Boston 4.0

Our first move of the tour was to Boston. This is the fourth time I’ve been to Boston, third time with a show, and the second time playing the Colonial Theater. I like playing Boston. It feels comfortable. The stagehands are nice. I know where to go to get good food and where the good shopping is. That being said, even in four trips to Boston, I feel like I have barely been out of the five block radius of the theater district. The weather is always cold whenever I’ve been there (it actually was fairly mild this trip – 50’s most days), and for whatever reason, I always end up with very little free time to do any sightseeing.

This stop was for two weeks, but since it was our first move, and the trek from Chicago was so long, we had a Wednesday opening night (rather than Tuesday). Because of this though, the show we were short in the first week was added as a matinee on Thursday, and then we also had a show on the following Monday night to make up for the show we would miss on our last Sunday night as were closing on the matinee (to allow for the long trip to Minneapolis). So basically, two weeks with no day off. Boo to that.

I left Chicago early on Monday morning and drove about twelve hours, stopping overnight in the Finger Lake region of New York. On Tuesday morning I was on the road again by 5am so that I had time to check in to the hotel and park my car before having to be at work at 2pm. I arrived in town around noon and had plenty of time to get Tallulah situated at the Radisson before heading over to the Colonial.

Tallulah, right at home at the Radisson

Things were trucking along at the theater, and with two days for the load-in, it ended up being a pretty leisurely afternoon for me. I unpacked a few things but otherwise the bulk of our stage management load-in took place on Wednesday. It was nice seeing the familiar faces of some of the local crew. “Spamalot” played Boston three times on tour, including being the place where the tour did production and played its first stop – so the locals there have fond memories of the show, and are especially nice to those of us who were involved with it.

Loading in to the Colonial

Inside the Colonial

The opening night started with a bang, literally. Actually it was an alarm. The fire alarm went off right at “places” and the whole building had to be evacuated – audience, actors, crew, everybody. We were shuffled out the stage door and into the alley, and soon enough the audience started pouring out into the alley, too. It was funny at first, but then started to get a little dicey when people started to rush at Constantine, wanting photos and autographs. And our poor girls were out in the cold in underwear (which is their costume for most of the show), so we were trying to scrounge up sweatshirts and jackets for them to put on. We managed to corral the actors into a corner of the Emerson College theater loading dock, and finally some security showed up to keep the audience away from the cast. The fire alarm was reset and we were all allowed back in the building. We started the show about a half an hour late, without any theatrical smoke and haze, which had been the culprits which set the alarm off in the first place. Starting the next day we had a fire guard at all the performances, and they disabled the alarm for the duration of the show.

There was an opening night party at a nearby bar which was small and crowded with people we didn’t know, so after a while everyone ended up at the Intermission Tavern, which is a bar across the street from the Colonial stage door and owned by the house prop man, Mike. Pretty much when you play Boston, the IT becomes your second home. Many nights spent there drinking beer and spending too much money on expensive sweet potato fries. 🙂 Its kind of the “Cheers” for the touring theater community. “Wicked” was in town playing the Opera House, so lots of their crew ended up at IT every night as well.

Joey, at Intermission Tavern

Cassie, at Intermission Tavern

MiG and Josh at Intermission Tavern

Patrick and Josh at Intermission Tavern

Angela, at Intermission Tavern

So as I said before, we had two shows on Thursday to make up for opening a day late, then understudy rehearsal Friday, two shows Saturday, two shows Sunday, notes with Kristin, our director (who was in town for a few days) on Monday, then a show. Tuesday afternoon was the first free time we had.

Sunday was the one day that ended up being kind of fun and exciting because our first understudy went on. Constantine was having some vocal fatigue so Dan performed the role of Drew for both shows. Dan was incredibly prepared as he played Drew throughout most of the rehearsal period, so it was great that he was finally able to perform the role in front of an audience (even more so because he is leaving our show in a few weeks to go and do the new show “Wonderland” on Broadway). He was a wonderful Drew and it really energized the company after the long week.

Dan, getting his wig on in preparation to play "Drew"

My back had been progressively getting worse since the last week in Chicago and after trying in vain for about five days to get a chiropractor appointment in Boston, I was finally able to at least book a sports massage. I could barely walk on Tuesday morning, let alone sit. The massage was really good though (Boston Bodyworks, for anyone interested), and the therapist did some stretches on my leg to get some of my mobility back (I was having terrible sciatica in my right leg and could barely lift it off the floor). I went back to the hotel, took a hot shower, and then took the train out to Coolidge Corner to meet my dear friend, Katherine, who I went to college with.

Katherine is currently going to grad school at Tufts for nutrition. She’s an awesome gal – one of my oldest friends, and it was great to catch up with her. We had a yummy lunch at a Jewish diner called Zaftigs and then did a little retail therapy at the Gap before getting on the train and heading back to the theater district (the medical campus at Tufts is actually only a couple of blocks from the Colonial Theater). I wish I had been able to spend more time with Katherine, but with her school schedule, and my work schedule, it just didn’t happen. Next time!

I was finally able to get in to see a chiropractor on Wednesday, by which time, my back was feeling a lot better – thanks to the massage. The chiropractor confirmed that my muscles were completely in spasm all the way up my back and said that I needed to be icing since there was swelling in my lower back. He did an adjustment (and also confirmed that I was not getting the best chiropractic care in NYC, which I had also been told by the sports massage therapist I saw in Toronto…makes me kind of mad that I wasted all that time going to someone who was not giving me adequate treatment). My back was feeling a million times better after the appointment but I had come down with a nasty cold the day before, so I spent the rest of the day in bed resting, and didn’t go out for the next three nights.

I had understudy rehearsal on Thursday, and then on Friday afternoon, my last free time in Boston, I had one more chiropractor appointment, and then I MADE myself get out of the hotel and go and do something – even if only for a couple of hours. I walked around Newbury Street for a while and got some lunch, but by about 4pm the wind had really kicked up and it was starting to rain, so I headed back to the hotel and caught up on “Project Runway”.

Saturday we had two shows, and then Ryan arrived. He flew in just to help me do the long-ass drive to Minneapolis (thank you, Ryan!). We had a couple of beers at the hotel bar and then called it a night. The crazies were out on the town on Saturday night in Boston. Our audience at the show were rowdy and loud and then out on the street afterward there were people everywhere. It was not a night that I wanted to be out. Too many drunks.

I went and got my car on Sunday morning and loaded it up before the show, so that we would be ready to hit the road immediately after the matinee. Our stage management load-out was super quick and so Ryan, Tallulah and I were on the road before 5pm. Woohoo!

It was such a busy two weeks, and with getting sick and my back hurting, I feel like I didn’t really do much of anything. The show is starting to settle down now, though and hopefully get into a regular rhythm of rehearsals, etc. I’m looking forward to getting back into a personal road routine – of exercising and eating better and getting back to taking photos, etc. Right now I still feel like I am still scrambling to catch up on life. Hopefully very soon things will find their groove 🙂

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