Land of Golf Courses and Old People

Well, I guess golf courses and old people are to Naples what strip clubs and steakhouses are to Tampa. Naples is a very upscale wealthy area – definitely geared to the retired. We are staying on a golf resort about 15 miles from the theater. The accomodations are beautiful. The picture above was taken from our porch at sunrise. I have an amazing master suite with the most comfortable bed I’ve had yet on this tour, and a huge whirlpool tub. I’m sharing a two-bedroom condo with Jeff Klein, one of our company managers. The place is huge. It’s too bad we are not staying here longer than a week.

     

We arrived here on Monday and I met up with Brian for dinner at a really good Mexican place on 5th Avenue South, which is the “downtown” area of Naples. It is an upscale street filled with restaurants and boutiques. We wandered around a bit and then headed home to get some rest before load-in in the morning.

Tuesday I met Jovon Shuck, our new ASM who will be taking over for Brian. He seems really nice – I sort of feel for him that he has to learn the show in a theater where we are only staying for a week. I was lucky to learn in Detroit where I had four weeks to get really comfortable with the show before we moved next and I had to teach a new crew the show. Jovon will have a week before having to teach stage left to a new crew in Memphis on Tuesday. 

The theater here in Naples is really small – only about 1500 seats and is designed to be a concert hall, so we are very cramped backstage. The proscenium is also very low so our drops don’t fit all that well in the space.

Along with Jovon, we are also training a new stage right prop guy, Steve, as Josh is leaving to join “The Color Purple” tour. In addition, six of the eight local wardrobe crew here have never worked backstage before. Needless to say, the first night was a bit chaotic backstage…but, we met Judge Judy afterwards! She’s a resident of Naples.

There’s not much in terms of sightseeing here in Naples, but yesterday I did head out to the beach, which is stunning. I also felt unusually attractive in my swimsuit as everyone on the beach was over seventy!

It was eighty degrees here yesterday which made for an amazing beach day, but unfortunately I fell asleep and ended up with quite a sunburn. Oh well, I had to make the most of my last beach day for a while. It is supposed to snow in Memphis next Thursday – that will be quite a shock to all of us after being in shorts for a month.

The condos here are so nice that we have all mostly been hanging out here at the resort. Plus driving around here is maddening because all the old people drive so SLOWLY! It takes forever to get anywhere! Tuesday night I went next door to Karl and Ben’s for margaritas and Wednesday night Ryan and Brian and I drank beers on my porch. We look directly out on to the golf course from our patio. At nighttime it is so tempting to streak naked out there. I was talking to Callie, who lives above me about that and she laughed because she and Amy, her roommate, had had the exact same thought. Maybe some debauchery will be had before we leave on Sunday…

Finally, we now have a Spamatruck!

We travel with eight trucks full of scenery, props, costumes, trunks, etc. and now one of the trucks sports the logo! Pretty cool, right?

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Last Few Days in Tampa

A few observations from this week… 

There is a Home Depot and a Hooters in every city in America.

If you like steakhouses and strip clubs, Tampa is the city for you. They are EVERYWHERE.

I think this tour will be a lot about checking out who has the best shopping mall in America. So far, the Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan is tops.

Stagehands often have strange names. So far I have met Knuckles, Hacksaw, Sprout, Sideshow, Bones and Boots. 

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Michael Siberry (he plays the King) lucked out and had a fat dressing room in Tampa. To celebrate, he invited us all to an “open house” in his room after a show last week and provided champagne cocktails.

Michael and Justin

Michael and Justin

Brian

Brian

Note the lovely red plush sofas. Pia (our “Lady of the Lake”) was very pissy that she didn’t get the big dressing room, but she did partake in Michael’s cocktails, nonetheless.

Also this past week, Karl (company manager), Brian and I ventured over to Bern’s Steakhouse, which is a Tampa institution, and which we actually name in the show when the Peasant is pulled up to the stage from the audience (“You shall be revered here in Tampa, along with Bern’s Steakhouse”). Bern’s has amazing steaks, and also the largest wine collection in the country. We had a delicious dinner and drinks, followed by dessert in the upstairs dessert room. Our waiter was quite a character, and obviously took great pride in his job. He told us that he picked the organic lettuce for our salads and helped build the tables in the dessert room. Wow!

Karl and Brian tasting their dessert wines

Karl and Brian tasting their dessert wines

In the over-the-top lobby

In the over-the-top lobby

Also this week, the Spam-mobile made an appearance! Apparently it follows us around the country, although this was the first time I had seen it. Here it is parked outside the performing arts center.

Spam-mobile

Spam-mobile

I ventured over to Ybor City, the Cuban area of Tampa, earlier this week for a walk. There are a lot of empty storefronts now, but it is still very charming and has some restaurants and other shops still in operation. There are also a lot of cigar shops!

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I also took a few shots outside the back of the theater, which had a nice outdoor area for dining. It looks out onto the river.

And finally…I finished knitting my first pair of socks which I started in Detroit! One is a bit bigger than the other, but I’m too lazy to do one over, so here they are!

Today is Monday and Tallulah and I travelled to Naples, Florida, about a three hour drive from Tampa. We will play here for a week before heading to Memphis. Our accomodations here are AWESOME! We are staying at a golf resort. Here is one teaser picture to make my dad jealous:

It’s our very own “lanai” (enclosed patio), which looks directly out onto the golf course!

More pictures from Naples in the next post!