Monday, August 29, 2005

Monday, August 29th

The first bands of Hurricane Katrina are sweeping up the Jones valley and into downtown Birmingham. A little rain, gusty winds but no sign yet of a monster storm. To keep everyone safe, especially my elderly patients, we saw the acutely ill just after lunch and then closed up the clinic around 2:30 to keep my octagenarians off the road and to let my staff get home before things got bad. Tommy and I are sitting in the living room trying to decide if we should tarp the piano or if it's going to be much ado about nothing. The eye seems to be well to the west of us so it shouldn't be a major issue.

We got through the first four performances of 'Twelfth Night' without rain or wind. The audiences seem to be enjoying it thoroughly, after they get used to the rather jarring combination of Elizabethan and sixties slang. The concept of beach party movies and sixties sitcoms is going over well and people are laughing over the lunacy of it all, including my very bad Beatles wig and John Lennon glasses. Four more performances this next weekend. Buy your tickets now.

I auditioned for 'The Phantom of the Opry' this past weekend. A country music take on the classic story and landed the part of one of the opera managers (the Fermin equivalent for those who know the ALW version). It's a World Premiere written by Lloyd Schwartz, of 'Brady Bunch' and 'Gilligan's Island' fame. Birmingham gets it as he wants to keep it well away from the critics and whispering tongues of the NY/LA axis while he tinkers. He's a very nice man and it's going to be fun originating something no one else has ever done.

Nothing much exciting at work other than a bunch of people wanting contracts for my services. Far more than I could handle. It's nice to be wanted.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thursday, August 25th

No update for nearly two weeks? Must be tech week. 'Twelfth Night' opens tonight in Homewood Park for all those interested in laying their seven dollars down. It's been an interesting experience. I did finally get my lines down and am giving something of a performance, not the easiest thing to do when you're playing a glorified plot device. Mind you, I could do without the wearing of the cheap and ugly wig in our current weather. Even at night, it's a bit like being in a steambath the last few weeks. By the end of an evening in the park, I feel like a hothouse plant, moist everywhere.

Auditions for 'The Phantom of the Opry' are this weekend. I'll audition for the part I did in the reading (which is the only part in the show that I'm right for). If I get it, that will take me through October and then I think it will be time for a break from rehearsal for a while. The work schedule will help to enforce that. I have a bunch of business travel in November/early December that will more or less put paid to performing at that time.

Not a lot going on at work. All of the usual clinical headaches. Our numbers continue to be up and the clinic continues to lurch along. I'm redoing my contract work - more money for UAB which keeps my bosses happy. Dropping one of the hospices I've been with in favor of some additional work with the United Mine Workers Funds.

The house has been drowning in costume pieces from various shows that need to be cleaned and put into storage. Centerstage took delivery on some enormous donations of period accessories and jewelry that gives us one of the best collections in town. There's a new prop/costume/set co-op that will allow us to rent it out to others and make some money off of it.

Upcoming travel- On the Road with Andy

September 16-17 - Atlanta
October 1-4 - West Virginia
November 12-14 - Orange Beach
November 17-20 - New Orleans
December 5-8 - Los Angeles

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday, August 12th

Been a busy week, at least from the work point of view. Lots of little projects going on under deadline so I've been chasing things down from pillar to post, especially on contract work. Sometimes I think I have a conference call permanently glued to my ear. Haven't fallen behind on anything yet, but there's still time. I'm going to have to drop one of my hospice contracts in order to make everything fit.

Tommy and I are settling into Birmingham routine. If everything goes the way we think it's going to over the next few months, we're both more or less going to be here through at least November. I may have a couple of little business trips, but nothing earth shattering for a while. There's a possibility that I may have to give some lectures for a conference in Cancun next February. That would be fun.

'Twelfth Night' is starting to come together. This is definitely not going to be a production for purists with great liberties in both text and interpretation. It's going to be fun and move like a bat out of hell. The Belch/Aguecheek/Malvolio subplot's working best, but they've got the more interesting characters. Let's face it, Sebastian is a plot device, not a man and not as easy to establish.

I have to write a fifteen minute preview show for Centerstage this weekend, taking bits of the four shows from next season and weaving them together into some sort of whole. I'm thinking of a take-off of the opening number from 'Into the Woods'.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Friday, August 5th

This week has been a financial disaster with both the dryer and the transmission in Tommy's truck going out within twenty-four hours of each other. As the washer and dryer are both well into their third decade, we opted for replacement. The new ones come on Monday. The transmission was fixed yesterday. Many thousands of dollars later, we're back to normal. There goes the disposable income for the next couple of months.

'Twelfth Night' continues to rehearse, encompassing more and more sixties sit-com silliness. I think the final product will be a lot of fun, but I'm not sure there will be a lot of Shakespeared left in the script. As Sebastian is more plot device than character, not a lot being done to my scenes other than cuts, which is fine with me.

Had a meeting on Wednesday with my Politically Incorrect Cabaret co-conspirators. We're trying to come up with a new show for fall - something about the Blue Dot special.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tuesday, August 2nd

Things have settled down into the usual routine around here. This weeks blips are automotive. The transmission went out on Tommy's truck yesterday and there was a flat on the Mustang today. Inconvenient but not majorly threatening. We're waiting for an estimate on the truck before deciding do we repair or replace the vehicle. We do need something for hauling, but if it's going to be many thousands of dollars, we might get something less likely to have problems.

'Twelfth Night' has gone into rehearsal. The concept is sixties beach party movie. Sebastian and Viola's twin costumes being variations on the Professor from 'Gilligan's Island'. It should end up being silly fun. I'm desperately trying to learn my lines and find that I cannot learn them with the facility I did some years ago. I managed to stuff 'The Vast Difference' in my head, so this should get in there too eventually but it isn't easy.

Saw a local community production of 'The Music Man' this weekend. Decent performances from the leads, reasonable staging but some second act problems that lessened its impact. Also a production of 'The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Abridged' - good performances but things just didn't gel into the cohesive whole they should have. This was also the weekend of the performances for Centerstage's summer kids workshop. Fifty-three kids between 8 and 16 in 'Bye Bye Birdie' - for an average cast age of 12 and two weeks rehearsal, quite impressive and the kids had a ball. We figure they're going to be beating down the doors for next year's summer program.

Not much going on at work. Teaching ethics to the first year students this week and dealing with all the usual clinic issues.