Our week in Indianapolis was so welcomed after spending the previous two weeks in such desolate towns. Downtown Indianapolis, in contrast, is full of restaurants and bars and a giant mall (attached to the hotel, I might add!). Our hotel, the Omni, was beautiful and clean and had fantastically comfortable beds. It was heaven after Rochester and Buffalo.
Our travel day was long and tedious. We had to take two planes to get to Indy, which is only about 500 miles from Buffalo. Our second plane was late leaving Philadelphia, so the travel from start to finish ended up taking almost eight hours. Thank god the Omni was such a nice hotel to arrive to. Jovon and I were also excited that our rental car was an awesome white SUV with a sunroof!
The theater in Indianapolis, the Murat, is an old Shriner’s temple. It looks like something you would see at Disneyworld. Inside is small and cramped and we had to do some creative thinking backstage – so creative, in fact, that the men’s quick change booth stage right ended up being one of our trucks, backed into the loading door stage right and set up with racks and chairs. All was fine until a thunderstorm hit Tuesday night and water started leaking in there. There was a mad dash for towels and pulling some of the gondolas out of the way, and all was saved.
Tensions were a bit high during the load-in on Tuesday. Everyone is tired from the string of one-weekers and patience is wearing thin. I wish everyone could act like more of a team in getting the show up, but some of the issues between departments go back to days long before I joined the tour. Why can’t the past be left in the past and why can’t we all play together nicely? It’s not that hard.
Anyway, the show happened, as it always does, even though it wasn’t the most ideal backstage. Esther debuted as the Lady of the Lake, and did a wonderful job. It’s so great that she is finally able to perform that role eight times a week, after being a stand-by for the last fifteen months. And she is such a wonderful person offstage, which really makes a difference when someone like that is one of the leaders of the company.
Thursday evening, Mitchell, our hair supervisor, had a soiree at his condo in South Indy (he grew up in Indianapolis). It was a nice, mellow evening, and the food that Mitch prepared was amazing – especially the vanilla blueberry bread pudding – I am still dreaming about it.
Friday a group of us headed over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to watch the race cars practice for qualifying (which was that weekend) for the Indy 500. It was a great afternoon – the weather was perfect. We drank huge tumblers of crappy beer and ate hot dogs and watched the cars speed by. The track is unbelievably big (2 1/2 miles around), and the cars zoom around it in no time. The noise is incredibly loud – you have to wear earplugs to protect your ears. It was great fun – I maintain that anything is fun to watch if you are outdoors and it is sunny and you have a beer in your hand – whether it’s race cars, or baseball, or cattle herding – who cares?
The weather was beautiful all week – summer is definitely here, thank god! It is so nice to finally be in tank tops and flip flops again – Florida seems like ages ago! One nice thing about the theater in Indy, was that the stage door had benches outside it for people to sit on. We spent a lot of time out there before the show basking in the sun, and watching the patrons enter the theater. On Saturday night, we had a blast watching hordes of high school kids enter the building for their prom (held in one of the rooms upstairs). Prom fashions are much different these days (and maybe also from the west coast fashions that I am accustomed to) – all the girls were in floor-length gowns and the guys were decked out as well – a lot of them in bright colored zoot suits. We spent a good deal of time out front watching them arrive, and commenting on their outfits å la Joan and Melissa. Hilarious.
I managed to sneak a couple of pictures backstage this weekend. Here is Jeff Dumas, our Patsy, and Elaine, one of our hair crew, in the boys quick change truck!
Also, here is a picture of Matt and Darryl, wrapped up and ready to enter as the diorama – two bugs in a rug!
We left for Louisville today which is only about a hundred miles from Indianapolis – I’m looking forward to a week in the town famous for Colonel Sanders (KFC), Louisville Slugger baseball bats, and the Kentucky Derby!