Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Haiku #127 - Montgomery, AL

"are the ribs good here?"
Cherie asked.  Waitress response:
ate rib, licked fingers.

Well, you can't ask for a much more honest response than that.  And they were good.  The service was very friendly, and surprisingly fast.  Giancarlo ate with us, too, and he did very well interpreting the thick Southern drawl of the bartender.  "What sides you want, baby?" Cherie and I took a short walk along the river before we had to be at the theater.  Last show before a short layoff, then Toronto!
The Harriott Riverboat - Montgomery, AL

Haiku #126 - US Space and Rocket Center

who'd have expected
a roller coaster on Mars?
kids of all ages!

Kurt and Cherie and I went to the US Space and Rocker Center this morning before the matinee.  We rode a motion-simulator ride that we expected to be an informative and exciting exploration of Mars, which turned out to be a fact-free simulated Martian roller coaster.  We looked at rockets and airplanes, and Kurt and Cherie rode the G-force simulator.  We didn't have time to check it out very thoroughly, but it was fun.  And it was nerdily amusing to say we were at the space museum waiting for a shuttle (even if it was just the hotel shuttle).  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Haiku #124 - Conducting Heights

conducting a tour
one can't be afraid of heights
altitude or show
Kurt on his perch at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, AL

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Haiku #123 - Macon, GA

Cherie and Kurt photograph our dessert.

what could be better 
before a performance than
hot bacon dressing?

After a failed attempt at eating well yesterday, Kurt, Cherie and I had dinner between understudy rehearsal and tonight's show at Michael's on Mulberry, about a block from the theater.  It was all photogenic, and as delicious as it looked.  We shared Creole nachos, crab cakes, pecan-crusted chicken, a bunch of sides, and pecan and key lime pie for dessert.  The South continues its quest to make me fat... Yummmmm...

On to Huntsville, AL tomorrow for a 5-show weekend.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Haiku #122 - Pembroke, NC (2)

small but friendly crowd
Pembroke, North Carolina
band had many fans

One of the smaller venues we've played so far, but you'd never know it from the crowd - they were really into the show.  A bunch of people stayed through the bows and exit music and came down to talk to the band afterward.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Haiku #121 - Pembroke, NC

The view from our hotel, the biggest building as far as the eye can see.

the fields sprinkled with
houses and tractors and one
unlikely hotel

Monday, January 23, 2012

Haiku #120 - Korean BBQ

successful dinner
Korean BBQ and
we still have eyebrows

Haiku #119 - Usnavi Cake

Usanvi cake with one of our lovely hosts
Lexington Opera House
Look, it's Usnavi
standing on a city cake.
He found his island.

The woman who makes the cakes for the shows that come through Lexington makes each one specially-themed to suit the show - hence Usnavi standing on top of a cityscape for our show.  

Would like to write more about the lovely time we had in Lexington and the yummy meal they served us between shows, but I'm exhausted and we have an early bus call tomorrow.  Hope to see you again soon, Lexington!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Haiku #118 - Lexington, KY

surrounded by blue
an ocean of avid fans
dressed for college hoops

This was the scene in the hotel lobby this morning - fans of University of Kentucky, who were playing University of Alabama at the nearby Rupp Arena.  The director of the Lexington Opera House announced the Wildcats' win in her curtain speech for the benefit of those who had made the dubious decision to come see a show instead of going to the game.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Haiku #117 - Sweet Tea

we cross the border
many times between two worlds:
sweet tea, or not sweet?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Haiku #116 - Scramble and Other Addictive Apps

Cherie and Uke-snavi, right, and Kurt, left, probably playing Scramble
Bryan carefully navigates the bus down a snowy highway
all day on the bus
worthy Scramble opponents 
help to pass the time

We are Somehwere in Ohio, heading to our overnight stop on the way to the weekend's shows in Lexington, KY.  Snowing all day.  Our bus driver, Bryan, is getting us to our destination steadily, if a little slower than planned.  This long ride is helping me solidify my new addiction to Scramble on my phone.  I've been playing all day with my usual suspects, Kurt and Cherie (with occasional breaks for cribbage), and Perry and Greer have also challenged me to a game.  Time to get some actual work done for the rest of the trip...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Haiku #115 - Corning, NY

Cherie & Alex after our impromptu music store jam
what is that I hear?
the ominous rattle of
an awkward giraffe?

Two shows in Elmira, NY, and in between we have had today free in nearby Corning. This town is so cute - it reminds me of my hometown with its main drag of brick buildings that house small businesses.  While apparently Corning is famous for blown glass and - duh - Corningware, my pals and I had a non-touristy but very restful day of Indian food, an impromptu jam in the local music store (pictured), and getting out nails done.  We found a giraffe shaker in the music store and bought it for Kurt.  The awkward giraffe is an inside joke - thanks for indulging my haiku.  Also bought a regular egg shaker, so now we have two percussion instruments to accompany Cherie's ukelele "Uke-snavi" (named after Usnavi, the lead character in In the Heights).  

One more show in Elmira tonight, then on to Lexington KY for the weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Haiku #114 - Deja Vu

rest stop deja vu
have we been here once before?
i know these toilets.

Sure enough, we did pass through the same place - once again in upstate New York, this time in Elmira for 2 nights.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Haiku #113 - Hasta la Vista, Chicago...

State Street - my favorite place to cross the river
Downtown Chicago -
I'd never tire of this view...
Farewell til next time!

5:30 this morning saw me competing with my tourmates for elevator space to get luggage down to the bus, and now we are well on our way to Erie, PA. (And the wifi on the bus is working! It's the little things.)  This week we'll also be bringing Washington Heights to Elmira, NY and Lexington, KY.  I'll be seeing a lot of America the next few days!

I think it's safe to say we all had a great time in Chicago - I know I did.  Hope to be back again before too long!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Haiku #111, 112 - Lowdown Brass Band

Andrew (right in front of the sousa bell) and the LDB
the Lowdown Brass Band
happy former band nerd (me)
you should have been there

Our trombonist, Andrew, is from Chicago, and he actually had a couple gigs this week after our show.  Last night, a bunch of us went to Martyrs hear him play with his New Orleans second line band.  It. Was. Awesome.  If you like second line music, or loud brassy music in general, you should get their CD.  Or hear them live, if you're near Chicago. 

will have been worth it
if you go deaf hearing a
good second line band

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Haiku #110 - Conducting

the ones at the helm
don't fall asleep at the wheel
the show must go on

Today's matinee was the first time I've conducted since our break.  Last night I had a craaaazy dream about the show: we had technical difficulties at a performance, and the entire cast and crew got in a 15-passenger van (there are about 40 of us), and our director fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a concrete barrier and a guardrail.  Anxious much?  I was a little nervous at the show, but overall it went well for the first time conducting in a few weeks.  Whew!  Back to my regular chair at the second keyboard tonight.  Three more shows in Chicago - I like it here and I'll be sorry to leave!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Haiku #109 - Dim Sum

Savvy tourist: me; Dim sum guide: Cherie
the savvy tourist
avoids eating chicken feet
with a dim sum guide

Haiku #108 - Green Mill

Al sitting in at Green Mill, impressing the hell out of everyone 
a badass bassist
cleverly disguised as a
sweet Jewish princess

Apologies for the delay, folks, but I was out with this one and several others from our show, and I was too sleepy by the time we got back to the hotel to string 17 syllables together.  Our trombone player, Andrew, is a regular player with the Thursday night swing band at Green Mill when he's not out on tour, and he invited us to check it out.  Alex and Giancarlo both sat in with the band, and Kurt and Giancarlo danced with Chloe and Cherie and me. Kurt taught me a move called the slingshot, which we later practiced verrrrry slowly while we waited for the train (prudence of practicing swing dancing on a snowy train platform late at night after even just one drink: questionable).

3 more days and 5 more shows in Chicago!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Haiku #107 - Aaaaand We're Back

I'm not sure what this means.  Oh well.
sev'ral weeks away
bring some wrong notes but also
a fresh perspective

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Haiku #106 - Chicago (3)

John Hancock Center, among other buildings
I spotted on my power walk this morning...
Chicago's full of
corn-fed Midwestern towers
tall and strong and proud

I've only been to Chicago once before (aside from the numerous times I've flown through/been stuck at the airport), and I love the architecture.  Chicago, as it is wont to do, kept me an extra day due to weather.  I spent part of my extra day in the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock Tower, sipping a cocktail and watching some technicolor storm clouds.

We open tonight at the Oriental Theater - gonna finish my supper and head back over there!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Haiku #105 - Kokopelli Goes to Chicago!

Alex & me at Cloud Gate aka "the Bean" -
and repping In the Heights with my phone cover!
roomie hangout time
magnificent riverwalk
wander to the Bean
Kokopelli, the Wrigley Building

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Haiku #104 - Chicago (1)

we were so hungry
when we got to Chicago
deep-dish pizza, check.

Haiku #103 - Crazy Cat Lady (2)

cat sulks in corner
he now knows what's coming when
i pack my suitcase

Leaving for Chicago in the morning!  Will be there with In the Heights for a week, and perhaps coming soon to a town near you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Haiku #102 - Secret Passageway

over the rooftop
up and down two flights of stairs
one last time to Nat's

Nat's moving to the West side this month, so we had a neighbor-party one last time.  I will miss our shortcut going across the roof to each other's apartments, but I look forward to grilling in her & her boyfriend's new garden!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Haiku #100 - Mosaic

syllables add up
like pieces of a puzzle
someday a picture

This is my 100th haiku!  1700 syllables so far, not counting all the haiku I haven't posted, or that my friends have written (we now sometimes communicate in haiku)!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Haiku #97 - Bathroom Dispatcher

what did this guy do
to deserve the sentence of
bathroom dispatcher?

Mom, Dad and I went downtown again, hoping to wander Trinity's churchyard before they closed at 3 (according to their website), but it turns out they closed at 2 today (according to the placard on their padlocked gates at about 2:30 this afternoon).  So we did what any good American family would do, and went to Century 21 to help the economy and use the bathroom.  The line for the loo was about a mile long, but it moved quickly, thanks in part to the young gentleman standing at the entrance to the ladies' and gents' directing traffic and hating his life.