Movin' on up... or sideways, rather.

Ok - let's keep a'goin :) So if allll that other stuff wasn't enough craziness, here's the BIG news. We have officially closed (I.e. purchased) the building next door to the theatre. Jolene's photography studio has now migrated to the next building over and we've invaded. Here, courtesy of google earth, is a space station pic of how cool the amount of new space actually will be for us...

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And, you know Najuch's, they love to start ripping stuff out.

ANOTHER BUILDING TO RENOVATE. I'M THRILLED another-buildling-to-rip-up-yay.jpg

Jolene has been feverishly getting 20 years worth of stuff out of the building over the past few weeks, AND renovating the other space for her studio needs. Her business has been there a long time so when the day came for the big move it was an emotional day... Her new space is fantastic though, and we're so thrilled that we've got this new space to help make everything a reality. The building is gonna give us space for a HUGE commercial kitchen in the back (that will be able to handle the food for all the folks in the main space when it's open), and we are hoping that it will already be functioning for the summer shows. The kitchen will eventually also serve a restaurant called "Overtures" in the front, a brand new roomy ladies room (the mens room will relocate to the current ladies room), rehearsal space (which we will be using this summer (with dance MIRRORS YAYYYYYY - seriously, Carl was like 'can we have mirrors this summer....please. Pleaaasee'), and offices and lions and tigers and bears. LIke this building is BIG. And even though a lot of is hasn't really been used in 20 years and it needs love (Jolene really only utilized the first floor), it's bones are in great shape.

And the SAME day as the real estate closing, Team Najuch started to work.... The whole back area that's going to become the kitchen was the first victim of the sledgehammer... All the stuff you see leaning against the wall... is stuff they tore out already by the time I got there with my camera.

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With all this demo goin' on between the Opera House and the Theatre and the new building (we need a name for it.... crap...what do we call it? Blog competition??) AND our house Rich decided to invest in a Dumpster. Now this may not seem like a big step, kids. But it was. A run to the Dump not only costs every time you go, but it takes 1/2 an hour minimum to get there and back. And the dumpster holds about four truck loads. Which means Rich gains four hours of work time. The dumpster is getting filled so quickly that he's having it emptied EVERY DAY. And, get this, because the City has just announced that, because of budget cuts, it's cutting down trash pick up to once every two weeks... we now have to get a LOCK for our dumpster because it's now being eyed as a very tempting way of refuse removal!!! Which is pretty hilarious. In fact, our dumpster space is probably worth more than some of our real estate at the moment! So anyhoo - the dumpster is gobbling up trash quicker than pack man with a tape work.

And clearly it's all ready to start cooking in :) rich-in-kitchen.jpg

And it's amazing the stuff you find while you're clearing out an old building! republican-sign.jpg

So in about two days they had that whole kitchen area pretty much down to the shell (including all the old drop ceilings)... and started on the front area where the restaurant will eventually be housed. Here's how it looked when they started... jolene-at-start.jpg

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The trickiest thing is that in order to do the demo they have to cut the power in various sections - so the more progress they make... the darker it gets! lights-out.jpg

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The most exciting part of the room is the GORGEOUS tin ceiling that we are gonna get gussied up... tin-ceiling.jpg

The restaurant will continue through to this central room (that is between the kitchen area and the area pictured above)... jolene-middle-room.jpg

Rich asked me to do a rendering of what the rehearsal room upstairs would look like... so here's a before and after of that. It's gonna be soooo awesome... raw-image-for-psi.jpg

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Anyhoo... While allll this is goin' on, I've been writing and teaching. I'm getting pretty used to the 45 minute drive three times a week, and I've become a big fan of audio books... it's amazing how much you can actually get done while listening to an hour and a half of somethin'. For instance I've had time to start getting acquainted with the novel of Jekyll and Hyde which we're doin' for a week in Halloween.

I've been working my butt off on the adaptation of Treasure Island for the Teacher's Convention that that is coming to Huntington. I spent weeks adapting the book down from 260 pages to an hour in length and then I created 150 really complicated sound cues for it as well. This thing has been like two months of solid work. Debbie was asked if she could help the convention find an entertainment for the evening that would be free. And since it would expose our work (for the Young Audience shows we're going to start doing) to teachers from all over, we thought it would be a really great thing to do. So I've been working on it since New Years, and I even hired a seamstress to build a colonial frock coat, vest and breeches for me. It was like at least twice as complicated as putting together Sleepy Hollow. So I actually finished the entire thing (the last sound cue) this week, and yesterday Debbie learned from the convention that they no longer wanted us to do it. They wanted classical music and hors d' oeuvres. I was so upset. Like in tears. I'd spent so much time doing this thing for free that I thought would help us get bookings and it just sucked. Rich was really nice and said we could try and find a time to do it at the theatre for a couple days and maybe that way it wouldn't have been for nothing. I was also really bummed because my students were gonna all come see the dress rehearsal for extra credit. It's was a rough night. A lot of people when they approach us and say "can you do something?" in terms of entertainment don't have the frame of reference to know that anything we do takes months of planning. It's not their fault - but it really sucks when folks think it's no big deal to change their mind. Anyway - with so much other stuff to get done, I don't have time to wallow (even though I'm an excellent wallower :)) so I've started jumping in knee deep into song choices etc. I've also started work on the children's shows that we ARE sending out in the fall... I've put together the first draft of the artwork for them...

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Got some fabulous comments about Elizabeth's clip singing on the last blog - glad folks are excited. We've sold well over 800 tickets for this coming summer...which is amazing this far in advance. And I've just about got all the songs picked and I'm so excited. I really think it's gonna be the best season ever - this music is so much fun, so exciting and so great for these singers. So - if you don't have 'em...get tix soon, ok?

And soooo that's where we are kids. Rippin' and buildin' and writin' and stressin! But lots is happening - and I'll tell you about it, I certainly hope, sooner rather than later. Thanks for stickin' with me! They made a heap more progress on the restaurant area - so I'm gonna have to update you again soon! Jo Jo.