I'm finding it so totally amazing that we have played a number of theaters that are located on high-school campuses, some of which ( especially last night in Alma AR of all places ) are bigger, better and more well equipped than some of the "union" houses we've played.
I should back up a little and give a little perspective. We had just finished playing Thousand Oaks CA, by far the largest theater and one of the more prestigious dates on the tour and rolled into Flagstaaf AZ for a much needed day off. Our next stop was Stillwater OK., home of Oklahoma State University (GO SOONERS!)....sorry...anyway, we played the Winfreys D. Houston Theater and Community Center. Well...community center it may be but theater....it ain't! Oh it had seats out there in the audience and had all the appearences of a theater, but it had no fly space, no room backstage, no separate dressing rooms and....no orchestra pit. Needless to say we used next to nothing of our sets and drops and props and most of all, barely any lights. It was definitely a "Thumper" moment...you know, "Momma always says, if you can't say something nice don't say nothin' at all"
But you know, they were very.very kind to us and appreciated that we there and fed us a wonderful meal. And I personally can say that I enjoyed every minute of that show, definitely a highlight, for sure.
Now on to Alma...
In the sharpest contrast to Stillwater, Alma AR made me feel as though we were back in Thousand Oaks CA. again. It's a fairly new ( within the last ten years or so ) state of the art, 1500 seat, theater complex. And if you've ever been to Alma AR ( and I know I haven't ) you wonder how such an incredible theater could be built in what is basically a small crossroads type of town, nothing special, if anything, one of the more depressed areas I've seen. Sorry Alma, I mean no disrespect. I just wish my high school had such a extrodinary gift. Those kids don't know how lucky they are, they have such a incredible resource at their disposal to use as training in theater. Wow...I'm so jealous.
But again, they were so kind to us and once again we were fed this wonderful meal. I'm really getting spoiled with all the free food. I have to take it easy on the potionhs though, you know how good southern cooking can be. And the audience for the show was one of the best we've had on the tour, so loud and enthusiastic, it was great to hear that. Thank you Alma, you've been great!
Now we role into Memphis TN for an evening and then a whole day off. Never been to Memphis, but again, I haven't been to most of the places we're going. We'll see, I've heard from some of the cast that Memphis is a cool town to visit, so I'm looking forward to it!
Be back soon