Well - i'm suffering through the evil cold of death which Janice shared with me before she had to go to Atlanta.Those Najuchs, so giving. Other than that we've been kind of slammin' getting ready for David and JessAnn to arrive. Jess gets here tomorrow in the evening and David the next day (he's coming a little bit later cuz he had this church gig that pays really well - so we let him slum it in NY until Monday :) Jess has a CRAP load of solo stuff - so there is still plenty to do.
I've been working like a dawg (which is much harder than working like a dog) on the program. Trying to come up with 30 Depression Era/ Mickey rooney/ Judy Garland themed ads without overkilling the Wizard of Oz was not easy. The good news - i know if we ever do the Wizard of Oz, I still have plenty of ideas! The program is a HUGE job - but Rich always is really pleased with how it comes out - and you know I'm like a big dumb (old, fat) puppy - I'll do anything for praise. I was GOING to say I'll do anything for a bone... but you might take that the wrong way.
Apparently the Tempest (which I still have to finish telling you about - at LEAST in photograph form mostly) is just about completed editing. They filmed it for broadcast on local television, so i'm really excited to see how it came out. More excited to see it will be Margaret - who never got to SEE the show. She did however see a bunch of very muscular guys running around in their dressing rooms wearing nothing. So, frankly, we probably could have charged some people more for her view.
It's nice to know that things have not stopped being as wacky as normal. For instance, the other day, Rich and Janice went to the Post Office to buy stamps. They had run out of stamps. Rich bought a bunch of Forever stamps (I suppose since they ran out ONCE, he's going to stockpile them for the apocolypse) and then we needed 900 stamps for a postcard mailing. They gave us 900 stamps of fruit. Therefore our purchase at the post office looked like this:
"Forever Fruits". Coincidence... or massive post office CONSPIRACY!!!!??????? I'm calling Mike Wallace. If he's still alive?
The forty lighting instruments we purchased with some of the Tempest money arrived today. Rich got a fantastic deal on them on Ebay - they are called Source Fours - basically the standard for the biz these days. And they are really nice. We're gonna use a couple of them for the Supper Club as well. Now that we have those, we can hook up the other fancy Tempest toy we aquired which is a moving lighting instrument thing that hooks on to one of these source fours. It's a mirror with a motor - so you can basically make a light beam hit anywhere you want on the stage - so rather than being locked down to a few positions where I can hit people with spots, we have more flexibility. Whoo hoo.
The actors now have the script for Mickey and Judy - it's still way too long - but Rich says thinks it's at a place where we shouldn't cut anything yet until we hear them read through it (which is a good place to be really). It's gonna be a butt load of work - but i'm really excited to get back in the Sandbox with David. He's one of my favorite performers to work with and we became such good friends on our first show together. He's incredibly quick - so it's gonna be really a blast to work on creating something new with him.
Before Janice left I had an unfortunate Jo Jo moment at Walmart. I HATE HATE HATE and always attempt to avoid the self checkout at Walmart. I think it should be a form of torture at Guantanamo for prisoners to only be able to eat lightweight food that they can successfully check out at Walmart at self-checkout. Marshmellows, white bread, Peeps... anything that has no weight. It's like a freakin' nightmare. Anyway - Janice told me I was being a wuss, and so we got into the self checkout. And the dude in front of us was like NOT SKILLED and was taking forever and he had to keep calling the manager to verifiy stuff... I got very antsy. And then finally we got to check out. And the computer eked it's revenge up on me. This thing was seriously trying to make me look like a moron. There was a big line behind us and like EVERY SINGLE thing I tried to scan was like "call the manager". So we would. And she would like not even touch it - it was like she had the force - she'd get two feet near us and it would be like "Okey dokey". And she'd walk away and then it would do it again with the next thing. And then we'd wait 45 seconds for her to come... and then it would PSYCH us out. I actually started whacking it with the Wonder Bread and saying to all the people in line "I have a MASTERS DEGREE!!!!" Janice enjoyed herself immensely.
I would like to make a shout out to the gentleman who had a handpainted sign along the road the other day saying: "Josh's Squashes". Although I realize squashes is not really a word, I was so delighted by the rhyme that I was almost inspired to buy a Howard Johnsons so I could have a sign that said: JoJo's Ho Jo.
Rich said no. Rich was actually in good form last night. We were with Derek and he said something sarcastic and I said "you know, if you're not going to be nice to me I'll just go and start my own theatre in Wabash". Rich said: "Go ahead. First you'd have to find Wabash".
We're shoppin' for 40's clothes for JessAnn on ebay. We've found one really cute dark brown day dress and we're still trying to find the right evening gown. I was excited at how much vintage 40's stuff there is to be found (and also, the swing craze created quite a retro fashion market for reproductions)... but Jess is pretty tiny - so it's a challenge to find the right fit. Of course - we always have Madge and her magic needle. Or, as things got a little hairy in Bermuda, Madge and her magic glue gun!
The Pack Leader has been finishing up and cleaning the new kitchen area - the new industrial dishwasher is going to make things SOOOOO much more pleasant for him when it gets goin'. The dishwasher folk should come by this week to finish up the installation. Before the dishes had to be rolled over to Nicks every single night after the show and it was a pain in the keester.
I'm very excited that we've gone back to the original JoJo/Rich supper club meal plan. This summer we ate the same thing the audience did (with the actors) every night after the shows. This christmas we didn't do that for a couple reasons that seemed sensible at the time... but the chances of us having time to cook BEFORE the shows are nill, the chances of us WANTING to cook after the shows were NILLER. And everything by then is closed. So by the end of Xmas if I saw one more Applebees menu I was gonna stick a fork up my nose. So - for the Mickey and Judy show we'll be eating with the actors after the show. I also loved it becuase it was a really nice time to kind of wind down together, chit chat, evaluate and kind of do notes in a casual fun way. It was bonding time - which I really missed at xmas. And, with Jordan coming back I WANT MY QUALITY TIME DARNIT.
Jordan is actually reallllly excited. We just hired our last cast member for the summer and I have got to say it is probably our most amazing overall group so far. They are just wonderful. And for the first time we have a REAL bass. We've always had baritones - and this kid Carl is brilliant. We've actually been courting him for a year to find a time when our schedules worked together.
CLICK here to see Carl Kickin' butt. And we got a kazillion submissions for the soprano role - but this one girl just somehow really got my attention with her stuff. And we emailed back and forth and she sent a bunch of different videos of herself. She also works at this big famous period diner in NY that has singing performers (it's a really tough gig to get actually) and so, when I asked her if she could sing Downtown for me she decided to wear some of her costume:
We really liked her and thanks to Katie and Stephanie (who told her weren't crazy (the bribes paid off)..she took the gig.
I would like to send out a quick heads up to President Obama that when he sorts out Iraq that we may have to deploy the National Guard to Jefferson Street. A war of the most horrifying and devastating proportions seems to be breaking out in our midst. It's worse than the Jets and the Sharks. Worse than the Krips and the Bloods.
While I was gone apparently The Beach decided to erect on our sidewalk a monument to it's culinary delectables. I always thought a sideWALK was for you know... WALKing...but apparently not. Anyway - there is this substantial lifeguard chair in the middle of the sidewalk bike chained to a lamppost (because the lifeguard chair theft rate is rampant in Huntington, apparently... "Hey martha, what happened to your lazy boy... oh nothin... we just upgraded it with this dandy LIFEGUARD chair we found on the street"). Anyway - upon this sculptural edifice is painted the various tasty offerings one may purchase inside.
Maybe they are lobster tenderloins...
I'm sure you know this means war. I'm very upset that Leonard the talking pig didn't come with us to Huntington, because Jean Anne probably would have chained HIM up to a lamppost and had it saying "Hey, we're a restaurant. And you know what we have in here? PORK Tenderloins!!!"
Ok - My cold is currently making my sinuses feel like that little creature in alien is gonna pop out of my left ear...so i'm gonna call it a night.