Sunday, January 31, 2010

I return home to find that not only am I tired from driving four hours, and it's snowy, and my throat hurts, and I have to go to work in an hour...

...but now I have to deal with discovering that --at some point overnight-- Kate completed kicking my Scrabbly ass in an extra-large, family pass-around-pack kinda way. Good lord.  That's quite a high score. She was practically hemorrhaging 8-letter words at one point. Damnable child.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Backstage, State Theatre, Penn State

At every theatre we sign posters so that the staff will have something to throw away later.

Penn State Green Room, State Theatre

Plus tired fat me. One four-hour drive and 90-minute show, plus one radio appearance and a sponsors reception down, one to go.

At least driving up here got me out of DC scant hours before the snow gridlocked the entire area. Whew!

Days Inn, State College, PA

A lovely backdoor view of Penn State, if you blot out the seedy underbelly.

Another boring ballroom?

Yes. But it is the boring ballroom where I had my senior prom back in 1975.  I had what could possibly be my first dance somewhere in this general vicinity under that chandelier.  I believe Pam Dempsey, homecoming queen, threw up very close to where I am taking this picture from. Ah, good times....

Friday, January 29, 2010

You'll be pleased to know ....

...that should you come by again, you won't have to wade through piles of footwear. Having a bed means having an under-the-bed. And having an under-the-bed means means having things under the bed.

Like 8 million shoes. Yes, that is my room...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Video retry

video...
Although I think it might be the google server that's the problem...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Video of the TV set

video...
Short vid showing the set we had in Atlanta. It was when we saw this and the bazillion cameras that we realized it was more than a local news interview and starting crapping our pants nervously.

For two days my phone has insisted this video wasn't really there. But the hostage has been freed after I threatened to take him to a Sprint store and turn him in for a Blackberry.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wtf in Balston?

Always wondered what this thing at the corner of Glebe and Carlin Springs is. It looks like a glistening Wintery Fairy Snow-Turd, delicately balanced on its crytal-studded tip, as though loosed there from some giant bowel in the sky. Maybe as a symbol that the yuppies who infest the area think even their fecal lumps are glittering beauties, special and worthy of memorialization.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Furniture!

OK, we have here a new floor lamp, kinda odd. A new couch. Also a picture of the couch with the weird glowing light on behind it. Laugh, if you must, but my ambient situation is much improved. Also, my bed, such as it is: a simple frame with slatted platform setup. Pretty comfy, I must say.  And none of it costing all that much.  New to me, for the most part. Although the bed is brand-new.

Love you guys.  Mom, careful with the appliances.  That was just horrifying to hear about.  And not much fun to experience,m I'm bettin'.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ok, this TV show is a much bigger deal than any of us thought....

I mean, airbrush makeup artists? Thousands of dollars worth of fancy sets? Cameras on cranes? Handheld cams shadowing us on stage? Damn. Wish I'd brought my best shirt.

Atlanta not as foggy today: 34th floor, Peachtree Westin

I know I'm not far, guys, but today is a busy day. Just got here, sound check in an hour, then two shows recorded love for GA public television. Full day.

And again....

Friday, January 22, 2010

The gorgeous Alabama Theatre, Birmingham, AL

Old. Pretty. Kinda like me.

Kinda foggy in Atlanta this morning

Now to drive to Birmingham.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Very good, m'dear Mother...

Another of his quotes was "Dentists, lawyers, doctors are all a bunch of thieving bastards."  But mine is such a foxy thieving bastard. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

If you look closely...

...you can see me looking at you.  On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia....*






*Famous apocryphal epitaph of ???

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

National Press Club, Washington, DC

The ballroom here has the coolest wavy-gravy wooden ceiling. People as varied as Mandela, Gorbachov, Paul McCartney, Haldeman, Obama, Mother Theresa, Itzhak Perlman, Arafat, and Dolly Parton have spoken from this stage. I have dressed like a cow on it several times.

Brad wants us to turn this into a musical

First thing is to eliminate the creepy child-molester imagery this cover picture conjures up.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

There is no upgrade like the red-eye upgrade

Look, I'm half dead already in anticipation...

The Carpenter Center, Long Beach, CA

Named for...the Carpenters: Karen, who drummed and starved and titillated a generation with her sensuous, virginal alto; and Richard, her brother, who titillated dozens with his lush, sweeping arrangements of both hair and music. After Karen passed away they were allowed to put kitchen in the Green Room.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Muy Bueno! Long Beach, CA

Tan delicioso tenía calambres de estómago dolorosos de la alegría y de la lealtad al Holé Molé. ¡Magnífico!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Look, the little plane made it to LA

Good. That means soon my ass gets relief. It's throbbing like a cartoon thumb that's been hit with a hammer. I need a plane with a standing section.

"PLEASE SELECT ANOTHER CHANNEL"

All I'm getting right now is the bald channel. Middle seat to LAX. Good times.

Dulles' new security setup makes the place more of a crazed, crammed, tense hell-broth than ever. You now descend into a fluorescent dungeon; ill-informed, short-tempered foreigners shout incomprehensible, irate, and conflicting demands at you, the usual screening rigamarole occurs until such time as you emerge, blinking, from the dungeon some 6 feet and 45 minutes from whence you first descended. Then you walk 2 miles, hop a slow-moving bus, and walk 2 miles more. "Dulles: Now with double the inconvenience!" Blearghhhh....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The First in a Sporadic Yet Continuing Series: Living Cliches!

Exhibit A: cop. Exhibit B: donut shop.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!


The Ghost Light.....

One of the charming and enduring traditions of the theatre is the employment of the 'ghost light', a single light bulb mounted vertically on a pole left turned on center stage when the theatre is closed.  The stories of the origin of this illuminating tradition are colorful, varied, and --like almost anything to do with actors-- mostly complete and utter humbug designed to distract the mind from some uncomfortable truth.

The first known use of a 'ghost light' was back in the late 1800's.  The Tivoli Regardi,* a fashionable upscale theatre in St. Louis, was experiencing a downturn in business and --as a consequence-- was just beginning to host what were called, 'Playbills': a form of entertainment that would eventually evolve into full-scale vaudeville.**  The performers of these early skits and songs were called 'Pagemays' and were a simple and superstitious bunch. The term 'Pagemay' seems to have come from the the French 'ne paye jamais' which translates roughly as 'never pays', which would make sense as they were, after all, actors.***  Curiously, we get our term 'pajama' from the same phrase and people, who often wore colorful patterned clothing when sneaking out without paying late at night.****

The Pagemays hearkened from a simpler time, a time when there were ghosts and you appeased them in order to cement your chances of good fortune in the future. They had simple values and clear, if not altogether logical beliefs: the restorative effect of whiskey, the curative powers of strong and regular bowel movements, and that ghosts were scared of the dark. While the latter does not necessarily follow from the first two, you'd do well not to have argued the point with a late 19th-century Pagemay. They'd knock back a shot of rye, take a powerful dump, and talk your ear off.*****

In fact the three beliefs are connected. Late at night, Pagemays who had been evicted from their rented rooms for ne paye jamais would fortify themselves vigorously with whiskey and stumble into the darkened theatre for some place to assuage their digestive imperatives. Like as not, in the oppressive dark of the deserted theatre these lurching time bombs would plunge into the orchestra pit where any number of difficult-to-clean things could, and often did, happen.  The ghost light and legend provided a simple and face-saving way to keep this from happening.

And it does look cool and classy.  Even if no one is around to see it.




*            This theatre seems to have never existed
**           I am pretty sure that none of this is true
***          While amusing, this is almost certainly false
****        A blatant lie, as even the most cursory of investigations will tell you
*****       All in all, a sequence of events to avoid with a stranger

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A charming bit of New Hampshire trivia:

In New Hampshire, liquor is only sold on major highways. They want you home and drinking as quickly and with as few stops as possible in New Hampshire.

An Eagles fan on a plane to New Hampshire

Andy has yet to come to grips with the Eagles' imminent annual epic failure. Clearly.

Friday, January 8, 2010

It had to be done....

From Hippie to Hip; Grim to Groovy; WIld-n-Hairy to Debonair-y....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A few more pictures from the Astronomer's show....

Sorry for the dimness and blurriness of the photos. Very moody lighting in there late at night. But pretty, in a dangerous kind of way. It's not often the Steps share their space with a Pershing-II missile.

Dad, you woulda been proud; I did a bunch of astronomer specific lirty lines and they were eatin' outta the palm of my hand.  C'mon, how many people can get a naughty laugh out of the Spitzer telescope?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let's see....what's backstage?

video...
Hmmmm...there's Dave Kane, and Brian, of course...let's see.....look, there's Andy Clemence and that's Nancy Dolliver and...hmmmm, what else? Let's see... Oh yeah...that would be Apollo 11. APOLLO FREAKIN' 11 IS IN OUR BACKSTAGE. We're doing a show for the American Astronomical Society at the Air and Space Museum. This is so goshdarn cool I think I pooped myself. Oh, it's a movie, Mom, love ya!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Starts like an art gallery...

video...
...ends like a torture chamber. Checking out my truculent and uncooperative jaw. I grow weary of flattening my food so I can fit it in my mouth. Soon all I'll be able to eat will be cheese singles and that pounded Swedish chicken dish Mom used to make. Mmmm.

Real sweet case of knit-hat-head at the end. Damn this unrelenting cold! It's a movie, Mom, click the thingee...

Monday, January 4, 2010

My back doctor...

...is also a butt doctor, it seems. Well, good thing. My butt is bound to go bad at some point. Some might say it already has....

Kat surprised on leaving the bathroom

Apparently, this happens quite a bit.  Alex has trained them to be stealth penguins, it seems.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010!

Yes, at midnight the mirror ball descended, and the crowd descended into chaos!  Taken from the stage amidst all the hoopla about 8 seconds after midnight.  Terrible picture. There were lots of horns blowing and things waving and people yelling. It was altogether grand.  Worked out great: I finished the last number at one minute to the witching hour, brought the rest of the cast out, everyone counted down, and then things got all blurry, as you can see. Happy New Year, parents o' mine.