Scarlet and Black and Ochre and Sweets.

Ever since I’ve gotten back into theater I’ve wanted to perform in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It’s on my bucket list of shows that I’d love to perform in before I decide to hang up the jazz shoes. Phantom, RENT, Wicked and Forever Plaid are some of the others. So when NAC announced their 2010 November show as Joseph I was excited. This was the opportunity. But more importantly Joseph is a show my daughter Rebekah could perform in with me.

This will be the first show for her. Rebekah has wanted to be on stage for many years now, and her attention span has finally caught up with her desire and beautiful voice. Joseph is a perfect fit. I would try out. She would try out. If we were cast we’d have three months of time together that we’ll both remember for a lifetime. Pretty good trade if you ask me. Rebekah learned the vocal parts, learned the dancing, and gave a gut wrenching audition. Okay, gut wrenching for me to watch while peeking through the small cafeteria windows. Anyone who’s ever given an audition for a role in a stage production knows the feeling I’m talking about. Magnify it by 10,000 and that’s the feeling I had watching Rebekah. I was nervous for her, and she came through beaming as if she had just landed the role of the Narrator (The female lead). What she did took courage. Strength. Confidence. Maturity. And I’m very proud of her. She got a part in the children’s chorus, and she still smiles for ear to ear when she talks about it at the diner table.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has always been a special show to me. I saw a performance in Detroit when I was younger. We sat in the back rows of the Masonic Temple, and the seats as I recall were not very good, but I was there. Donny Osmond was the lead. He was touring North America after opening the Toronto revival in 1992. The music was awesome, the staging cool, and I was there. I remember thinking, “What an awesome experience to be up on stage, performing. What a show.” Flash forward about 10 years or so and Julie and I listen to the Donny Osmond version of the soundtrack while we drive from Atlanta, GA (Where we used to live) to Detroit, to visit family. Flash Forward 15 years and we still have the soundtrack in our top five selections for any long distance car ride we take from our home in Upstate, NY. So when I landed the lead role of Joseph, with my daughter at my side, it’s a dream come true.

Practices have already begun. Rebekah and I have had several car rides to and from practice together. Just her and me. No brothers kicking her chair. No DS game systems to pass the time, just nice conversation between a Dad and his “Sweets”.

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The four performances are in November at the Wayne Central Performing Arts Center, Route 350 South, Ontario Center, NY.
Friday Nov. 19 @ 7pm
Saturday Nov. 20 @ 2pm and 7pm
Sunday Nov. 21 @ 2pm

Tickets are $8 in advance… $10 at the door. And they are all general admission.
http://www.showtix4u.com or call 315-524-8965.

Disney 1.0.2

In the 80’s, entertainment in long car rides for me and my brothers consisted of looking outside at the scenery, listening to music on our tape deck Walkman radios, searching for license plates, and sleeping. Sleeping is the closest I ever got to owning my own personal time machine. Nothing makes a 3 hour car ride to Lexington, MI disappear faster than a good long nap. Today, my kids have a lot more options. Namely the portable gaming systems that allow them to play against each other. It’s a great way to kill time, and unfortunately a great way to miss out on the scenery… and those time machine naps. 12 song cassettes are traded for ipods with a 22 hour playlist spanning multiple musical genres. Artists like G. Love & Special Sauce, Abba, Lady Gaga, MC Lars, They Might Be Giants, Keith Urban, Jonas Brothers and Madonna. Naturally, we started each leg of the trip with Linday Buckingham’s Holiday Road. A song made famous from the National Lampoon movies. All five of us singing away… damn, I should of had the camera rolling longer on that for sure.

My personal favorite game to play on long trips is the license plate game. While the plates may have changed the game is still very much the same. License plates are embedded in our culture and history. Some are bold in design. Colorful, simple, and yes sometimes gaudy. It is not surprising to me that as an art director I am drawn to them (similar to the flags I talked about in an earlier blog post). For me license plates create an immediate and natural attraction. I am glad to say that during our 76+ hour drive to and from Disney we found many of them. Even the coveted Hawaii. We broke it up into two sections…cars (like us) and tractor trailers. Click on the maps to the left and take a look at just how many plates we found. We even found some of the Canadian provinces. The map with the cars reminds me of the electoral map during the 1984 landslide victory of Mondale vs Regan. The truck one seems like the AT&T coverage map… a little more sparse.

What my kids hopefully realized is that by looking outside for plates meant they were looking outside, and not at portable gaming systems. Because, if we were going to drive 3800 miles across this vast country, we should enjoy it.

And enjoy it we did.

The video link below is a cut down version of our ride from Rochester, NY to Orlando, FL posted to Vimeo.  Many thanks to the music talents of Linsday Buckingham, The Travelling Wilburys, and The Foo Fighters, who music I use to help tell this story.