I can't believe it's less than a month that we have left on the tour! We have just a handful of places to go until the end of May, that's because the last 10 days we're in one place...at the John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks NV. Yeah, I know, it took me a while to wrap my head around that one. It should prove to be an interesting if somewhat surreal end to the tour. I also found out that we are cutting the show down to 90 minutes and doing a Vegas style version.....Hi-larious! I can't imagine anything more foreign to what I'm used to than hanging out at a casino for a week and doing a show that I've been used to doing the same way for almost six months that suddenly will be totally different with no intermission...so bizarre.
Well, we've had a nice string of shows lately and seen some wonderful scenery in the northwest.
We started the latest round in North Dakota, doing two shows in a much different venues than we've been used to...sports arenas! First stop was the FargoDome. If you've seen the pictures you probably get the idea. They take their 26,000 seat sports arena and hang these huge curtains to create a theater space of about 3000 seats, and the rest of the floor space is our backstage! It was such a riot after being in wing space that you could barely turn sideways in to having a backstage area so large you could park both tractor-trailers AND both tour buses!! Which is exactly what we did, drove the tour bus right into the stadium and parked on the floor! The show had a different feel to it, almost feeling like a concert or something. I guess Elton John had been there the week before.
Bismarck ND was basically a carbon copy of Fargo without the yummy popcorn smell.
Next was Billings Montana, and I absolutely loved Billings, especially since we were staying at the Crown Plaza! LOL! very nice. But it's a lovely town and we played to a very enthusiastic sold out audience. There's something so different about a sold out show audience, there's an electricity in the air. I really love that.
Butte Montana was a little different. An old theater still in fairly good shape, the last of seven major theaters in town. Butte is a former big mining town, the city built right on the hills where the mines are, so the city streets are steep in spots. Must be what San Francisco is like in places. There was so much money out here at one time that the likes of Charlie Chaplin and others performed at the theaters here. But it's big money days are over and all that's left is a big hole in the ground, that, and the 90ft tall Virgin Mary staring down at them from the mountaintop. yipes! It's a rough and tumble mining town still but the people here are very proud of their past, and waste no time in telling you about it. I found the place facinating.
The next day proved to be one of the more challenging of the tour. After our performance in Butte we had to wake up early and jump on the bus at 5 in the morning. Not fun for night owls who can't sleep very well on the bus...namely, me. We had to get to Nampa Idaho by 2:00 so we could be ready for two shows at, get this, 4:00 and 7:00! It's a 2 1/2 hour show people! Which means we have a half hour between shows! Felt bad for the kids, they didn't have a chance to cool down from the finale. But we made it and I'm left even more impressed with cast and crew. They're great!
We traveled through northern Oregon on our way to Salem OR for a much needed night off and a day without traveling, it feels good. We went through some amazingly scenic areas on our way. It is so beautiful out here. I can definitely say that this is my favorite part of the country, gorgeous! Though, I still hold New England in the top spot...so far.
Be back soon