Back again, couldn't wait to tell you about the latest happenings.
Since last time we stopped in Waukegan IL., a city north of Chicago, right on the shores of Lake Michigan. From what I could see it's a worn and tired place with a lot of run down buildings . But there are some signs of life. The townsfolk have an ambitious agenda to revitalize the downtown area and have made the Genesee Theater one of their central showpieces. And what a place! Yet another example of a group of people coming together to save another treasure of a theater. Built in 1927, as part of a larger complex, the designers originally planned for the building to house the large, ornately decorated theater, retail spaces and apartments. It enjoyed a lot of glorious years, even hosting a couple of world premeires of Hollywood movies. While not as breathtaking as some of the theaters I've seen on this tour, it nonetheless is a remarkable restoration and a credit to the organization who saved this treasure from the wrecking ball.
But that's not what I really wanted to tell you about.
Our next stop was to be Bloomington IL. Now, this would've probably been a fairly routine stop along our way had it not been for what now and forever shall be known as.... Urishpalooza!
Some explanation is necessary. It is not surprising that most everyone in the cast and crew have had family or friends come see the show in various stops all over the country. I'm so amazed how people can live so far apart, so spread out over the country and make these connections. Walt Disney was right, it IS a small world after all. I myself have, with the help of this tour and Facebook, connected with people I haven't seen in twenty years. And while I've had family and friends attend shows in several places close to home, I'm sure I can speak for the entire cast and say that no one has brought anywhere near the amount of people that our own Wes Urish did in Bloomington. I think he said there was somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 people! Wow!
It's no surprise since Wes is one of the first ones you see that the crowd would immediately explode in applause, it was so much fun to hear and see the reactions of all his people. I think since they bought their tickets probably as soon as they were on sale, most of them were in the first dozen rows or so. And a funny thing about the theater, whereas most theaters have an orchestra pit in front of the stage, this theater has the option of covering that up and putting more seats to be sold right in front of the stage! And when we came out to do our company bows at the end a lot of his family were holding up copies of a picture of him AND a lot of them were waving white pom-poms! What a riot!
Well, the fun didn't stop there. After the show, his family had arranged to use the ballroom under the
theater to have a nice dinner for family, friends and all of us. A very nice gesture from some folks who are very proud Wes. And I have to say, their pride and love are well placed in the likes of Wes, he's an incredible talent and a great guy to boot..even if he is only twenty! Wes I hate you with a passion!
Be back soon