Rocky Mountain High

The first week in Denver has gone by lickety-split. The city is a lot different than I imagined it. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit disappointed in the downtown area – I thought it was going to be more hip, cool, Portland-like. There are pockets of cool, but also a lot of pockets of not cool. At least there are plenty of the staples around – grocery store, drug store, restaurants. I had just imagined it being a little more charming. Oh well.

The theater is great – big, spacious, new. We had a smooth load-in and opening. Two of my great friends from college – Robin and Tiffany (who both now live here) –  came to our first night with their husbands. It was so nice to see them all. They came to the opening night party with me and so we were all able to catch up on each other’s lives. Tiffany and Aaron I saw last summer when I was in Los Angeles, but its been quite a few years since I’ve seen Robin, and I don’t think I’ve seen her hubby, Steve, since their wedding in ’98! It was so nice to see their familiar faces and we are going to try and get together again before I leave.

David Nehls, who composed and music directed “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”, which I worked on in New York a couple of years ago, was also at the opening night party. He moved to Denver shortly after “Trailer Park” closed. Tony Holds, who is our Galahad, and who understudied on “Trailer Park”, is staying with David, so that’s how come he ended up at our party. It was great to see David! He’s such a fun guy – I can’t wait to spend some more time hangin’ with him and Tony before we move on to Seattle.

On Wednesday we had a put-in rehearsal during the day for Jennifer Mathie, our newest female ensemble member. She had her first performance that night and did a great job. She seems to be a really nice girl, and she’s a knitter! Yesterday I helped her fix a ribbed scarf that she has been working on and she lent me her latest copy of “Knitters”. Yay for more knitters on the tour! We celebrated after the show on Wednesday with drinks at The Corner Office, which is the bar adjacent to the Curtis Hotel. Very hip, and a really good happy hour menu!

On Thursday Ryan and I rode our bikes down the bike trail near our apartment to the Cherry Creek Mall. The bike trail is nice – mostly flat and paved, and runs alongside a pretty little creek. The mall was good, too! I got a few new things, as did Ryan. 

On Friday we took the bike trail the other direction and went to check out the massive REI store just across the river. There is a big climbing wall inside, and more square footage of store than I have ever seen at any other REI! Ryan bought a new seat for his bike and we picked up some bike trail maps. Then we ate nearby at My Brother’s Bar, which had been recommended to us by Al, the local prop head (and quite a character!). We sat outside in the garden and ate a couple of delicious burgers and a fries/onion rings combo. Yum!

Over the weekend, Denver held their annual Oktoberfest celebration. Ryan and I went on Friday night and met up with Jovon and his wife, Sheila. We drank a lot of beer (check out Ryan’s massive beer stein, below) and listened to the polka band playing. It was great fun, and we decided we had to get a group from the show to come back the next night.

So on Saturday, the four of us met up with Nigel and Angelina (new couple #1), Justin and Jen (new couple #2), Patrick and Piper (not a couple). We had a blast! We all drank beer and got stupid and danced to polka.

Patrick and Nigel attempt the bottle dance

Patrick and Nigel attempt the bottle dance

Nigel, Patrick, Jen, Justin, Piper and Ang

Nigel, Patrick, Jen, Ryan, Justin, Piper and Ang

On Sunday night, following the show, the boys took Graham (our asst. dance captain) out for his big bachelor party. Graham is flying back to New York in a couple of days to marry his sweetheart, Cara. Being one of the girls, I did not go along, but Ryan did. They all went out for a big steak dinner at the Denver Chophouse, then hit two strip clubs. I did see the big hummer, though, that transported them around town.

Getting picked up at the stage door

Getting picked up at the stage door

Erik readying the blow-up doll

Erik readying the blow-up doll

I don’t have any pictures of Graham, but hopefully I’ll get a couple of embarrassing ones off Ryan’s camera to share!

Yesterday was amazing. I dragged Ryan out of bed, hung over from the bachelor party, and we drove around the outskirts of Rocky Mountain National Park (we couldn’t drive through as the roads were closed due to snow!) on our way to a party at Elaine’s house (one of our hair and make-up crew) in Winter Park. The scenery was beautiful. The color of the trees was so vibrant in places that it didn’t even look real. It took us about four hours to get to Winter Park, because we kept pulling over to snap photos!

When we finally reached Winter Park, we pulled up at a giant log cabin, which was Elaine’s!

Her house is amazing! It is big and open and warm and beautiful. Here’s a couple of pics of the inside:
.
If this is the kind of place you can buy with tour money, then I am going to tour forever! We had a great time, eating Elaine’s yummy Mexican spread (she is a genius cook, by the way), and hanging on her big deck next to the fire.
Matt, Esther, Nate and Paula

Matt, Esther, Nate and Paula

Darryl and Andrew

Darryl and Andrew

Piper

Piper

Lyn and Chris

Lyn and Chris

All the Spama-dogs came, too, and had big party, hosted by Elaine’s chihuahua, Taza.
Satine

Satine

Erik with Akilah

Erik with Akilah

Rozzie

Rozzie

We also were all given tours of Steve’s house (he’s on our props crew) – he lives about a mile from Elaine, in a cabin he built with two friends, which he calls “The Lone Pine”. It’s a great little house, and very Steve (he’s the ultimate ski bum). While I was there with Ryan, Steve, Paula, and Matt, we saw a red fox on Steve’s deck! It looked in the window at us, but then ran off before any of us could snap a picture.
Steve's house - The Lone Pine

Steve's house - The Lone Pine

The view from Steve's

The view from Steve's

The party in Winter Park was a fantastic way to mark the beginning of autumn. It was in the forties there, so we all had to bundle up and pull our Uggs out of our trunks. Elaine said it had snowed that morning, and although it didn’t stick, the mountains were snow-capped and gorgeous. It was a fabulous day off – it felt like we were all on a ski vacation somewhere. I can’t wait to go back sometime in the winter and actually ski! Steve and Elaine are both leaving the tour in November to go home and ski and actually live in their houses for a change! Both of them have been touring for a long time, and after seeing their houses, I don’t blame them at all for wanting to go home!

Thanks for a great day, Elaine and Steve!

Elaine

Elaine

Steve

Steve

 

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