wah Wah.  It seems that there is a huge fence around the street that I needed to cross to reach the theatre.  So it took me almost 25/30 minutes to 'cross the street'.  I could literally stand in the theater parking lot and see the Outlets… but I still made it just in time (thank you previews).  I literally walked in the theatre and sat down as the actual film was starting…so tragedy averted (lol).  The movie itself was great - I've always been a big Emma Thompson fan.  I'm actually surprised that it was basically snubbed at the Oscars - but who cares…I loved it.

Day two had us call taking Bernice into downtown Charleston for about 4 hours.  We started by walking throughout the open air Market - where they have all the women weaving baskets and selling the Benny Crackers (Charleston snacks that remind me of sweet sesame crackers).  Then we headed to the Lowcountry Bistro for lunch.  Lucky for us it happened to be Restaurant Week - so they were offering apps and entrees for $15.  The she-crab soup (another Charleston staple) was divine.  Just awesome.  Then we just kinda wandered around the historic downtown area - saw The Dock Street Theatre (the oldest theatre in the country), the Slave Market, all the beautiful mansions down by the Battery and of course Rainbow Row.  Quite a fun, touristy day.

The shows here also went well.  Very receptive audiences.  And we were able to celebrate Chloe's birthday with some cupcakes.  Which brings us completely full circle, as Chloe's was the first birthday that we celebrated way back during rehearsals (also with cupcakes).

All in All - a very relaxing and fun city stop!

Monday, January 13, 2014

1/10/2014-1/12/2014: Clearwater, FL


It was so incredible to be able to bring the show so close to home.  The outpouring of people who came out to see me from all of my past walks of life in the Tampa Bay area was amazing.  And the audiences we had were truly outstanding.  Seriously the 2 best ever.  I also felt like I gave my 2 best performances ever while home - which was nice (lol).  Seriously great.

But other than the show - I didn't do too much - as, you know, I live here.  So I wasn't up for sightseeing or going to the beach or anything like that.  Not a beach person anyway…

Brittany (my sister) came over to the hotel we were staying at in Clearwater on Friday night and played some board games with me and some of the cast - we played Agricola (a game that Nolan, our conductor, acquired for Christmas this year) and then Cards Against Humanity.  Was a nice night.

Next day were the shows - which as I said went very well.  I was allowed to give a backstage tour to the folks who came to see me after the first performance.  So that was a lot of fun to do.  Then the venue catered for us so I didn't have to go out hunting for food - and their catering department is spot on.  All I wanted to do was sleep after that - but that second show came up fairly quickly.  Not only were my friends and family at the 2nd show- but our producers came out to see the show start off again as well.  So after we finished, we had a little party thrown by Ruth Eckerd Hall to go to - then a producers' party out on the beach.  Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of the day (lol).

Sunday we had a true Golden Day - no travel and no show.  So Tammy came and picked me up so we could take Scarlett to the park and out to diner.  It was a very relaxing, fun day.  And now we're off (for real this time) for 5 weeks before I'm home again.  But thank you Tampa Bay for making the Addams feel so at home in my home!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1/8/2014-1/9/2014: Key West, FL

And we're back!

After 3 very relaxing and fun weeks off for the holidays, we are back on the road once again.  This time we started up in Key West, FL.  Not too shabby a place to be in January, considering most of the country is freezing the butts off in a cold front.  The trouble was getting there…

I was fine - as I was coming in from Tampa.  My flight was on a little puddle jumper and only took about an hour.  But we had people coming in from New York, Boston, Oklahoma City - even parts of Michigan.  Our Michigan guy didn't make it until load out - but it worked out as he was our Fly guy and 90% of the flys were cut from the show at this venue anyway…  One group of actors though, made it to Miami and had to be put on a shuttle bus to Kew West (3.5 hours) due to storm conditions on the island.  But finally - everyone arrived safe and sound.

First thing I saw as we were driving to the hotel, though, was Guy Fierri taping an episode of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives - I guess he was detailing a place right outside our hotel called DJ's Clam Shack.  Didn't get a chance to go there -but I'm sure it was great if he was there (lol).  I did have diner at a place called Solo - down by the harbor - and it was really good.  They had a mixed lamb/beef burger that was to die for.  I also made sure to sample some of the Key Lime pies in town - and found that I agree with popular concusses - Kermit's is the place to go!  I mean - you can get it on a stick - dipped in chocolate…whats not to love there…

The weather was pretty rainy most of the time we were in town so I didn't get to do much other than the show - but thats ok.  I've seen Key West before - though not for many many years.  I had forgotten that the island is pretty much overrun with roosters and chickens.  They are pretty domestic and won't attack you but they are EVERYWHERE!  Especially the outdoor dining places. We went to Blue Heaven for breakfast (which I highly recommend as the food was outstanding) - and they were chasing each other round and under all the tables.  Very interesting…

The show was awesome.  We couldn't have asked for a better crowd to restart the tour on.  It was a small house - so we sold out the 450 seats but the theatre was so intimate and the audience really appreciated every joke.  A great way to start back…

BUT NOW!  Its off to Clearwater - so excited to be playing my home town of Tampa Bay!  Here We Go!