Sleepless in Seattle

The first two weeks in Seattle have absolutely flown by, much to my dismay. I love this city and would like to spend much more time exploring it, but unfortunately we have had lots of rehearsals and not too much free time. We arrived last Monday and spent most of the day getting settled in our apartment in Belltown (which is gorgeous by the way, by far the best housing so far on the tour). We have a large patio with a beautiful view of the water. Our neighborhood is about a mile from the theater and is filled with great restaurants and shops (including a yarn store called So Much Yarn) – I’m really glad we decided to stay here – there is so much to do just steps from the apartment.

We visited the famous Pike Street Public Market on Monday to pick up some produce and groceries. If you are ever in Seattle, this place is a must-see. There are tons of vendors – in fact, I need to go back to check out the jewelry and crafts again when I have more time. And the guys at the fish stands are a show in and of themselves – throwing the fish around and creating quite a spectacle. Because the travel from Denver to Seattle was so far, we opened on Wednesday, giving the trucks more time to make the drive, so Ryan had the luxury of Monday night off. We ate at a funky Mexican place near our apartment that had an Elvis theme.

On Tuesday, I ran some errands during the day and then met up with my Uncle Laurie and Aunt Steph who had come up for the day to see me from Sunnyvale, where they were visiting my parents. I don’t even remember the last time I saw the two of them, so it was great to have the opportunity to catch up and have them all to myself! Funnily enough, I ran into them on the street by the theater early in the day as we were making arrangements to meet that night over the phone! We met up again in the evening and had a lovely dinner in the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. What a spectacular view you have from up there! The restaurant is 500 feet in the air, and it spins very slowly, so you get a 360 degree view of the area. Really amazing.

Wednesday we loaded in the show and opened without incident. The theater is small but everything fits. At this point in the tour, I have met stagehands of all kinds. Seattle is the winner of the most drunks, I’m sorry to say. You hear all kinds of stories about the stagehands in New York and how out of hand they are, but I have to say, I have been lucky enough to have worked with some great guys and gals in New York, and the rare bad egg is just that – rare. In Seattle, not so much. It’s not that the guys here are bad. They do their jobs fine. But they are surly and reek of booze. It’s kind of appalling and sad. 

Anyway! Because of the Wednesday opening, we had a Thursday matinee. Friday we had rehearsal for Ben Davis, who took over the role of Galahad this week. So, no free time for me last week! Saturday night we gathered at a bar/bowling alley in Capitol Hill for Tony Holds’ (Galahad) going away party. It was really fun, although I suck at bowling!

With Tony at his going-away party

With Tony at his going-away party

Tony’s last show was Sunday night. I didn’t realize how much it would affect me until I was calling the show that night and starting getting all emotional! Tony and I joined the show at the exact same time, and he was the only person that I really knew well coming into this experience, as we had worked on “The Great American Trailer Park” together the year before in New York. He was kind of my security blanket when I first started, and although we didn’t spend a ton of time together as the tour progressed, I still have a special place for him in my heart. The night that I first called the show in Detroit, I was so amped up afterwards, and Tony was the one that went out for a drink with me to celebrate. Also, because of our history together in New York, he was also a tie to my “real” life back in the city. With him leaving, it has made me think about New York and my life there and that as much fun as I am having out here on the road, New York is waiting for me, and I do miss it, and want to go back to it eventually. I guess its easy to forget about real life when you are in the road “bubble” – Tony leaving made me remember that New York is still there. Sigh. I’ll miss him a lot. 

Ben Davis, the new Galahad, is a fine replacement, however. Aside from being great onstage, he is also a really, really nice guy, which makes the blow of losing Tony a little easier. And not for nothing, Tony is going back to New York to be a standby for the Broadway company, which is really great for him – in fact, he goes on in the role of King Arthur next week! And, if you haven’t read it online, Clay Aiken from “American Idol” is going to be playing Robin in that company starting in January, so Tony will be able to give us all the dish on that!

So, Monday – Day off! After the last couple of cities with all the outdoor excursions and road trips, I really wanted to just stay within the city limits on Monday. Plus, Seattle is an awesome city, so why leave it? So, Ryan and I slept in, and then went to the Experience Music Project  at the Seattle Center. The EMP is an awesome music museum, which is housed in a very cool Frank Gehry-designed building. There is a big exhibit on the Seattle sound, dating back to the 1800’s, through Ray Charles and Quincy Jones’s time in Seattle in the ’50’s, up to the grunge movement in the ’90’s. We saw a great exhibit on the evolution of the guitar, watched a movie about Jimi Hendrix’s career, walked through an exhibit about latin music in the United States, and then played with some instruments in a studio room. Ryan figured out how to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the guitar! Remembering how much I loved Pearl Jam in high school and college (when the whole grunge thing was just starting), I bought a concert DVD of theirs in the gift shop, which we watched that night at home. What a good band!

The Experience Music Project

The Experience Music Project

The Seattle Center itself is also pretty cool – it houses a couple of theaters, the science fiction museum, an arena, and the Space Needle, among other things.

True to what everyone says, it has been very cloudy and rainy here in Seattle since we arrived, so I have not been able to go back to the observation deck at the Space Needle and get any good photos. Hopefully I will before we leave!

After visiting the Seattle Center, we went for a walk down by the water and discovered the Olympic Sculpture Garden, which was very cool. We also found a bike path by the water that we will have to go back to. The sun was going down over the water and the sky was amazing.

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden

By the water

By the water

Tuesday we had a put-in rehearsal for Ben, who made a fabulous debut as Galahad on Tuesday evening. Lisa Chernoff also joined us on Tuesday. Lisa is an old friend of mine from Shakespeare Santa Cruz, who is going to be subbing for us while Ken is away in Australia. Its great having her around, and I’m only sorry that she has to experience some of the not-so-glamourous stops on the tour upcoming (Boise, Omaha, Columbus, Toledo, East Lansing).

Wednesday night Ryan and I went to see a band called Lucero play at the Crocodile Cafe which is one of the premier music clubs in Seattle, and one of the clubs that was quite famous during the grunge movement. The band we saw was really good and we had a fun time, although the frisking we got by the security guard to get in was more hardcore than any airport security I’ve had to go through (the dude pulled my knitting off the needles! Grrr. Luckily I rescued it from complete demise). 

Inside Crocodile Cafe

Inside Crocodile Cafe

Finally, yesterday was our 666th performance! Our resident devil aka Wig Master, Mitchell, made cupcakes to celebrate.

Next time….photos of the finished Indigo Ripples Skirt!


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