I had a bit of an almost-tragedy with my i-Photo earlier this week, which is why I am so late posting about our week in Buffalo. On Monday morning, at about 4:30am, before I left for the airport to fly to Indy, I tried to upload the photos on my camera to my computer so that I could work on the blog on the plane. One of the files on my camera was corrupt, causing it to crash my i-Photo program and erase the entire photo library. Luckily I had just backed everything up the week before in Rochester, so nothing was lost, but it did take me a couple of days to get things back up and running. So here, finally, is the rundown on Buffalo.
Jovon and I drove in to town on Monday morning and checked into our hotels around noon. Buffalo is only about 75 miles from Rochester, so it was a very quick drive. We met up in the afternoon and went grocery shopping at the enormous Wegman’s grocery store, and then I spent a few hours at the local mom and pop coffee shop, Spot Coffee.
Load-in on Tuesday went very smoothly. Shea’s Buffalo, the theater, was very big and easily accommodated our show. The house reminded me a lot of the Fox in Atlanta – it was once a movie palace and was really ornate and gorgeous inside. The crew was pretty good – at least our prop guy on stage right, who is most important to me, was really good, so that made for a very smooth week backstage.
Like Rochester, Buffalo is another of those towns, whose downtown area has completely dried up – lots of desolate, closed up storefronts and quite a lot of homeless people. There were more restaurants and bars around than in Rochester, and at least the hotels were walking distance from the theater, but still not a whole lot going on.
Luckily, many parties were planned for the week. We had an opening night reception at the theater on Tuesday, then Wednesday night was a going away party for Pia across the street at a restaurant called Bijou Grille. Then Thursday was an ice cream social at the ice cream shoppe next door to the theater. Friday night I ventured over to The Anchor Bar, which claims to be the originator of the Buffalo wing. We had some of their wings, which were good, but I have to say (and I’m not embarrassed to), that I prefer the wings at Hooters!
Thursday afternoon was pretty awesome – I went to Niagara Falls! It’s only about 25 miles from Buffalo, so an easy drive. First I saw the American side, which is pretty incredible in and of itself, but then we drove over to the Canadian side, and the view over there was really spectacular. The Canadian side of the falls is surrounded by casinos and hotels and food chains. I sort of wish that somehow the falls could have been left in surroundings like a national park rather than the amusement park environment that they are in now, but they are still incredible to see nonetheless.
Peter Lawrence, our associate director, and Pam Remler, our associate choreographer, came to Buffalo on Friday to watch our understudy rehearsal and to stay for the evening show and the matinee on Saturday. It was nice to see them and they had some really great notes for the company. It’s always good when they come and visit and give notes – it makes the company re-invest in their performances, which understandably get to be a bit “phoned in” after doing the show a bazillion times.
Saturday and Sunday were our typical two-show days. Sunday was Pia’s last day as Lady of the Lake. Esther, her standby, took over the role this past Tuesday. Monday we flew to Indianapolis, where we are currently playing. I have to say, Indy has been great so far. It is warm and summer-like and our hotel, the Omni, is lovely, and has REALLY comfortable beds. Today we hit the Indianapolis Speedway, but more about that in the next post!