November 12th, 2005

Side Show

A nice day in LA and "The Grand Tour"

Spent a wonderful day yesterday shopping and getting settled in to my hotel. :) With all the turmoil on Thursday with my flight mishaps, I forgot to mention what a great place I'm staying at... Wireless internet connection available for just $3.99 (for the entire stay) and a room so big that I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually larger than my apartment when I was in college. :P All that for just $41 a night? I LOVE Priceline! :D

In the evening, I met up with cahwyguy and his family to see The Grand Tour at the Colony Theatre. We met for dinner beforehand and I got to finally meet him and his wonderful family. It was so nice to finally meet Daniel and to be able to converse with someone with such an extensive knowledge of musical theatre. Hopefully we'll all be able to meet up again on one of my future theatre trips to LA. :)

The show itself was an enjoyable musical - funny at times, touching at others - with a great cast... Jason Graae was S.L. Jacobowsky, a sensitive and intelligent Jewish man who, during the midst of WWII, is trying to flee from the German army. Together with a gruff and headstrong Polish Colonel, Stjerbinsky (John Ganun) and his beautiful French girlfriend, Marianne (Tami Tappan Damiano) - the three travel on a secret mission to St. Nazaire. Along the way, they encounter and evade the German army, get wrangled into performing an unlikely circus act, meet people they will never forget, and grow to have a newfound admiration for each other in the process.

The cast was all incredibly strong, but Jason Graae, in particular, stole the show. His sensitivity and comedic timing were perfect for the role and everything about him made him perfectly suited to play Jacobowsky. I've always loved Tami in everything I've seen her in since seeing her in My Way with Kevin back in February. She was wonderful in this show (as was John Ganun - who I first saw in Most Happy Fella with Kevin,) but all the characters seemed to take a backseat to Jason Graae - it was really his show. This was the first time I'd ever seen Jason Graae on stage (I'd only previously seen him host the Robby Awards each year) and I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of his characterization.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention one of the most thrilling parts of the evening was actually getting to see Jerry Herman (who wrote the music and lyrics) sitting in the audience!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, The Colony Theatre (a place where I spent most of my 2002 year) is sadly not the same theatre that it used to be. :( Though their productions are still very first rate, somehow the atmosphere there is different, and although pictures of Nick, Julie, Misty, and Kevin all line the walls from previous productions - it seems as though all the warmth of the theatre when they occupied it is gone. I miss Anjali and I miss walking in and feeling that warm, homey feeling. :(

Today I'm going to run a few errands then it's off to the Ahmanson to see The Drowsy Chaperone and then to Cal State Los Angeles to see Kevin in the Harold Arlen concert. I don't think I'll try to stay after the show to see Kevin this time - there's a post concert reception, but it's only limited to those who purchased the premium tickets. I'm just as happy to go just to hear him sing - even if it is just one song. :)

I'm off to Trader Joe's, hope you're all having a nice weekend! :)
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Sheri - yahoo icon

My mis-adventures at the Ahmanson Theatre :P & my quick impressions of "The Drowsy Chaperone"

The title should probably more accurately be - "My Mis-adventures Trying to Find the Ahmanson!" :P I've only been there once before - to see Into The Woods before it went to Broadway in 2002 and I couldn't find the theatre then either! Today, as I was on my way to see The Drowsy Chaperone I got completely and utterly LOST. :( :( I was getting off exits and re-entering the freeway so much that I must've merged a dozen times... And I STILL couldn't find Temple St. :( Finally, when I was about to give up all hope and go home (my tickets were only $20 after all...) I looked up and what did I see in front of me? Temple Street!! Hallelujah! :) I was a little late for the show (and had to be seated with all the latecomers), but I made it! :)

The show was possibly one of the cutest that I've seen! It was funny, well staged, and SO creative! It was a musical within a musical and the best parts were the comments and quips by the narrator of the show - Bob Martin (who also wrote the book for the show). The story is his and he invites the audience to join him in his apartment as he plays the recording of his favorite musical, "The Drowsy Chaperone." We never find out too much about his character, because, perhaps it's a little bit of Bob himself. He's billed as "The Man In The Chair" and he controls all the action that's on stage. The humor is, at first, a little slapstick - however, it's the nature of the 1920's musical in the musical, but as the show progresses the humor becomes clever and witty and pretty irresistible. By the end of the show, I was laughing so hard I was in tears.

Sutton was great in the show as "The Bride." Being the trouper that she is, she performed with a cast on her wrist (which she broke during a rehearsal last week.) It was almost unnoticeable in the show - the choreography was even changed a little to accommodate her injury (she ended up doing one armed cartwheels - much to everyone's delight.) :) Georgia Engel (who was Georgette in Mary Tyler Moore) was in the show as well and provided a few comical moments. All in all it was a wonderful show and so far, the best that Ive seen on this trip. :)

Of course, I have yet to see The Wild Party, so I'm withholding judgment on exactly which was my favorite until then. :) I'm off to see Kevin sing in the Harold Arlen concert, please think good thoughts for me that I won't get lost going there! ;)
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