Well, it was QUITE the undertaking - but the chicks are all now in the nest and we are chuggin' away. In fact Rich and Tim and I all are really excited about how quickly this group picks everything up. They're rockin' and rollin. And we're not even at the sixties show yet - when they kind of HAVE to be rockin and rollin. I am very happy to report that the magical new missing wall is still missing - and the rest of the building is still right where it was. Snaps for George and friends... I sit under it all the time - and apart from that hard hat and the pillow I have duct taped to my head, I feel totally safe :) Kidding. It's awesome. Sooooooooo cool - Everyone who walks in (who we've told about it) is amazed - and most people don't even notice! Which is exactly what we were hoping for... cuz the rooms looks like it SHOULD - not like we've done something weird to it.
First to arrive was Angie at around 10:30 am - from Fort Wayne. She's our first native Hoosier which is a kick. Jordan wasn't going to arrive until about 12 hours later, and it was Sunday, we felt morally obligated to introduce Angie to brunch. Which was kind of hysterical since she just left waitressing in NY at a place that specializes IN brunch. I would like to point out to all my detractors that she agrees that the bread pudding tastes better than any substance ever created on this earth. Case closed. We got Angie back to Peckerwood and settled in... and since she'd slept about thirty minutes in 24 hours, she pretty much crashed pretty much faster than a narcoleptic at Poppy-fest.
Jill was supposed to arrive, via parental limosine door-to-door service around four. Which turned into six. Which turned into eight. But she and her complete wardrobe of 1000 various costume options (including... and I am not making this up..."I got this in case I ever do Camelot." Because whenever you audition for Camelot the first thing they ask you is 'do you have your own medieval trousseau?'.) But - Ms. Garland is back in the house - with a pretty killer tan that she has acquired especially for the Italian show.
That evening Rich and I headed to Indy to pick up Jordan, it was the first time we'd been to the funky cool new airport. Yup, it is modern and sleek and very impressive EXCEPT it's sooooo new that it is no longer on ANY GPS whatsoever - and so getting in and out of the place is like travelling through some space time continuum blackhole. While we were waiting for Jordan we perused the display of artifacts dedicated to the dude they named the terminal after - Harvey Wier Cook. He seems to be some renowned fighting ace who then created a flying school or something. On display they had one of his schools instruction manuals for flight:
Please note that this is LESSON ELEVEN. If you are on lesson eleven (LANDING) and they still have to have an arrow explaining which part of the plane is the propeller - I think you might be in trouble. Just sayin.
Jordan apparently had to walk like eight miles from his gate to the baggage area... which might explain why Jordan has lost like 10 pounds. And yes, saying Jordan has lost ten pounds since last summer is like saying Kate Moss finally got rid of that baby fat. The boy is LEANNNN and I'm force feeding him Twizzlers as often as possible. Luckily Jordan's mother agrees with my nutritional plan and sent him with at least 40 pounds of candy... for instance, this Hefty garbage back sized sack of sour gummi worms...
Please note a) Jills tan and b) her determination that we change everything and do French show so she could wear this beret.
So - his flight arrived at 11:37. By the time he walked through the terminal it was around like 12:00 - and by the time we got his luggage it was around August. But we were all hungry so we detoured to Steak and Shake (who I am still trying to convince to put the 'low fat yogurt shakes' BACK ON THE MENU). While we were there we noticed a new item on the menu that might be the definition of the general culinary philosophy of the Mid West.
Wait, wait.... that hamburger and French fries just looks too healthy. Let's SMOTHER IT WITH BUTTER!! I mean really??? Butter???? And of course, it has to be ordered with a shake. I mean... there are rules :) They say it's a Wisconsin specialty - which must be why the state bird of Wisconsin is this guy:
So - anyway - we had three out of four! Whoo hoo. Carl was gonna be coming two days later than the others cuz he was finishing up an early session of summer school classes at University. So - we got lil' Jordan home at around 2:00 (seriously) and the next morning at 11:00 we got leapt into action.
Jordan has been away studying for a semester in Florence for the past like five months (which was an amazing experience for him... and pretty great for us since we have an automatic Italian pronunciation coach - and boy do we need it!). But he hasn't been singing every single day...
Actually - he's voice has matured sooo much. He has the same incredible tone and range - but he's now able to sing more legit mature stuff - it's really awesome. I was so proud of him and I think the audience is going to be so excited to see how his voice is maturing. He's at that age (cuz he's always been the baby of the Supper Club family). Boys vocally don't really land in their true vocal pocket until like 23 - so he's still really discovering his instrument. It's fun to be a part of it kinda.
Any one who just made a dirty comment about discovering Jordan's instrument needs to go sit in the corner for five minutes.
The great thing is that Tim now has started to get a rhythm for what we need to have ready for the first few days of rehearsal - and Jordan and Jill are used to Tim and the schedule - so we really were able to get things done quickly. And Angie is smart as a whip and super fast - so we were doing great. Without Carl there was certain stuff we couldn't do, but we hit all the solos... picked keys...learned harmony for all the backup to Carl's solos - and most importantly - we got through the trickiest part of the process which is hashing through the medleys and how they piece together from each person's key and blend etc.
The funniest thing in the world is how unstressed Jill is. She keeps saying "can someone give me a 50 page script to memorize in three days...because I'm feeling lazy." I mean seriously - compared to the 18 solos she had to do in the last show and the two zillion lines of dialogue she had to memorize...in someone else's VOICE... this is a walk in the park. Of course - we try and confuse her every few days just to keep her feeling at home... WAIT - ARE WE SINGING THIS CHORUS IN THE ENGLISH LYRICS, THE ITALIAN LYRICS, THE NEOPOLITAN LYRICS?
Frankly - I think I'M the one who should mystified I find Angie sexy...no? I was like...Angie, if Rich and I notice that your sexy it's really not debatable.
So. We were all working away to try and get ready for Carl's arrival on Wednesday. Tick Tick Tick. This was the plan. Carl had his Dad's car at school in New Jersey. His Dad wanted to have the car back home in Minnesota for the summer. Carl's dad was travelling to New Jersey and driving said vehicle back to Minnesota. So. Carl, rather than have us fly him, elected to drive with his dad, take a small detour, and get dropped off at Huntington. Sounds like a nice father/son bonding field trip Lifetime movie of the week... awesome.
Apparently a short while after their departure from New Jersey the car apparently suffered some kind of cardiac arrest. They were now too far in the middle of no-man' land to really return to their place of origin. So. They had to wait for the mechanic. Who finally arrived about five hours later or something. At this point Carl calls Rich and, being a very efficient person and already concerned about being two days late, mildly starts to freak. So we wait and see. The mechanic says that he won't be able to tell them until the next day whether or not the car will be WORTH FIXING. (PS - if you ever decide to drive to a job across the country in a car that might NOT be WORTH fixing... have a backup plan. That's just my two cents.)
So. Now we have Carl in the middle of nowhere - outside of Harrisburg, PA to be precise, and his Dad has to stay with the dead car. So - the Najuch's go into action and begin seven hundred various attack plans involving Janice driving halfway to meet him...and Rich meeting THEM half way... and sled dogs... and teleporters...and flux capacitors. It was all very complex. Particularly since he was nowhere near an airport. After exploring all the options this was the plan: Carl would get a train from outside of Harrisburg. To Philadelphia. He would then take a light rail TO the Philly airport. He would then fly from Philly to Detroit. And from Detroit to Fort Wayne. And he would arrive at 10pm on Wednesday having no recollection of his name and probably Kurt Russell could convince him that he was the mother of six children and he was supposed to design a miniature golf course.
The most hysterical part of all of this was that Carl and his dad had to borrow the mechanic's car to GET him to the train station. So - poor Carl is basically zooming around the country like a vocally gifted pinball. To add fuel to the fire - because Rich and I had placed an advertisement in the Wagon Wheel Theatre's season program, we had been given 6 complimentary tickets to the opening night of their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (or, apparently, Joseph and his Slightly Sparkly Maroon Paisley Smoking Jacket). And we had figured since we had four actors, one rich and one jo jo - we would take them to see the show. But we didn't have Carl. And Carl was arriving at 10. So after travelling eight zillion miles we had to ask Carl to wait another forty five minutes for us to get there after the curtain came down. The good news was that we were able to find a stunt-double for Carl in the form of Ann Siegried who bravely accompanied us on our theatre-going adventure. Rich even had rented a minivan for the occasion (since 6 people in the Blazer is a squeeze) so Ann felt just like she was back teaching highschool on a field trip. Except she never taught preschool and they weren't giving out Ridilin like tic tacs. :) Hey - we were excited.
So - after the show... which was the first Andrew Lloyd Webber musical I've ever seen that had Indiana Jones, a giant boulder and music from West Side Story... we ALLLLL went to get Carl. Which was kind of fun. And he was there. In one piece. If not a little frazzled. So - after four days and a little drama (hey - what would our rehearsals be like without a few hiccups????), the family was pretty much complete... And after 8 hours of throwing three days worth of music at Carl's brain...he was still in one piece - which was comforting.
The only thing that added to the hilarity of Carl's ordeal was at around 11:00 this morning (Carl's first day) the doorbell rang. And it was Carl's dad. Who had managed to make the drive... detour to The Huntington... and arrive. So basically Carl circumnavigated the Globe and his Dad almost beat him here!
Anyhoo - now the final puzzle piece is in place and we spent the day putting everything together like gangbusters. I'm sooooo excited about the Italian show - it's so much fun and they sound wonderful. I'm gonna try and get you some preview footage tomorrow if I can.
Tickets are really selling steadily now... We've passed the mark for last summer - which is great! By the way - if you have season tickets and you haven't picked your dates yet, you might want to, because even with the added 20 seats a night, a few nights are already sold out. We still HAVE TICKETS AVAILABLE (so ignore any nasty rumors that always hound us that we are sold out (we had that problem with the Judy Garland show... people thought there were no tickets left)... You can get tickets for all the shows still (so you should, right?!) but some nights are all full. If you want your season pass on a weekend particularly, get those dates locked in, ok kids! Cause if you don't get the night you want... Well... THAT MIGHT SUCK