Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last day at Papermill

We have 2 shows left in New Jersey.  Steven's sister will come to the matinee and our friends, Caitlin and Andrew, will come to the evening show.  We're anxiously awaiting a trip to Nebraska tomorrow before heading to Philadelphia on Monday the 3rd.  Until then, there's much to be done such as filling the giant suitcase that is on our living room floor.

Yesterday, the assistant conductor, Daniel, took the podium for the first time.  He was fantastic.  We all feel a special bond with him because he's usually our keyboard 1 player.  So here's some pictures commemorating his first day on the podium.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Les Mis + Blizzard = Les Mizzard

Mother Nature decided to dump a giant amount of snow and wind on the Eastern seaboard today.  Normally, this would have been a 2 show day.  We made it to Millburn with very little trouble for the afternoon show.  The snow continued to fall and the playhouse was left with a hard decision.  About 20 minutes before the evening show they decided to cancel the performance.  The actors and musicians made a run for the New Jersey transit train to New York Penn.  By this point the state of New Jersey was in snow emergency.  Somehow our trusty 6:57 pm made it with little trouble to the city.  Here's some pics from the Les Mizzard.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Life in 19th Century France continues in Millburn, NJ

We are getting ready to ship out to Philadelphia in 10 days.  Our trunks arrived this week.  Each cast member, orchestra musician, and tech person receives a trunk to carry oversized belongings.  Ryu's excited for his new "home".   

and why do I say "home"???  Because that's what this black box will be for the next 18 months, minimum.  We're planning on stocking ours with kitchen items, coats, and black clothes.  

Steven's sister, Susan, came to see the show with her friend, Meghan.  We're so happy they were able to make the trek from the city to Jersey.  We're happy that we'll be able to see so many family and friends along the way.  

Tomorrow is Christmas eve and we have just one show, a matinee.  After that I'll be spending my first Christmas in the city and my first Christmas away from my Grandma and parents.  We're planning to do the usual "Barry" Christmas traditions to invoke the feeling of my family.  This means chili on Christmas eve and brisket and a movie on Christmas day.  After that it's back to work for the final 7 shows of the run at Paper Mill.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The review we've all been waiting for ..........

click HERE for the New York Times review

Someone just posted this awesome picture of our Sitzprobe too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

and the reviews are in. . . . . .

Steven and I have been searching for reviews of opening night.  Since we can't actually "see" the show being stuck 10 feet underneath the stage we must rely on others' interpretations of how it went.  So far, so good.  It has gotten some great reviews, click HERE for a review from a New Jersey newspaper.

Steven's mom came to opening night and was great sounding board for all our questions.  Our biggest question is, "what do we really sound like?"  We are each individually mic'd and the technician adjusts our levels many times during the show.  So essentially we have no clue what the group sounds like as a whole. His mom said not to worry, the sound was tremendous.  Hopefully it will be like that in all the halls we play in.

In other news, we played an 11 am show for a group of high school kids from around New Jersey.  About 5 minutes into the show the fire alarm sounded.  That meant you had 1400 high schoolers, 35 actors, and 15 musicians who had to get outside while the fire department checked out the theater.  Now mind you, on a normal day we would have joyfully gone outside and collected our overtime.  However, on this particular Wednesday morning there happened to be a torrential downpour in Millburn, New Jersey.  Oh the joys of standing outside in the rain only to find out that the humidity from the rain and the smoke on the stand in combination caused the fire alarm to go off.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Opening Night

After rehearsing since November 12th and playing 10 preview shows we were all too ready for opening night.  We got some nice gifts from the company.  A laundry bag, a coffee thermos, a bottle of wine, pen, keychain, and everyone's favorite a personal note from Cameron Mackintosh.  Here we are ready to play.

Ken, our trumpeter, warming up.

Adam's excited about opening night!

Marisa wonders why I'm still taking pictures in the pit.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Tour Schedule

We are in Millburn, New Jersey at Paper Mill until Dec 30th, 2010.  Then the fun begins.

Jan 3rd - 16th Philadelphia, PA
Jan 17th- 30th Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Jan 31st- Feb 27th- Chicago, IL (due to a musicians union rule, we will not be playing this city.  They will be using local musicians.  We will be traveling to California, Nebraska, Minnesota, and of course, New York during that time)
Feb 28th- March 6th Baltimore, MD
March 7th- 13th Louisville, KY
March 14th- 20th Columbus, OH
March 21st- April 3rd Detroit, MI (another city where locals play)
April 4th- 17th Cleveland, OH
April 18th- 24th Milwaukee, WI
April 25th- May 1st Omaha, NE

and then we get married. . . . . .May 7th, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  We'll rejoin the tour in Salt Lake City after our honeymoon to London and Rome.  This will be Steven's first time out of the country and we're both so excited.

We just finished our 5th preview tonight.  Cameron Mackintosh arrived today.  He's the big producer from London so everyone's bringing their "A' game.  We'll see what the notes are tomorrow.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The orchestra moves into the pit at Paper Mill Playhouse

Our first sighting of the stage.  They have a wonderful set up.  This 25th anniversary production has so many changes from the original.  

 Steven and Will checking out the orchestra's home for the next 6 weeks.

Ryu's mic check.  

Me on the stage.  This is totally illegal in so many ways.  No. 1, I am absolutely not supposed to be up on the stage.  Especially before the crew is there.  No. 2, I should not be holding that Starbucks.  But of course I had to run up and grab this shot.

This is our spot in the pit.  We get little monitors so that we can see our conductor.  FYI, we have the happiest, most fun conductor ever, Peter White.  

The orchestra got an extra 5 min break to rest our chops and we got to see the ladies of the cast get ready for a scene.

This has been a super long week.  We've had about 40 hours of rehearsal.  Which for a normal person may not seem unusual, but for a musician it's crazy.  We're finally into previews, so this should slow down a little bit.  Today feels like a day off because we only have 1 show tonight at 7.  I have been struggling with some arm issues.  I'm going to get a massage today and get them to work on it.  I think it's just over worked right now.  I'm hoping that this morning break today will bring my lips back to a normal size.  They're looking a little Angelina Jolie right now.  They tend to swell up a bit when you have the horn on your face for that many hours in the day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

......and the Les Miserables tour begins.

We arrived in Millburn, New Jersey on Friday, November 12th to begin rehearsals for the national tour of Les Miserables.  Here's Adam, the best keyboard player on the block, eyeing our poster at the local Starbucks.  Leaving the city at about 8 am every morning makes the musicians cry for coffee before 7 hours of rehearsal.  

Living in the city you forget what Suburbia is like.  The fall colors are gorgeous!

We are currently rehearing at the town park in Millburn.  Our rehearsal space is a community center until we move to the theater on Wednesday.  This little lagoon is right outside our space and provides a gorgeous backdrop during our breaks.