Denver

My dear friend Tanya met me in Houston on Saturday the 11th and we took off for Denver the next day. It’s a long ride to Denver from Houston – something like 20-22 hours, so I was happy to have Tanya with me. We also hadn’t seen each other in about a year and a half – funnily enough the last time we were together was also in Houston, and we were both staying at the same Hyatt as this time (when I stopped to see her on my road trip after “Spamalot” – she was in Houston with “Mary Poppins”). So we had plenty to catch up on, making a long car ride kind of perfect.

We stopped for the first night in Amarillo, TX. and had our very own Tony Awards party at a La Quinta motel complete with takeout from Denny’s. We are classy ladies 🙂 The next day we hit the road early only to run into a giant forest fire on the border of New Mexico and Colorado – and the freeway we needed to get on was closed. I was really happy Tanya was with me because I probably would have had a melt-down if I had been alone when I realized we had to do a 135 mile detour to get around the fire! It added a couple of hours onto the trip, but we did manage to get to Denver safely around dinner-time. We made dinner with Eric at the Residence Inn and I tried (but failed) to stay awake with him until he had to go to work at 2:30am (for a 3am load-in – oy!).

Fire on the border of New Mexico and Colorado

Load-in was kind of a tedious one, unfortunately. Because of the long distance between Houston and Denver, the crew worked from 3am (when the trucks arrived) straight through to the show on Tuesday night. All hopes of getting an afternoon nap in were dashed when a big support piece on the set broke while being unloaded from the truck. It had to be mended, which delayed the set going in, which therefore delayed everything else. It took right up until the dinner break to get everything in and ready for the show. My friend Tiffany, who is an old friend from college, stopped by the theater in the afternoon with her kids Ava and Seamus, so I took a little break and showed them around. It was fun seeing Ava get so excited about being in the theater – Tiffany is convinced she is going to be an actress.

The next day was our regular “day after load-in day of rest”, but on Thursday I got up and went and had the most awesome prenatal massage from Regina at Harmony’s Family. I highly recommend her if you are looking for a good place for prenatal massage in Denver. My back is all jacked up from having those two herniated discs last year, and Regina also told me that my hips are exceptionally tight – probably from all the driving I do – which is not helping my lower back issues. She did such an amazing job loosening me up! I’m searching and searching for a place like Harmony’s Family in NYC – not only do they offer specifically prenatal massage, but also acupuncture for pregnant women (which I was told could help with my blood pressure), doula services and childbirth classes. Anybody know of a place like this in NYC? I haven’t had any luck with googling. There just aren’t enough hippies in NYC for cool businesses like this. I realized that when I first moved there and went in search of a spa like the ones I used to go to in Santa Cruz, that are new agey, hippie places with hot tubs and are all about relaxation. In NYC the spas are all about beauty treatments and are way more clinical than new agey. And I have yet to find a spa in NYC where you can  get a private hot tub in addition to your other treatments. Anyway! I really do want to find somewhere at home where I can continue with the prenatal massage and also try out acupuncture (specifically for mamas) – so if anyone has any recommendations, please message me!

After my massage I went and had lunch with Tiffany, Ava and Seamus at their house. They had gotten a little birthday cake for me. It was fun hanging out for the afternoon in their yard. Both of the kids have gotten so big since the last time I saw them!

Birthday cake from Ava and Seamus

Ava

 

Seamus

Friday was my birthday and I really wanted to do something outdoors. The weather was a bit sketchy, but Eric, Travis and I decided to brave it and head up to Red Rocks for a hike. The clouds cleared up after we got there and it ended up being beautiful. We ran into some other co-workers up there, but mostly had a really nice, quiet afternoon. We even ran into a group of very tame deer who let us get really close to take their pictures!

Red Rocks

Eric taking photos

Eric on the trail

Three bucks!

A doe

 

Hiking on the trail

Travis on the trail

Friends from work, stopped for lunch

After getting back from Red Rocks, we got cleaned up and Eric took me out for a birthday dinner at Tamayo, a Mexican/South American restaurant near the theater. It was delicious!

It was the normal four-show weekend, and then Monday was rainy and gloomy. We had been thinking about taking the train up to Pike’s Peak, but I read online that pregnant women should really avoid going above 12,000 feet. I was going to call my doctor and ask about it (Eric said the doctors probably think I’m crazy since I am always calling with some random question like “can I climb a mountain today?” – ha ha) but since the weather ended up being crappy we decided to scrap the idea. Good thing, too – we had some friends from work who went up there and they said it was 17 degrees, snowing and zero visibility at the top. Seeing as I sent my winter coat home already, that wouldn’t have been too fun. We stayed in Denver instead. I went to the mall and bought some maternity jeans – my regular pants have finally stopped fitting! Then Eric and I went to REI to look around (didn’t buy anything though). Eric then went to the butcher with our friend Brad and they bought some giant steaks. We ended up grilling out at the hotel that night which was fun and super yummy.

The next day was gorgeous, so Eric and I got up early and headed down to Colorado Springs to Garden of the Gods. The last time I was there it was overcast, so it was nice to see it in a different light. We took a bunch of photos of all the rock formations and drove around the whole park a number of times. Afterwards we had lunch in cute Manitou Springs before heading back to Denver for the show that night.

Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods

Pike's Peak in the distance

On Thursday I met up with Janann and April, two friends from ACT days, for lunch at a great vegetarian restaurant called Watercourse. It was so awesome to see them both. Two really great girls. I wish I were able to see them more often then every couple of years!

Now we are headed into the weekend and I am trying to wrap my head around packing. We have a lay-off week next week, so Eric and I are spending three days driving my car back to New York. We are trying to load it up with as much stuff as possible to take home now. Trying to really lighten the load and get by with the bare minimum for our last three weeks on tour. I’ll be flying to the last two stops – Atlanta and Washington DC, so I have to make sure my suitcases are both underweight. I’ve filled my footlocker (which travels on the truck) with cat supplies that previously lived in the car. I can’t believe we are almost done with this tour! In some ways it seems like it has flown by, and in other ways it seems like it has gone on forever.

I have two doctors appointments next week – one is another ultrasound, so hopefully we can confirm the sex of the baby. Things are still going great – I think I have felt the baby move a couple of times now, but still not regularly. My blood pressure, according to my monitor anyway, seems to be normal. I had an anxiety dream the other night that I went into labor and we still had not bought one single thing for the baby. I think I am really anxious about getting home and starting to get things ready! I have bought exactly two onesies, but that’s it! We are getting a registry organized on Amazon, though, so I am at least “window shopping”. Excited to actually start getting some baby stuff into the apartment , though!

That’s all for now – will keep you posted with news from New York next week!

Denver Revisited

So after flying from Spokane, I left Ryan at the Denver airport and got in a cab to downtown. Very, very strange and sad to be continuing on without him. Thank goodness it was Denver. We had a truncated week with a Wednesday opening (allowing the trucks to make the long drive from Spokane), and a rehearsal on Thursday, so down time would be limited. And in my down time I had plenty of people to see. Tiffany and Robin, two of my dearest friends from college, live in Denver – as well as Elaine, one of our former hair supervisors on the tour, as well as a couple of other friends. I knew I would at least be occupied throughout the week – and hopefully that would keep me distracted from being too upset about Ryan.

Our flight to Denver was later in the afternoon, so by the time I was checked in to the Residence Inn (a really nice one just a block up from the 16th Street Mall) all I really had time for was some dinner before bed. I walked around a little bit – it was really gorgeous and warm out – finally some summery weather!

On Tuesday I rented a car and did some grocery shopping, and then drove out to Red Rocks Park. Ryan and I had gone there the last time we played Denver and it is such a gorgeous place to go for an easy hike. There is a spectacular amphitheater there – I bet seeing a concert there is amazing. I had thought about going up to Estes Park or something more adventurous on my free Tuesday off, but in the end I just felt like taking it easy and not driving too far. It was lovely to walk around Red Rocks and take in the beautiful surroundings, without having to drive a million miles to get there! It was a very relaxing couple of hours.

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After spending a few hours walking around Red Rocks, I got back in the car and drove over to Cherry Creek Mall. Nothing like a little retail therapy to make me feel better! I bought a dress for our San Francisco opening and I love it!

On Wednesday I joined load-in at the Buell Theater. We played the Buell for three weeks back in 2007 and it is clean, modern, spacious and therefore, a very easy space to load into and play. It was nice to see some of the familiar stagehands – especially Al, the house prop guy, who is quite a character. He is almost 75 and still working – I think he looks like a little garden gnome.

It was a very easy day – we had so much time on our hands after our load-in responsibilities were complete, that we cleaned out our two stage management hampers – we got rid of a ton of stuff – spring cleaning! In the afternoon I was even able to go back to the hotel and relax for a couple of hours before the show.

The big news on Wednesday was that before the show, our general manager, Jeff Wilson, announced to the company that the “Spamalot” tour would be ending on October 18th in Costa Mesa. It really wasn’t a shock to anybody – we had all been hearing rumors for ages – and in fact, its sort of nice knowing when the end will be. We have a great schedule between now and then – all California cities, except for a week in Tucson in September. And the closing isn’t for another five months, so there is plenty of time between now and then to figure out what to do next. What will I do come October? – who knows? Time will tell. It may be nice to actually be home for the holidays!

Jeff treated the company to drinks at the Hotel Curtis after the show. I had a nice time talking to Paula and Matt, although it was a bit weird to be at a “Spamalot” function without Ryan.

On Thursday we had understudy rehearsal, and then following the evening show, John O’Hurley, who plays King Arthur, threw the company a party at Elway’s, a restaurant at the Ritz Carlton hotel. It was a really nice, low-key gathering, with really good food, and an unending supply of wine 🙂 I spent a long time talking with Ben Davis and Carissa, and before I knew it was much later than I had anticipated staying out. Needless to say, I was pretty tired the next morning.

Carissa and Alexa at Elway's

Carissa and Alexa at Elway's

I got up early on Friday to go and get my hair cut and colored. Unfortunately the first salon that I went to (and where I had an appointment), was not a good experience. The stylist seemed very confused and then very antagonistic towards me – so after a few minutes I got up and left. I called my friend Tiffany, who I was meeting later, and she recommended another salon out by the mall – I called them and they had an opening, so I went there and got a great cut and color. Tiffany picked me up there and I had a nice afternoon with her and her two kids – Ava and baby Seamus. We drove out to the zoo and had lunch and walked around for a few hours looking at all the animals with the kids. Seamus is a newborn – only born in February, so he slept the afternoon away, but I had a lot of fun catching up with Ava, who I think is one of the smartest, funniest kids I’ve ever met.

Ava

Ava

I was so exhausted by the time the show was over on Friday night, that I had to call it a night. Piper Arpan, one of our former swings, was in town, and was hosting a party at her fiance’s bar, but I just couldn’t do it. Too many parties in one week! It was a shame, because I really would have liked to have seen Piper, but I also needed to sleep really badly!

I got up early again on Saturday and met up with Tiffany, and our friend Robin, for breakfast. I went to college with Tiffany and Robin and lived with them both in the same dorm our freshman year. Tiffany and I also lived together for a year after college when we both moved back to the Bay Area. I love both these girls so much and I love that we are still friends. It was great catching up with them both.

Robin and Tiffany

Robin and Tiffany

We had two shows on Saturday. In between, I had lunch with Elaine, Jovon and Roy. Elaine was one of our hair supervisors for the first couple of years on the tour, and I just love her so much. She lives in Winter Park, so it was a fairly short trip for her to come down and see us. I really miss having her around, and it was nice to talk to her about everything that had gone on during the previous couple of weeks with Ryan and feel her support. I wish she was still out here on the road with us.

The two-show day was followed by a very festive shot night. Wayne Spellman, our wardrobe supervisor, was leaving to join the “Mamma Mia” tour (which is currently playing Hawaii), so his farewell shot night was a Hawaiian themed extravaganza with leis, palm trees, and lots of embarrassing pictures of Wayne taken over his two-year tenure on the tour (most were from the white trash party that he hosted in Toledo).

Wayne

Wayne

Carissa

Carissa

Darryl

Darryl

Jen and David

Jen and David

After shot night, we all headed over to the bar at the Curtis and had more drinks to celebrate Wayne. I ended up having another late night, chatting with the Suttons and Elaine. It was a fun send-off for Wayne – a couple of the girls and Matthew Greer even wore hula skirts to the bar!

Sarah, David, Alexa and Carissa in Hawaiian wear at the bar

Sarah, David, Alexa and Carissa in Hawaiian wear at the bar

On Sunday, we all wore ties backstage for the evening show in honor of Wayne (who often wears a tie to work). It was sad to say goodbye to him, but we’re all happy for him that he’s going off to such a great gig.

And so after the evening show it was time to pack up and finally head west to San Francisco. I have been waiting so long to finally go back to my hometown with a show – I was beyond excited. Not only was I heading home, but for seven whole weeks! I could not wait to get there!

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Lovely Layoff

After Sioux City, we had another layoff week – we had originally been scheduled to play Iowa City, but during the terrible tornadoes this past summer, the theater there was flooded and is now closed . On the one hand, it’s a little tough to go with another unpaid week right before Christmas, but on the other hand, I was excited to take advantage of the time off and go and visit some friends. 

I left early on Monday morning and drove ten hours to Denver. The drive was thankfully uneventful – being in this part of the country I was very afraid that I might be inundated with snow. Luckily the snow waited until I arrived in Denver to start falling.

As I entered Colorado, I could see the snow clouds drawing near.

As I entered Colorado, I could see the snow clouds drawing near.

I spent the evening (and overnight) in Denver at my dear friend, Tiffany’s house. Tiffany and I went to college together at UCSD – we lived together in the same dorm as freshmen, and then after college spent a year living together in Oakland, California. She is such a great girl, and I so admire what an awesome mom she is to her three-year-old daughter, Ava, who I think may be the cutest, smartest three-year-old on the planet.

Ava

Ava

Tiffany is pregnant with her second baby, a boy, and has recently been on bed rest. Although her doctor has given her the clear to resume normal activity, she’s smartly taking it easy, so we stayed in and made dinner with another old college friend, Robin, who moved to Denver around the same time as Tiffany. Robin is also doing great – her husband is a minister of a parish in Denver, and they, too are hoping to start a family soon. It was a great night hanging out with two awesome friends – I can’t believe we have known each other now for sixteen years! And of course, I had a blast playing with Ava. Tallulah didn’t have as much fun – she didn’t really take to Rocky, the Freemans’ cat, and vice versa. They spent most of the evening hissing at each other. 

I was lucky enough to arrive at Tiffany’s just as the snow was starting to fall. When I woke up in the morning, there was about eight inches on my car! It took twenty minutes to clear off! Tallulah and I set off for Albuquerque, New Mexico at around 10am. The roads hadn’t been plowed so well yet so it was pretty slow-going – and as we hit a couple of mountain passes, the driving was a bit treacherous in the icy conditions.

Awaking to snow in Denver

Awaking to snow in Denver

Once I made it through the mountain pass between Colorado and New Mexico, the drive improved drastically. There was no longer snow actually falling, and even though the roads were still a bit icy, they had been plowed, making driving much easier. The upper part of New Mexico was gorgeous – the snow in the desert made the land look like the moon!

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I arrived at Tanya’s house in the Sandia mountains around 6pm and was greeted by her and her mom and step-dad. We had dinner and hung out and chatted, and then I fell asleep early!

The week with Tanya was awesome. I love New Mexico. It is so beautiful – I swear, unless there is a storm brewing, the sky there is a brilliant blue year-round. As Tanya lives in the mountains above Albuquerque, she gets quite a bit of snow at her place. The color of the sky, and the bright sunshine, juxtaposed with the snow was just gorgeous. 

So happy to be in New Mexico!

So happy to be in New Mexico!

We spent the week Christmas shopping, going to the movies (see “Milk”!!), hanging out, cooking!, and we spent one luxurious day at Ten Thousand Waves spa in Santa Fe. I had a facial and massage, and we shared an outdoor hot tub (which was perfect in the snow!). It was the best. I also made Tanya have breakfast with me at Frontier Restaurant, which is near the theater at the University of New Mexico, which is where we played with “Spamalot” in June. The breakfast burritos with green chile at Frontier are amazing, and I could not come to Albuquerque without having one!

A house decorated for Christmas in Madrid, NM.

A house decorated for Christmas in Madrid, NM.

Colorful mailboxes in Madrid

Colorful mailboxes in Madrid

Tanya at Ten Thousand Waves

Tanya at Ten Thousand Waves

Tallulah had a nice week, too, being doted on by a house full of people, taking many naps by the wood-burning stove, and taking her first walk on snow.

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On Sunday, alas, I had to say goodbye. Of course, I once again awoke to snow – a new storm system this time. It was very windy and snowy, and it took a long time to get through the tiny roads on Tanya’s mountain, but once we hit the freeway, it was smooth-sailing. Tallulah and I began the long drive to Fayetteville, Arkansas. We drove through Texas and stopped overnight in Oklahoma City, arriving in Fayetteville on Monday afternoon.

So long, New Mexico.

So long, New Mexico.

It has been quite cold and icy here in Arkansas, but no snow. I’m actually missing the snow. I like it this time of year. It was one of my favorite things about moving to the east coast, to finally have snow in the winter! Hopefully next week when we head back to Iowa for Christmas, we’ll see some more. It has been an uneventful week so far in Fayetteville, the hometown of Esther, our Lady of the Lake. It seems like a cute enough town, and I drove through a gorgeous national park to get here, but really this week has been all about Christmas preparations and Secret Santa!  More on that to come!

Denver Round-up

With Ryan at Oktoberfest

With Ryan at Oktoberfest

So – Denver. My last week was mostly spent catching up with all my old friends who have coincidentally ended up in Denver. Wednesday evening I had drinks with Janann, who I worked with in the Bay Area at ACT and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Janann is now the associate production manager at the Denver Center. We met for drinks at Rock Bottom where I also met a couple of friends of hers that work with her at the Denver Center. Janann and I had a great time catching up and reminiscing about ACT.

Thursday I had lunch with Tiffany, one of my college roommates, and her daughter Ava. We rode bikes over to Pearl Street, which is near Tiff’s house, and had lunch at a really cute bistro. Ava is just about the cutest, smartest two-year-old I have ever met, and totally charmed the pants off me. Unfortunately, for some reason I had an aversion to my camera last week, and didn’t take a single photo of any of my friends, can you believe it? I did manage to get a cute picture of Ava with my cell phone, though.

While I was at Tiffany’s, she received an email from Monique, another dear friend from college, who had just given birth to her third child, Jack. Congratulations, Mokie!

Thursday and Friday saw a visit to “Spamalot” from our associate director, Peter Lawrence, and our resident director, B.T. McNichol. We had a brush-up rehearsal on Friday with the both of them, which is always a nice way to re-invigorate the show.

Thursday night, our sound guy, Cuz, invited a small group of us to play mini golf at a secret underground course across the street from the Buell. It is a course that was built over twelve years ago by some of the stagehands working at the Denver Center. You have to be invited to play, and in order to get to the course, you are led through a labyrinth of crawl space in the trap room under one of the theaters in the Denver Center. The course is built from old scenery and props underneath one of the stages. It is called “The Aloha Seven” (there are seven holes), and it is amazing.

Cuz posing for a photo

Cuz posing for a photo

Ryan at the first hole - the volcano

Ryan at the first hole - the volcano

Ryan

Ryan

Nigel

Nigel

Mike taking a shot

Mike taking a shot

On Friday night a group of us went back to Oktoberfest and danced up a storm to polka music. It was a blast.

Saturday morning I met up with Robin for breakfast at the Rocky Mountain diner. Robin was the first person I ever met at UCSD, where I went to college. We met at orientation the June before we started our freshman year. When I showed up at the dorm in September, I was excited to find that she was in the same suite as me! Robin and her husband, Steve, have been on quite a journey the last couple of years. Steve has been in seminary studying to be a minister and they have been traveling a lot working and studying. Now Steve is set with a parish in Denver, and I think they are relieved to be in one place, and that it is such a great city to be able to settle down in. It was so nice seeing Robin, as it has been rare since graduation from college for us to have the opportunity to get together. She’s an amazing, giving soul and I miss her! I love you, Robin!

Saturday between shows, I met up with my former boss from ACT, Ed Lapine, who is now production manager at the Denver Center. We went out for Mongolian BBQ and Ed told me all about the three week hike that he did last summer through the Sierras with Ed Raymond, who used to be the technical director at ACT. The photos he had looked amazing and it sounds like they had a great time. It was so nice to see Ed – he’s one of my favorite production managers that I have ever worked for. We had a lot of fun back in San Francisco while at ACT. Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to work with him again someday!

We closed and loaded the show out on Sunday and flew to Seattle yesterday. I had a wonderful time in Denver, catching up with old friends, and visiting the beautiful mountains. I look forward to going back!

I think the next three weeks in Seattle are also going to be nice. Seattle is a great town – it reminds me a lot of San Francisco. Ryan and I scored a fantastic apartment – stunningly decorated with a patio and view of the water and the mountains.  We have a lot of rehearsal coming up and will be training a stage management sub (my friend Lisa), as Ken leaves soon for Australia, but hopefully I will still find time for some exploring!

Pike's Peak and Red Rocks

The temperature change in Winter Park must have been too much for me, because I came down with a nasty cold last week after the day off. Its going around – Wayne, our wardrobe supervisor, had it, as did Mike Berg, our pyro guy, and Robert, who plays Robin. I did manage to do a few things last week even though I was all stuffed up.

Tony Holds and David Nehls

Tony Holds and David Nehls

David Nehls, who composed and music directed “The Great American Trailer Park Musical”, which I worked on in New York last year, came to the show on Tuesday night and a group of us went out for drinks afterwards at The Corner Office. David is a great guy and so fun to hang with – it was great to spend some time with him. He and the band and the understudies (which Tony Holds, who plays Galahad, was one) were the best things about “Trailer Park” – we had such a blast together and I miss them!

On Wednesday, I had a girlie crafting day with Fran. We went to a couple of yarn stores and bead stores and bought some loot. All in all, I have spent over $200 in yarn while in Denver! I have a couple of projects in mind, though, so it isn’t just stash enhancement! Fran and I had a delicious lunch at a Thai restaurant, and the spices were just what I needed to help clear my sinuses!

The rest of the week and weekend were rest days for me – I didn’t really go out at all except for work, which was good, because by Monday I was ready to hit the mountains again. Ryan and I drove to Manitou Springs and visited Garden of the Gods, which is a public park that has some really cool red rock formations. We walked around for about an hour in the early afternoon, and then came back at sunset. Here’s some highlights:

That’s Pike’s Peak peeking through the hole in the red rock above. In the afternoon on Monday we caught a train at the Cog Railway which took us up to the summit of Pike’s Peak – which is over 14,000 feet above sea level. The train is really the way to go up the mountain. The ride was beautiful, and although there is a road which you can take yourself in your own car, we didn’t want to have to worry about overheating brakes or any of that nonsense. You can also hike up the mountain, which Erik Hayden, one of our ensemble members, did last week, but he did not have a pleasant experience with exerting himself in the high altitude, so for us, sitting on a train to the top seemed like the way to go.

The scenery in Colorado right now is just beautiful. On the ride up the mountain we saw the aspen trees changing colors and creeks and lakes and snow capped mountains. At the summit we were able to get off the train for close to an hour to take photos and walk around. It is FREEZING at the top of Pike’s Peak – I think it was in the 20’s and windy, so you can really only spend a little bit of time outside, taking in the view (which is spectacular – you can see for 300 miles around you). The rest of the time on the peak, we spent shopping at the gift shop and drinking hot chocolate.

Ryan at the summit

Ryan at the summit

The Cog Railway

The Cog Railway

The view from the train

The view from the train

The aspens changing color

The aspens changing color

The view of the Rockies

The view of the Rockies

We ate dinner in Manitou Springs at a place called the Stagecoach Inn and then headed back to Denver.

On Tuesday we visited Red Rocks Park, which is near Denver, and home to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater, where many rock bands have played over the years. The park was really spectacular, and we did a mile long hike through the rock formations and took lots of pictures. We also saw some deer and a snake!

Our time in Denver is almost up! This week I am going to catch up with Tiffany and Robin one more time and see Janann, who I used to work with at ACT and who is now in the production department at the Denver Center. Oktoberfest is also back this weekend, so there may be some more beer drinking before the stay is over.

Tony Holds is leaving us at the end of the first week in Seattle, so Ben Davis will be our new Galahad. He started rehearsals today and seems like a really nice guy, so I am sure he will fit in well with the company.

I am looking forward to Seattle and seeing some old friends there, including Lisa Chernoff, who I worked with at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and who is going to be our sub for the six weeks Ken is in Australia. She starts training with us our second week in Seattle.

I’ll leave you with some photos from Sunday’s shot night, which was hosted by the wardrobe department.

Fran and Roy mixing drinks

Fran and Roy mixing drinks

The wardrobe dept - Fran, Roy and Wayne

The wardrobe dept - Fran, Roy and Wayne

Poor Darryl in drag – the girls stole his clothes and left him this to wear (can you believe Angelina travels this outfit?). All I gotta say, is that the boy has better legs than me. It’s not fair!

Darryl in drag

Darryl in drag

Lacy Skirt with Bows

This pattern is from “Greetings from the Knit Cafe” and was created by Kat Coyle. The yarn is Daktari cotton in the colorway Cappuccino. Made on size 5 needles. I used about 5 skeins of yarn.

I had read a lot about the skirt and the yarn before starting the project, and so I knew the color of the yarn could vary quite drastically from skein to skein, even in the same dye lot. I decided to alternate skeins every other row, and I am happy with the result – the color is very even.

I love the feel and the drape of the cotton, and I adore the pattern – it is a very wearable skirt, as both casual everyday, and more dressed up. The only thing I would do differently if I were to make this skirt again, is to go down a needle size to make a tighter fabric. The loose knit allows quite a lot of light through, so I have to wear a slip underneath.

As for modifications, I knit the pattern exactly as written, except for using ribbon instead of yarn for the waistband and to thread through the eyelets. I also decided to go for two bows on the sides, rather than six bows all the way around.

All in all, I am very pleased with the end result. Too bad the weather is getting too cold to wear it!

I also finished one other project – the Halfdome hat from Knitty.com for Ryan. I am also making one for Karl. Have to keep all the bald heads warm! 
I went to two yarn shops in Denver this week – The Lamb Shoppe  and I Love Knitting. Both are great shops and have great selections. I managed to drop over $200 on yarn. I have a couple of sweaters I want to make this winter. 
Now I am working on the Indigo Ripples skirt, another Kat Coyle pattern, Karl’s Halfdome hat, as well as the sweaters Juliet, and The Tilted Duster from this fall’s Interweave. I’ve got my work cut out for me!

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:
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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