Wednesday, July 30, 2008

wonkerers - year 1 - reunite!

so last week, in a strange twist of fate, we realized that a high percentage of us who were on the first year of the 'willy wonka' national tour were IN washington dc for various reasons. some reasons were more random than others. like jill, chris and i all live in the immediate area. andrew is here in town with 'the lion king' national tour. and tara was in town doing a fringe festival show. (jackie also lives locally but sent word through her people that she is far too important for a sunday night at clyde's with the riff-raff from tour. )

so due to jill's hard work and determination (thanks, ka-kaw!) we got together to catch up and hang out and laugh and laugh and laugh. it was great to catch up with everyone...and it just reminded me how blessed that first year of our tour was. it was 'right place, right time' for the group of us that came together and spent 9 months in a white van together. i have so much love and respect for these incredible friends of mine...and it was so great to get to see them and spend some time with them....over a bowl of crazy corn at clyde's in gallery place.

enjoy the pics!

ok. first off. i don't remember what the three of us were talking about...but this picture is hysterical. sorry jill! she did want me to point out that she wasn't even drinking at this point.

an incredible entry into the world of motorboat!

andrew shows up, with wristbands, after his show. chris is possibly mocking him in the background. one can never be too sure.

jill and tara snuggle up with one of 2 wonka outsiders who crashed the party that night. this is jered - a friend of andrew's from 'the lion king' cast.

chris brought the second 'outsider' - but she's an insider in all of our hearts. the incomparable, jamie eacker.

tara and frace are happy to be re-united.

another entry into the matt anderson B&W collection.

andrew motorboats.....

AND loose-jaw face-shakes. what a champ!!

the girls show us all how to do a squinty- eye smile.

i love how INTENSE jill is in this picture.

i evidently was trying to make the lamest face in the group. i obviously won. chris was a close second.

this was only moments after i tried to poke chris' eye out with my camera. jamie was confused.

just a random shot...because i love seing tara and andrew smile for the camera!

wonka friends UNITE!

one last shot of the group at the end of our reunion...complete with jered celebrating in the back.

Wordless Wednesday

(courtesy of Josh Campbell)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

what i did this summer

the past 2 weeks, i had the awesome opportunity to be part of a workshop of a new musical for ford's theater. for those of you new to the phrase 'workshop of a musical' (which is in large part my family...which is why i have been explaining the whole thing to them over the past 2 weeks), it's basically a concert-version, trial run of a show that is in writers and directors and composers and artistic directors and whoever else can see and hear the piece before giving the big "OK" to have a full production staged.

the show we were workshopping is called 'liberty smith' - and the best description i have found for it came from an online description:

Liberty Smith, a musical comedy about the American Revolution.

George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Betsy Ross, The Boston Tea Party, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and the Revolutionary War... These names and events are the foundation on which our country was built. Now Liberty Smith, a new musical by Michael Weiner (composer), Adam Abraham (lyrics), Marc Madnick (co-librettist) and Eric R. Cohen (co-librettist), presents these characters and events leading to the founding of America through an exciting mixture of song, dance, humor, and heart.

This spirited new musical is American history... but with a Forrest Gump-type twist. Liberty Smith is an everyman hero and the "forgotten" Founding Father who crosses paths with historical giants and influences great events in funny and unexpected ways.
* * * * *
we spent 2 weeks rehearsing with the writers of the show, our music director, jay crowder, and our director, matt august. every day we had changes and writes and re-writes as we tried to get the material to that perfect "place" that would prove that it needs a full production.

it was an incredible 2 weeks for me! first off, the piece was just fun. it's silly - the music made me happy - and it is a great "fit" for ford's and the tourists that they have come through. secondly, it was amazing to get to see the 'creative' side of a new musical work. although the show was written when we started, it was fun to see the creative team shape and mold and fix things we we moved along. creativity in action is fun to watch. and finally, one of the biggest rewards was working with the cast. it truly was an all-star cast of dc actors. there were several times, as i sat there watching everyone, where i had to pinch myself to see if i was really in the room! (i may have gotten a little verklempt a couple of times....don't judge me! i mean, in the finale we sang, 'dare but to dream....for there's nothing a dreamer can't do.' are you kidding me? that is the ESSENCE of being LTD!) i was always happy to realize i was, indeed, among 'giants', and loving every minute of it!

last thursday afternoon, we did a final performance of it for the ford's staff and an invited audience, and everything went off very well. i was very happy/proud to be a part of it. the next step? wait and see if ford's decides to pick up the show for a future season, to produce a full production of it! i'll be sure and keep you posted. until then, enjoy some pictures i snapped the day of our performance...while we waited in the green room to start the show!

and until we hear something, dare but to dream, friends.

the cast relaxes in the green room before heading on stage.

the beautiful brianne cobuzzi, who played my wife, shapotatweet adams. (she chose the name.)

more maxin' and relaxin', pre-show-style.

i'm not even sure what is going on in this picture, but it's my favorite one i took this day. back: nick blaemire (liberty smith) & brianne cobuzzi (shapotatweet adams). front: erin driscoll (emily) and kevin clay (child actor). hysterical picture.

gia mora (marie antoinette) the dishes, it looks like. hmmmm....

some of the guys. l-r: michael bunce (lead player/town crier), steve cupo (paul revere), michael sazonov (benedict arnold), tom simpson (king louis).

the incomparable (and my good friend) donna migliaccio (betsy ross) poses for the camera!

another shot that i'm uncertain about what was actually happening, but there is so much entertaining going on in the picture, that it's worth sharing.

erin, nick and kevin get a group shot. HAHAHA. seriously kevin and nick...nice faces.

me (sam adams, pirate sailor and drunken friend) and the beutiful and hysterical, rachel zampelli (martha washington).

you didn't think i'd do this whole photo shoot without a motorboat, did you? never!

kevin and brianne...part of my 'stage right posse'.

me and the ladies, brianne and gia.

our fearless stage managers: taryn friend and kate kilbane.

kurt boehm (george washington) expresses his wish for peace in the world.

steve eat erin's hair....i guess.....

erin and josh sticklin (narrator) smile....

and then motorboat. HA!

nick loses to kevin.

jay crowder (music director ) and my good buddy, bobby smith (james otis/thomas jefferson).

the ensemble men....bobby, me and muchael bunce. bobby looks MOST excited to be here.

here you go, reed

this is reed. he is a tour guide with me this summer. he is from texas.
i needed someone to take a shift of mine for tonight, and reed stepped up to the plate like a real pal and took the shift for me.
he said he would only do it if i put him on the internet...on my blog.
so here we are...back where we started:
this is reed.

reed got a sunburn. if you ask him about it, he'll show you his forehead.
just so you understand it was a serious burn.

this is reed and megan. they are 2 of my favorite people to work with. we laugh a lot when we are out rolling the streets together.

reed leaves in a few days. that will be sad. he will miss megan, me and matchbox. the 3 m's of life. but we will keep in touch. that's what friends do.

thanks for taking my shift tonight, reed. i'll see you there. um....i ended up taking megan's shift for her. bye!

Monday, July 28, 2008

the leprechaun brothers

'oh danny boy' as you have never heard it before. in honor of the new jim henson exhibit that opened 2 weeks ago at the smithsonian institute here in washington dc. i can't even begin to choose my favorite moment in's all just golden.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

good 'new' and bad 'new'

last week, in the self-same day, i experience 2 things that would fall in the category of NEW in my life. and it turns out that they are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum from each other. one i would love to experience again. one, i don't really need to ever experience again. (unless, of course, it was like delivery or take-out.)

so today, i wanted to share with you my good 'new' and my bad 'new' from last week. please plan your weeks accordingly. hahaha. or not.

so my friends, brendan and kelly walsh, welcomed their first child into the world on july 3rd. it is a little girl, and her name is elizabeth. and last week, i got out of reheasal a little early and i got the chance to sneak over to the walsh residence and meet miss elizabeth myself! and she was a, i'm pretty sure she liked me. i mean, she kept passing gas as i held her. that has to be a good sign! so, in celebration of this good (even GREAT) 'new', i wanted to introduce everyone to baby elizabeth!

honestly. look at her. 12 days old and already smiling for pictures.

Elizabeth looks at dad...making lame faces at her....

"can you believe this guy?" she says, through her expression, to me.

elizabeth looks up to uncle matt to see if he is paying attention to her.

i mean honestly....she is so dang cute.

and this picture makes me laugh....her expression is hysterical!

a little 'color accent' magic touch.

i mean....THAT beautiful little baby came from THIS?

BAD 'NEW': Ross' choice for food

so i came home after seeing baby elizabeth, and ross AND tyler were both home. anyone who knows the 3 of us knows that we're never around and rarely see each other. ross had been talking about us going to cafe romeo around the corner from our house. tyler and i are staunch fans of georgetown cafe - also near our house. but ross isn't convinced by its magic, and swears by the magic that cafe romeo has to offer. well, it offered something. good food? sure. better than georgetown cafe? never. desireable restaurant to actually, physically go to? NOT in the least.

you'll see.

Ross starts rounding up the troops for the march up to cafe romeo.

Ross proudly leads the way.

we arrive....

at the final destinaton!

Ross proudly shows off the interior. (and my 'sketch radar' started to go off.....)

Ross swears by the lavash rolls. And I've tried one he brought me home once. They were a delight. I have been known to crave them.

Ross discusses the menu choices with Amy...his girlfriend.

Tyler considers HIS options...and how he could make this night shift down the street to the Georgetown Cafe.

And then with our orders placed, we found ways to pass the time.

Ross is excited for his lavash roll.

Tyler. Um. No clue. I've got nothin'.

My lavash roll. They really ARE quite delicious.

And then the trouble starts. Yes - it was on the ground and not on our table...BUT was on the ground RIGHT BY our table! And it was HUGE. I'm pretty sure it could've picked UP our table and moved it.

Here Ross shows where he karated chopped at the wall, while the above offender tried to get away. As you can see in the close-up on the right, he did NOT get away.

THIS was one of 2 cockroaches we saw crawling around the Cafe's patio that night.

Post-dinner B&W photo shoot. On everyone's mind is the thought: atleast we didn't see a rat.

Um. Never mind. Yes we did.*

*the rat wasn't actually seen ON the Cafe Romeo grounds....but right off the grounds - basically on the next door property. It was a fast sucker so I didn't get the clearest shot. But it's there. Running away.