Monday, September 19, 2011

more facts for you

Some additional answers brought to you by our dance captain, Jason Ostrowski.

-80 local stage hands
-16 hours

-80 local stage hands
-8 hours

-5,000 props in the show
-8 loaves of French Bread and one Angel Food Cake each week

-Over 5,000 costume pieces (some from past Les Mis shows)
-57 brown shawls each unique and subtly different
-Over 30 quick changes in the first 15 minutes of show

-Over 400 lighting cues in show
-350 lights (100 conventional, 250 movers)
-10 foggers that produce 4 different kinds of smoke
-1600 amps of power to run the lighting package
-9 Computers run the lighting package
-500 pounds of C02 are used per week

-55,000 pounds of scenery and weight in the air
-Show travels in 9 semi trailers
-16 Automation effects in the show

-42 wireless microphones for the cast
-60 microphones for the orchestra (wired)
-32 onstage monitors

Questions and Answers

Here's the answers to questions we get asked the most.

How many people are in the orchestra for Les Mis?
Fourteen- 2 horns, 1 trumpet, 1 bass trombone, 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 2 keyboards, 1 violin, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 bass, and percussion

How do you travel?
We either fly or take a bus. It all depends on how far away the next venue is.

How many people do you travel with?
There are 15 musicians (that includes the conductor), 43 cast members, and 25 crew members
We either travel together or in 2 or 3 separate groups depending on the size of the planes.

How long is the show?
The running time is 2 hours and 58 minutes

How many "songs" are in the show?
We have 32 numbers in our book. However, one number could have several songs.

Where do you stay?
We always stay at hotels. We can choose to find our own accommodations and or stay with family. If that's the case, we get a small buyout from the hotel cost.

How many cities have you and Steven played?
We are in our 16th city. 

Why do you get laid off?
There's a certain rule in the musicians' union called rule 24. The locals who have bargained for this rule must have local musicians play in those cities. That means, we are laid off. These cities include Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. There might be more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head.

What's been your favorite city so far?
I'd have to say Seattle. We were there at a great time of year and the weather was perfect. We were also able to get out and really explore. However, any city with family members ranks VERY high.

What's been your favorite hotel so far?
Louisville, KY
I know, random. But they had tennis courts and a nice gym. They also had a great bagel place in the lobby. The staff was very nice too!

What's been your favorite theater so far?
Columbus, OH
The pit sounded great and the place was just beautiful. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Peabody Ducks

Legend of The Peabody Ducks

How did the tradition of the ducks in The Peabody fountain begin?

Back in 1932 Frank Schutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Jack Daniel's Tennessee sippin' whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain.

Three small English call ducks were selected as "guinea pigs," and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Soon, five North American Mallard ducks would replace the original ducks.

In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke became the Peabody Duckmaster, serving in that capacity for 50 years until his retirement in 1991.

Here's our video from the duck walk on Wednesday morning.

Snippet of the Johnny Cash Tribute Band

everyone's favorite. . .  Ring of Fire

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lunchbox Eats

We went to this kitschy little restaurant today. They had the cutest menu and one of the cleverest ideas I've seen in a long time. Plus the food was amazing.
Here's Will studying the menu and getting ready for his quiz. You picked what you wanted and handed the quiz to the waitress.

He can't believe what a great score he got on the quiz.  A gianormous sandwich and pickled okra!

I can't believe it either, I must have gotten an "A" to get such tender short ribs and asparagus potato salad.
Fried chicken and waffles, how Southern!

We went to the Civil Rights Museum this week too. And we just played our 200th show!!! We've had quite the busy week here in Memphis.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Welcome to the South (Memphis, TN)

It's like stepping back in time here. The trollies run up and down Main St and seem like they are from the early 1900's. We ate at a tiny diner for breakfast that seemed like it was right out of Matlock. You all know that show, right?? It was my favorite sick day show. Wait, if I had a favorite sick day show maybe I was playing hooky a few times too many in elementary school. 

We headed to the Blues City Cafe for dinner and a Johnny Cash tribute band. 

Memphis BBQ

Les Mizzers at the Blues City Cafe. The Johnny Cash tribute band was phenomenal. They played a few of my favorites (Get Rhythm and Ring of Fire). 

How appropriate. The band box is full of beer.

The view from inside the trolley. We thought we'd snag a ride home on it last night, not realizing it was $1 a piece. The cab driver may have misled us by telling us it was free. However, a nice southerner loaned us the $2.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The final Denver post

With people like this around, why would we ever want to leave??

The boys are creating a fire, I mean smoke pit. Ok, it did get rolling eventually.

The choir in Norma's backyard.

One of my most favorite people in the world. She was delightful to stay with and her spirit is quite infectious. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Family weekend in Denver

Mom and Dad came to visit Norma!

We had a lovely brunch at my cousin Jean Widman's house. She is a painter and Steven and I managed to walk out of her gallery with this beauty. It's titled Above Leadville.

A giant Barry brunch.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Denver Art Museum

I'm posting things slightly out of order. We had a grand time with the extended family this weekend, but I have yet to upload those pictures. So you'll have to jump ahead to the wonderful museum trip Norma, Ella, and I took today.
And this is art we can walk on.

A tree I was in love with.

Happy Rocks.

My favorite! This was made from hay and clay. A Native American artist from New Mexico has been working on this in the museum for the last 6 months. It is nearly complete. I wish we could have seen it in progress. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Norma's House!

This is the beautiful view I wake up to every morning here in Denver.

I just love foxes. There are a few real ones running around Norma's yard in the morning.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Estes Park

We were lucky enough to have an extra day off before the shows started in Denver. We headed right from the airport to Estes Park and stayed at my cousin's beautiful resort, Aspen Winds. This was the view from our balcony. It is one of my favorite places.

The view of the Rockies from our room.

Little Fall River

Standing in front of Chasm Falls on Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park

We drove up Fall River Road to the Alpine Visitors Center. We reached 12,000 feet.

Steven decided to test out the horn at 11,500 feet.

Mountain horn man.