"Reid" this blog.

Hey there again -On a quick non-flashback note - The 300 extra Christmas tickets went onsale on Wednesday at 8am and were SOLD OUT by 11:00am. Three hours. No kidding. Nuts. Insane. Flabbergasting. Wonderful. Thanks. Watching Rich and Janice on the phone was like watching the Jerry Lewis telethon.

AND SO... After scratching our heads for about three hours and going..."should we? Really? No... oh heck... why not?" we are bowing to PUBLIC DEMAND. We checked with the actors, checked with Timmy and heavily sedated Jean Anne and we are... EXTENDING AGAIN!!!! We are adding another six shows that will begin November 21st. That's it. No more... i'm not making this the 'Groundhog Day Show"... Turkey Day is the cut-off people. I've picked the music - it's awwwweeesome and I'm so excited. So if you wanna get this new block of tickets call SOON. Three hundred tickets went it three hours - so be speedy. www.thenewhuntington.com or call the box office at: 260-454-0603

Now - since those are going to be gone in a flash too, it seems highly appropriate that I lead into this special guest blog with the following announcement. Our Supper Club delicious diva Katie from this summer is coming back to do special all new concert for New Years. We're doing TWO SHOWS ONLY. It's going to be a super fancy night - with meal choices of salmon or filet mignon, shrimp cocktail, an amazing appetizer buffet, champagne toast...all that jazz. Plus - the Katie-monster singing standards and big-ol' Broadway hits and New Years Favorites. I'm soooo excited about it. And so is she. The price for the New Years Eve event, which goes until well after midnight is $100. (the highter ticket price being because of the fanciness of the food - and the fact that getting Katie here for only two shows only means our costs are high...And we obviously only have fifty tickets.) For the New Years day Brunch (which will be a different menu - but super yummy), it's going to be $45. And Katie will do the full show at both events. Tickets for that went on sale on Wednesday - and a number of them are already gone...POOF :)

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Ain't she purty. Ok - so without further ado... and oddly appropriate for the above message here is KATIE'S GUEST BLOG about this summer.... Take it away doodle...

----------------------------------------------------- Katie's Guest Blog

I have to admit, this is my first crack at blogging. But I know that Joel is suuuper busy pretty much 24/7 365 days a year and I thought that to give him a break and to let readers hear from a different perspective, it would be fun to have an actor tell a tale or two!

Thought I’d start with a little about myself and how I ended up spending seven crazy and wonderful weeks in Huntington! I am from Denver, CO and I am currently in my senior year at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Neither place exactly screams summer, theatre opportunities for college kids. So, I booked a flight to NY for my spring break and auditioned at Strawhat (a unified audition of about 50 theatres for summer work). I was so excited to get the chance to spend a summer on the east coast! Ha. Funny I didn’t quite end up there, but I’m moving further east every summer so I’m hoping to make it to NY eventually! But I will tell you that I don’t think a better job could have come up at this point in my life.

Rehearsal, rehearsal. dscf1074.jpg

I remember reading about the Huntington Theatre in the Strawhat information packet and first thinking, “that sounds like an amazing gig.” Then thinking: Wait, first season. Huntington, Indiana. Two guys and an old theatre that needs to be renovated. There are a lot of things that could go wrong here. My concerns were quickly put to rest when I walked into the callbacks and met Joel. The callbacks were fun and professional. All the auditionees were talking about their Huntington Theatre callback and how great and fun they were. I quickly got the impression these guys were incredibly serious about what they were doing and incredibly ambitious. I wouldn’t fully appreciate how ambitious they are until I later witnessed Rich simultaneously iron, set a table for four, answer the phone about tickets, watch our rehearsal and tap dance (okay, he wasn’t tapping…he was actually clogging). Anyway, after two days of callbacks, a couple phone calls, and a contract, I committed to a summer in Indiana! And thus the adventure began.

It started with a package that weighed about 30 pounds filled with music ranging from Day-O to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Oh boy. Then, I had to pack up my life for 7 weeks in two suitcases weighing less than 50 pounds. Keep in mind that I had 30 pounds of music and when I asked Joel what we should bring to wear for the Hollywood show he said, “oh, maybe just some prom dresses. Or maybe more casual cocktail. Just bring what you’ve got.” I think I ended up bringing like, three prom dresses and 4 or 5 more but would like to proudly report that I did not go over the weight limit there or back (although Jordan had some issues on the way home and we ended up having to open his suitcases at the airport to rearrange things! Oh come on, we’ve all done it)

First impressions: Joel and Rich picking me up from the airport was a hoot. They felt sooo bad they were late getting there but I was just glad to know we had a working toilet! Going to Cheesecake Factory and Home Depot with them was a blast. It was so cool that we were finally the product of all this work they had been doing. Us being there meant things were really happening and getting started. The fun part (not that hammering, plastering, and molding aren’t fun) could begin! Plus, these are two guys from NY who haven’t really been with other “theatre people” in a year and they were obviously craving some dorky music theatre humor. And, the Midwest is not exactly well-renowned for their sarcasm but luckily they cast actors who are well well versed in sass and wit. We kept things pretty snappy for them for the summer I hope. I remember that first night we were there at dinner Joel asked JeanAnne why she was so quiet and she just said, “It’s fascinating to observe you with your own kind.”

Joel being…Joel ☺ dscf1065.jpg Like Joel said, it was pretty hysterical that there was so much going on in town those first couple weeks. Carnivals, JeffFest, antique car show, parades. We hardly knew what to do with ourselves! And yes, we were literally peeing ourselves watching Joel host the JeffFest. At this point, we had learned how Joel gets worked up about speaking in public and we knew how nervous he was so by the time he was saying "schvitzing", we were dying.

I don’t want to give away stories from future shows but here are a couple from the Hollywood run. I had the honor of singing the first song ever to be sung at the Supper Club, “Let the River Run.” It basically involves me belting from the first to last note. And Joel said to think Mother Earth and evoking the gods and all that from the first word so I did it. And they were…well, like he said, terrified. I literally felt like people were looking at me and thinking, “What the **** (you choose depending on how well you can picture this) is this girl doing and what are we doing here?” I almost felt like apologizing afterward for scaring them. But, things definitely warmed up throughout the show and definitely by the end of the summer people knew what to expect and were so loosey goosey with us they were even busting out their Hawaiian outfits for the Island Show and singing along (sometimes even more than they should have been ☺) That first show was also hysterical because we were going to do a little REMAX jingle to the tune of “Relax.” "Remax, go to it, let your realtor do it…when you wanna SELL." Pretty clever but we’d only come up with it and practiced it once or twice right before so when we got to the schtick I’m pretty we had all picked a different key and Jordan was singing a different song. Wow.

I was a little nervous about our improv skills after that but as the night went on I found myself relaxing into the show and finally seeing how we could have a lot of fun with the Jojo and his part of sharing the facts. See, I had never done cabaret before and even though Joel said he wanted us interacting even between songs I didn’t really understand that until we had an audience. All of a sudden, things I had been hearing Joel say in rehearsal for a week seemed hysterical and I put my two bits in here and there. Actually, I was putting my two bits in more here and there by the end of the run, for better or worse some nights. It was so fun to have something different every night depending on the audience…or what went wrong that you could joke about between numbers ☺

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Speaking of what went wrong. Here are a couple inside scoops on booboos. I know Joel and Rich would probably you didn’t know about these but everyone likes to know about all the crap that went wrong before they hear about what was great, right? For instance, don’t you want to know about when Tim accidentally skipped a page and went to the very end of Que Sera, Sera instead of playing the chorus again for the audience to join in. So, as I’m gesturing to them to join in, we are changing keys and playing a completely different part so I basically just stopped singing, picked a final note and hoped the audience chocked it up to that they aren’t very good at singing along! Or how about when Jordan did his cute little spin to the mic right before Maniac and definitely almost took out a front table. Just picture him leaning over their table grabbing the mic for dear life and trying desperately to regain his balance while trying to look MTV cool for Maniac. And the best part for me was that I could also watch Joel witness this (remember that is front and center and we can see his reaction to everything). By the last show, I could not even look at Joel in some parts because I knew I would crack up.

Another memory dear to my heart. Joel’s invention for the water bottles attached to the stool was totally brilliant and he should definitely win some kind of Tony for that or something. However, I happen to have a very, very small bladder. There was one night when I had to go to the bathroom pretty much from the middle of the first number on. There was no intermission in the first show though so I thought, ok, just wait, You’ll be fine. Well, let’s just say that Jordan singing “I will Always Love You” followed by Colleen singing “My Heart Will Go On” was pretty much the longest two ballads I have ever had to sit through. I was thinking, “Oh, for the love of God, did we really have to do all 57 key changes in this song????” By the time we got to the last number, Get Happy, it was all I could do to just get through it. But still, a great invention.

And I can’t believe Joel left this one out of the blog. I was looking for different black shoes for the show (no small task in Huntington) and Joel needed to go to Fort Wayne to get something last minute so I went along with him to look at some stores while we were there. This was my first experience driving with Joel. And if you’ve been following for a while, you know that Joel is not the most experienced of drivers…to say the least. Our trip included asking what the speed limit was every five seconds and driving on the highway at about 40 in the meantime just in case and definitely included a turn down the wrong side of a divided highway. I remained surprisingly calm during this and Joel said if singing doesn’t work out for me I could always have a career as a driving instructor ☺

Like I said, I don’t want to give away too much of the rest of the story and I don’t know if I’ll write again. Hopefully I will if people like hearing from us! But if I don’t I just want to end by saying that I truly believe this theatre will be uniquely amazing because of the owners and because of the community. I have never seen people get so excited to support a theatre in their town. It was incredibly touching to see people’s enthusiasm for us, the shows, and the theatre. We were treated wonderfully by so many people in town, especially JeanAnne, the Eckerts, the Dyers, and everyone at the Mayor’s office.

Moonbounce at Fourth of July party. dsc_0109.jpg They have our unending gratitude for helping to make our summer so special. And, of course, Joel and Rich (and Po) work harder than any human being (or dog) probably ever should have to. And because of that, they have created something truly wonderful in Huntington and I am so excited to see what will come of it and so honored to have spent the first season with them and with you!

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See ya New Years Eve... Katie!