Schenectady was a stop of rest. Nothing too strenuous or taxing about it. The town itself was small and sweet in some ways, and sad in others. Based around General Electric, it is obvious that it’s heyday is past, but there is a revitalization of the downtown that has begun to take place, and therefore enough in a one-week stop to keep me occupied.
On Monday we arrived early in the morning after riding the sleeper bus all night from Washington. Thanks to Nighttime Theraflu, I slept a record six hours on the bus and so didn’t feel the need to get into bed immediately when we arrived at the Holiday Inn. Instead I walked around, worked on this blog, and had a restful afternoon. In the evening, I went to the movies to see “Juno”, a really sweet, heartwarming film (I recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet).
The theater in Schenectady, Proctor’s, used to be one of the theaters that everyone dreaded going to because the facilities were so small and inadequate. Thanks to a renovation, the old vaudeville house is now more than big enough to house shows like ours, so the load-in went smoothly, as did the opening.
The town really embraced us from the minute we arrived. The audiences were similar to the rock star crowds we experienced in Des Moines, and the local crew were so excited to have us and to be able to be a part of our show for the week. Even the local businesses welcomed us. Across from the theater was a small street – Jay Street – that was lined with a few shops and restaurants. There was a cute bookshop, a cool coffee shop named Ambition, and a health food store which also served food, whose owner Lori, welcomed us with a 10% discount on everything she sold, and by staying open late so we could grab dinner there on the way to the theater. Lori and her shop were definitely the high point of the week.
There were other good things too – the Backstage Tavern, right out the back door of the theater was a great little watering hole, and on Friday, I did a walking tour of the Stockade District (just a few blocks from the theater), which was really interesting, and showed off much of Schenectady’s beautiful architecture. When the town first came into being, back in the 1700’s, it was initially surrounded by a wall to protect it from the Indians. There are some houses in town that still exist from that era. It was really cool to see some of America’s history still standing.
And best of all, on Wednesday I stayed in all day and finished ALL my tax prep! I am so excited that this is done, and that I won’t have to waste a day in Florida adding up receipts!
On Saturday night during the peasant scene, towards the end of the show, the smoke effect from the rabbit mound set off the theater’s fire alarm, which in turn promptly dropped the fire curtain, sealing off the stage from the audience. We had to stop the show for ten minutes (thank god Ken was calling and not me!) while the fire department figured out how to reset the system. Our peasant, who was picked from the audience, was a bit spooked as he was onstage when the alarm went off, but after Michael, our King, chatted him up a bit and showed him around backstage, I think he was rather excited to be part of the chaos.
We closed on a matinee on Sunday (no fire alarm this time!) and we all promptly loaded onto another bus and made the three hour trek to Boston. Good thing, too, because Monday morning I awoke to find the city covered in snow. We were hit with a storm overnight that dumped at least three inches of snow on the ground!
It is strange being back in Boston where the tour began. Although I wasn’t here for the tech process, I did come and visit everyone shortly after opening, and I saw the show here. We are at a different theater, the Opera House, but we are staying at the same hotel, and it is the same time of year as when the show originally opened here. We gathered last night at the Intermission Tavern and drank to the two years that have gone by so quickly!
Today I ran errands mostly in preparation for my trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico this coming Monday. It seems strange to be traveling from 20 degree weather to 80 degrees, but I’m not complaining!
Tonight I went to see the film “Atonement” – it was pretty intense, but stunning and beautifully told. Another movie I recommend!
Wishing everyone a great week!