The Big Push.

Hey there.Sorry, I meant to post sooner - but I've been diligently desperately trying to get the draft done of the Rooney/Garland show done. About three hours ago I finished the first draft. Mom read it and she doesn't really know that much about either Mickey or Judy, and she really liked it. So that's a good sign. And sent it off to the world's most pre-eminent Judy Garland authorities. Dan and Winston. Seriously - they watch Liza doing interviews about her mother and they go: "What, fool...you be makin' that up. It didn't go down that way, no how". Or something like that. Ok - so they aren't the worldwide authority - but they're pretty close. And through Dan i'm only one degree of Kevin Bacon away from Liza... so that's pretty good. Speaking of dancing celebrities from the eighties... i'm soooooo excited that we've been invited by Mr. Ford's to see Tommy Tune in concert. If you don't know who Tommy Tune is... well, google him. tommytunedance.jpg I was actually reallllly hoping we'd get invited to go see his show at the Honeywell Center (I arranged this by making incredibly subtle hints to Mr. Ford like "Hey, Mr. Ford, can we go see Tommy Tune". I should work at the UN.

See the script has to be finished way earlier than normal because the two actors have to memorize it. Normally anything that's spoken I'm reading from my binder - but in this show they're performing AS Mickey and Judy so they have crap loads of dialogue. So they need to start learnin' it.

Anyway - I was so excited that we actually frantically arranged my plane ticket back to Indiana so that I'd be there in time. I'm a little worried about my back holding up through 2 hours of a show and then a party afterward - but my spine will have to endure.

Speaking of my multiple fascinating and incurable ailments: The epidural seems to have worked well - if not 100%. It's still feeling tired - but today I was sitting for quite a while and wasn't in agony. I am in agony over the fact that since I've been completely inactive during the past two weeks resting my back that I seem to have gained 800 pounds. Like seriously - this is the only position i've been in for 85% of the time I've been here. slanket1.jpg

I'm hoping the doctor says it's going to be ok for me to hit the elliptical machine :( And yes - ladies and gentleman. In that picture I am in a slanket. Ok - I'm in my mother's slanket. I kinda stole it while I'm here. I love this thing SOOOOOO much. You can stay snuggly and stilllll have your arms free to read or eat or type about how cool slankets are. So I think it's time for a PRODUCT PLACEMENT!

THE SLANKET! slanket-1.jpg

I actually loved it so much that I ordered one for me and for Rich and for Janice for her birthday. Of course that means Po will end up invading and have three slankets. Since this is what she does with a sweater: po-sleeve.jpg

My headaches are STILLLL bugging me - but I'm hoping Derek will be able to kick their butt now that we know it's TMJ - and the mouth guard certainly is effective at night. The more and more I try and be conscious the more I realize I spend huge parts of my day with my jaw locked (which is astounding considering how much I talk). So to try and kick it's butt I've been getting acupuncture once a week and spending an hour like this: i'M ON PINS AND NEEDLES TO GET BACK TO HOOSIER LAND. needlesjpg.jpg

I ALWAYS SAID THAT JO JO WAS A STICK IN THE CUD needles2jpg.jpg

I am in serious Po Dog withdraw and can't WAIT to see her. I try and talk to her on skype but she ignores me. Even when I say "Do you want daddy to give you a STEAK???".

Now - if you hadn't noticed when I got my Mom HER slanket I did buy it in the specially patented Donna Froomkin Universal Beige. Since everything, as you can see, in my Mom's house is beige. She's big on color co-ordination which seemed to be strangely highlighted yesterday when I walked into the kitchen and saw her cooking dinner...

shrimp1.jpg

Sooooooooo. Let's do a little Tempest flashback shall we? I promised you lots of pics. We'll get to some of them... but I know Rich hates it when blogs get to long - so I'm probably gonna need a total of two more blogs to cover The Tempest - but, I'm making sure i cover present tense as well so you're in the loop :)

Well last time we spoke we were knee deep in rehearsals. Peter the magic consultant would drop by every couple of days and blow stuff up in the rehearsal room, Rebecca our amaaaazzzzzing makeup designer would come in before she had to be over at her job at the Lion King, and she'd be airbrushing people. The sound designer popped by to recordings. It was all completely nutty but exciting. And as we were plugging along Rich was trying to organize everything for the insane trip over the ocean. The apartment had been kinda chock a block before, but when the first load of costumes arrived it became farcical. This was the point where Rich started to really freak out. It takes a lot to freak out the Pack Leader. But when we saw these costumes he slowly started to wig out. See I had always anticipate that these clothes would fit in a couple suitcases. I was wrong. Sooooo wrong. These clothes were big and bulky. And heavy. While I worked on blocking at night Rich started trying to figure out a game plan. We had some issues with the costume department. The clothes that had been delivered were absolutely breathtaking. The ones that hadn't...well...didn't exist. And even those that we DID have arrived too late to be able to ship. To be safe that would arrive in time we should have had them like two weeks before we needed them on the island. Paticularly because stuff on the island can get stuck in customs and held on the docks and stuff.

So Rich had to come up with a plan b. Coupled with plan c through z. He also learned that the stuff needed by the lighting designer and the projection designer was not, shall we say, gonna fit on a carry on. The day Rich went with Grant to New Jersey to pick everything up I think was about the point where he lost it. Of course going to New Jersey is frequently enough to make many people lose their sanity. There were soooo many lights. I mean SOOOO many lights. And soooo many cables. And cables are heavy. Were talking like tarzan can swing from a tree thick cable. At this point the apartment literally looked like a warehouse. A very very small cramped warehouse. Quite literally it was a challenge to be able to get to the bathroom.

So Rich basically spent three nights playing the worlds most anxiety inducing game of Tetris. Trying to figure out what was going to fit into boxes and how and particularly WHYYYYY????? Here was our problem. We didn't have time to ship any of this stuff. We had to carry it on the plane. Not only were we going to have an insane amount of extra bags - but some bags, by neccessity, were going to be overweight. So the costs were rapidly starting to become ridonkulous.

Rich was doing the math and figured out that it was actually cheaper to buy a flight for someone to Bermuda so that we gained their free allotment of baggage (and also remember your first two extra bags cost a lot less than your third and fourth extra bags) than any other means. There was also a limit of how many bags a person could bring even IF they wanted to pay through the nose for them. (I think the max is five). And we did NOT have enough people for bags. We had Rich and Grant (lighting designer) and Kevin (projection designer) traveling to the island first, and then me several days later. And Rich calculated we had approximately 2,304 bags. Or thereabouts.

RICH ASSEMBLES HIS LUGGAGE. luggage-goofy.jpg

So with about three days before we have to get this stuff to Bermuda we need to find, to put it bluntly, a baggage mule. This was not an easy task... The REAL problem was that when you're doing something like a show for the Festival and you are bringing in thousands and thousands of dollars of lighting and projectors and costumes etc etc you have to take it BACK OUT with you when you leave. You have to have a document that details literally every single item in your luggage, per bag, and when you depart they sign off on it. Or you have to pay DUTY on the thousands and thousands of dollars of stuff. Which meant we couldn't just emotionally blackmail my parents into letting us keep it in the basement. THEREFORE we needed someone who could stay the ENTIRE TIME of the show. Not just come to Bermuda for the weekend, be like "here's your bag sucker, i'm going to the beach for two days and see ya". We needed someone for the long haul.

And we were going to have someone for the long haul, Rich had also realized that the show was very very complicated (we had a meeting with all the designers to talk through the show and we spent four hours working on the cues of the first SIX pages) and there was no means of communicating to the dressing room area (most theatres have an intercom system so you can page actors etc.). And we had about twenty trap door cues that needed someone he could trust to be on headset to cue for these - otherwise it would be really dangerous. AND the set designer Gordon had just arrived on the island and things were more behind in preparation than we would have liked.

So here was the deal: a) Needed someone who is willing at 72 hours notice to drop absolutely everything and come help Jo Jo and rich. b) It would be nice if they were good with power tools and crafty. c) apparently completely insane.

Yup...paging MADGE.

That's right ladies and gentleman, Margaret goes Tropical. "I SAY, CABANA BOY, BRING ME ANOTHER LONG ISLAND ICE TEA" madge-in-sun.jpg

Ok Margaret, I promise you, literally just screamed, OUT LOUD "that little shit". The truth is - she was in that position and actually got to see the sun and palm trees for approximately forty five seconds until the very last day she was here. Hee hee.

So. Rich called Margaret. Sometime before she landed on the island apparently she MENTIONED it to Larry (I'm really not quite straight on at what POINT she let him in the loop). Gretchen was apparently very peeved to be left behind. Jean Anne didn't understand why we didn't want the island to be introduced to Tenderloins and Cindy was like "Wait...Margaret gets to go to Bermuda and I get to look after your DOG???". Truthfully, Cindy would have lasted about four minutes in the theatre before she bought a bazooka and blew all of up. It was CRAAAZZZZZY.

So - hey - Margaret. Problem solved right. Nope. Madge did not have passport. And this very year they decided that you had to have a US passport to travel to the island (because apparently Osama Bin Laden likes to wear Bermuda shorts and play golf I guess). So - with basically two days Rich had to figure out how to get Margaret a passport. Which, of course, being the pack leader. He did. But get this. Even though they got them ALLL the information that the office needed immediately they didn't process it because her birth certificate did not list her SEX. Yes. Because Indiana birth certificates, apparently, don't. And they didn't TELL Margaret this until a whole day had passed by without them processing it. This turned into the looniest thing of all time. They said Margaret had to send PROOF that she was a female. Marriage certificates. Reports from the Dr. in charge of her who-ha... you don't even WANT TO KNOW what she had to send them. This did not get sorted out until the DAY of their flight. Rich literally was not sure if Margaret was going to arrive in New York and have to hang out in a Motel 6 for a day with the bags.

Eventually - and I am not making this up - Rich was instructed, as he was driving to the airport in a rental car - that he was supposed to meet the guy from the passport office in a STARBUCKS. I am informed the guys name was not Vinny and the ink was not wet. But apparently it worked. And Rich and Kevin and Grant and Margaret hit, as they say in Bermuda, the Rock.

xo jojo.