Thursday, December 28, 2006


I got to see my Niece, Tessa while I was home. (Ok, I also got to see Mom, Dad, Grandma, James, and Natalie)..but still...It was great to see her. She is growing so much I can't believe it! Here are some pictures of her with James (Daddy), Natalie (Mommy), and Buddha (her new Chinese friend-WHO ADORED HER!)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Coming home...

Here are four pictures from the drive home from Pennsylvania. This is a great sequence of approaching and passing Sideling Hill, which is one of the prettiest highlights (among many) of the drive.

Sunday, December 24, 2006



I want to wish you all the merriest of holidays this year from me, Matt, Ryan, and Buddha.
Hope this long weekend goes great.
I am heading to the mountains tomorrow morning. DEEP into rehearsals for Into the Woods...going great. What an AMAZING new space it is...
More posting come next week...long about Tuesday I'll be back...till then,
Feliz Navidad..

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another fond Garage memory..."Higgins Deaths"

This one is more recent.
During the run of My Fair Lady, I waited by vom 4 to enter for the curtain call. During this time, Andrew Long was on stage delivering his touching rendition of "I've Grown Accustomed to her Face". I would sit on the floor next to Dana Krueger, who if you didn't know, is a treasure of the American Theatre. She can devastate an audience with the turn of her head. There are few who possess such gifts and use them so effortlessly.
As time went on, after about a week of shows, I for some reason or another started pantomiming everything that Andrew was singing. Don't know why...just to pass the time. Dana started playing along, and before the next week was over, this had turned into a show "tradition" of sorts.
"Show traditions" are common among actors, and usually involve something that an actor starts doing on stage, or backstage, or even before or after the show for that matter. It can be anything at all...for instance, I will list all of mine from MFL:
1) Before the show, 2 Red Bulls, and 2 Cigarettes.

2) Being Dance Captain and Assistant Choreographer, and also being a big cheerleader at heart, I would then visit all of the dressing rooms prior to going up to mine to get ready. I would walk around and say hi, and see how everyone was feeling, ect.
3) Work Out: I would do 50 sit-ups, 50 push ups, and 30 arm curls on each arm with free weights before I went on stage as a cockney (I did it 4 times a night).
4) Oh, and at the places call, I had a little routine with Lauren where I...umm....tightened up her body with my wrench, pinched her straw hat, shook her hips left and right like she was Shakira, and freak danced her. I called her "Beulah" during the run, and she called me "Burt". Strange, I know.
Oh, she also sat on my lap at the places call for Act 2. I would rock her back and forth like she was on a swing. We talked in cockney accents. Normal stuff like that.
There are many other ones besides that that I couldn't even list because they are too small or involved.
Why do we do these things?
For fear that the one night that we didn't do one of these things that we always did, then our subconscious mind would sabotage our shows.
Then came this time with the end of the show, as you probably know, there is the whole "Eliza, where the devil are my slippers?" line when she comes back to him.
Well, one night I acted like Eliza as Dana acted like she was Higgins (now, this is all pantomime, and she was seated on a chair, and I next to her on the floor, so no-it wasn't loud and distracting or inappropriate). After he asked her where the slippers were, I pulled an imaginary arrow from my back, bowed it, and shot him with it. She loved it.
Next night was a gun. Then a grenade. Then a poison dart.
I pondered the fact that I would have to devise 60 some ways to kill him before the show ended. Ugh...I made a list, and asked for help and suggestions from others. Kathy Fuller came up with several really great ones.
Here are the ones I remember now...
He was...beheaded, smothered, crucified, he took a nose hair clipper shoved up his nose and into his brain, drowned, electrocuted, walled up like in "The Cask of Amontillado" (a little Poe homage), drawn and quartered, run over, neck broken, killed by a swarm of birds, a poisonous spider, a cobra charmed from a basket by a recorder, piano dropped, head shut in a piano, and so many others that I cannot recall...I wrote them all in a card to Dana for closing night. The last night, I enlisted the help of several cast mates to pantomime a shooting squad.
On closing night, she gave me a little "Hell-cat" to represent the lyrics "I'll slam the door and let the Hell-cat freeze!".

This time was so funny and special for us both, and I will never forget it.
The last night at the Garage, I crouched down in that same spot and sat for a minute. That's when the first of many more tears started to pour.
I enjoyed this time with Dana every night...I loved seeing her giggle and try to stifle it. She would come back to the dressing room every night and tell her dressing roommates how I killed Higgins that night, and she would giggle as she told it. I heard all of this while I was upstairs in my dressing room getting out of my costume. She told me at one point, "Now, I don't expect you to keep coming up with this every night, and I don't want you to feel pressured to do it..", but as Kathy and Chan told me later, she LIVED for it. I had to keep it going, and I did.
It made me happy that she was so touched and entertained by a silly little "show tradition" that became much more than it ever intended to be.


Buddha and Albert are getting along great. Buddha is loving having a little pup here to play with. Buddha reminds me of a zen that dude from Kill Bill 2 ...what's his name? Pai Mei? Yeah...something like that. He is SO good and patient with puppies, and he also seems to be teaching Albert as well. It is so cute to watch...what he is teaching him, I shudder to think.
Here they are, worn out from a full day of play.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Yeah...I slacked off. I promised day after day of remembrances, and gave one. I will tell you the truth. I am exhausted. The show was so taxing that I had to spend every minute that I could resting, and if I started typing my thoughts, I would start to cry, so I didn't.
Too many memories in that building.
I will post an overall summary hopefully tomorrow. My last day off before Into the Woods starts rehearsals on Tuesday.

Sean moves in tonight (he is about 10 minutes away from my house right now) with his little puggle...Pray for us all...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Last Garage Hurrah...night one

Well...we got through it. We were all scared to death (tons of difficult material) but we all warmed up to it about 15 minutes in. The audience was very loving and giving, and that always helps.

The first show that I auditioned for at Signature was Gypsy. Baayork Lee choreographed and directed it, and was there at the auditions. I wore the same pair of pants to the audition that I am wearing for the Last Garage Hurrah, funny enough. (Sort of as a sentimental thing...those pants were on me for the first time, and they'll be on me the last time) These pants are dressy, yet flexible and funky. They are pin-striped cargo pants, and are quite thin, so they move very well.
We started learning the dance combination, and about halfway through the dance combination, the crotch ripped. As Monica (head of Wardrobe at Signature) knows, this seems to happen quite frequently to me. But what an unfortunate time for it to happen. On top I was wearing a button up shirt with a wife beater on underneath, so I thought...ok, I'll take off the button up and wrap it around my waist, then no one will be able to see. The worst part? I was wearing red, white and blue underwear.
I go on about the dance combination, and I suddenly hear Baayork say, "Stephen, could you take off that shirt that you have wrapped around your waist? I can't see your body line as you dance."
I meekly say..."I would, but I wrapped it because my pants ripped.."
The rehearsal room full of dancers laughs.
She says, smiling, "I know. I saw it already...nice could you take it off now?"
I did, and danced the rest of my audition with a patriotic package at the forefront.
How humiliating.
But I got the job. Hmmm...
Oh, and don't worry, these same pants that I am wearing in the concert have been sewn up and never ripped since, so hopefully we won't have a recurrence.
That's all for now. Here's to hoping I can muscle through another night's vocally grueling Hurrah. Tune in tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Saying Our Goodbye

HERE is today's "Backstage" column by Jane Horowitz that carries a story about this week's..(starting today, actually), Last Garage Hurrah at Signature Theatre. This post starts a weeklong series of posts of goodbyes to the old theatre that we called "The Garage" was.
We all cried tonight in rehearsal several times.
This day starts the final goodbye.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Customer: I'll also need a booklet of stamps, please.
Clerk: Sure. Would you like flags, or veggies?
Customer:...Ummm...Flags will be fine, thanks.



Why did Priscilla send me a doctored photo from "Borat" with my face on that hairy body?
Thanks, Skittles...

BREAKING NEWS: Nevermore in Maryland!

"KAT will be taking on one of our most ambitious projects ever with NEVERMORE. Commissioned and produced originally by Signature Theatre, we will mount only the second staging of this edgy, new musical.

Audition dates: January 9 & 10, 2007 (callbacks on January 11). Click on the show image for more information. Character breakdowns are coming soon.

With music by Matt Conner, book by Grace Barnes and lyrics adapted from the writings of American fiction writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe, NEVERMORE uses Poe's poetry and short stories as its base and his shifting obsessions with the women in his life as its catalyst. With hauntingly beautiful melodies, NEVERMORE breathes new life into Poe's work and explores a twisted true-life tale as bizarre as his classic stories of the macabre."

Yes, Nevermore will be done for the second time at KAT. Only one year later, I can't wait to see my hubby's first musical created on stage again. Exciting!


This first photo is of the last 2 roses in my garden for 2006. They bloomed this past week, before the cold spell hit. They enjoyed some brief highlight on the living room coffee table. So pretty. Goodbye roses....see you next spring.

My dining room...I love the tex-mex Christmas look that it has taken on with the lights and my cactus. Note the light up vintage Santa Claus in the foreground. Love it.

Here is our Dicken's Village. These houses were my Nana's. This is the best way we have ever put them out. I don't know why we never put them on the entertainment center before. Love them!

At last, the Christmas tree...yes, purple, pink, peacock feathered, pug is indeed a festive...yes, very gay, Christmas tree. 3rd year of having a purple and pink Christmas tree.
Season's Greetings!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 5th, 2003

This was my December 5th 3 years ago today, as I recounted to you all last year. A yearly thank you to all of those who helped us rebuild our lives since that horrible day. I felt like George Bailey that Christmas, and will never forget our friends and family's generosity.
Happy Holidays!


Happy Birthday to Boo,
Happy Birthday to Boo!
My little nugget turns 4 today! He has posted his own birthday blog over at his own blog...go on over and wish him a happy birthday...
or go onto his Dogster page and leave him a bone!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


This is from the movie White Christmas. Vera Ellen, the lady dancer in the piece, is one of my favorite performers ever. This holiday classic is one of the best dance movie musicals ever. This movie inspired me to start taking tap lessons at age 8. Enjoy!


A very happy day to Sean Maclaughlin, who will be moving down here( in with me and Matty) in a few weeks to start rehearsals for Into the Woods!
Happy Birthday, Sean, and I'll give you your crappy gift when you get down here!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Here are some photos of closing night at the theatre, and then at the cast party.
This show has been a fantastic experience, and I am a better performer for having watched and learned from all involved.
This was the last full production in the old Signature Theatre, and as I left the theatre, I was suprisingly moved. I didn't expect this. I still have to perform in The Last Garage Hurrah in 2 weeks, so I never viewed this show as my last time in the building...but it would be the last full production. I don't know why...I just got all sad. This theatre has harbored many warm memories for me. This theatre has given me my chance in Washington. So strange to say farewell of several to come, I know. I somehow think that the next and final farewell will be harder.
I think of how strange it will be to move into a brand spankin' new building that doesn't have the history that you can feel oozing through the cracks in the old theatre's walls...that will feel strange; to not feel the energy of the hundreds of performers who have passed through the space, but to be the first to give that initial energy to a brand new building. It makes me think of a quote sung in a show done in the old building, Allegro, " We have nothing to remember so far, but now we can look forward to the things we'll never forget."
Enjoy and God Bless,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mrs. Mig pays a visit...

( This Photo of Donna and I is from about January 2004, backstage at Signature Theatre during a performance of Allegro)
Donna came out to Arlington way yesterday. She and I had an interview at 3PM for the Signature Theatre Documentary which proved fun for the both of us. I did my best not to feel like I was in a Christopher Guest movie as the interview was going on. That was the most difficult part of it all. I kept wanting to crack up through the whole thing.
Another funny thing was that we both wore black, as it is the "artsy" and slimming thing to do, least that is why I wore black, I can't speak for her. But halfway through the interview I noticed this, and looked around and saw that we were on an all black set, and directly behind us were two huge black doors. I thought that we might look like members of a satanic cult. This made me have to bite my inner cheek to stop the urge to giggle.
Then she had rehearsal for The Last Garage Hurrah, and I thankfully did not...I am still recovering vocally. I have been getting through the show fine, though. I went home and attacked my library.
I have been trying to reorganize my library is a daunting task. One whole wall consists of VHS tapes...these used to be alphabetized, but that has long since has lost it's order. I also have an array of blank tapes that aren't labeled, so I have been going through them, finding out what is on them and labeling them.
Oh folks...I have found many a lost treasure.
Then I reported back to the show, which Mrs. Mig came to see after her rehearsal.
It was so good to see her. We chatted for a few fleeting moments about one of our next two endeavors together, Into the which she will be playing my mother. What a hoot we will have together. I told her that I have spotted my "Milky White" cow being constructed in the scene shop. :) The prop designer told me that I will hopefully have my cow for the first rehearsal. :) I can't wait!
But before any of that happens, you can catch us singing together at The Last Garage Hurrah in December.Stay Tuned,
and have a Happy Turkey-Lurkey Day!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Get Down with the Sickness

So, I have learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Before I get my panties in a twist about this, that, and the other, I need to calm down first and think about the situation. Yes, I am still sick, not really showing any signs of improvement, but I still got through the 5 show weekend, AND felt like I sang competently at my call back.
Now, I won't lie to you, I sure do wish we had today off, as my voice surely needs a rest, but...I also know that I will still get through it.
I've been pumping airborne, chicken soup, vitamins, lozenges, and Advil Cold and Sinus...with shots of Robitussin on the side. Sounds appetizing, huh?
I have finished watching the whole Star Wars saga ( yes, I'm a nerd), and now I am still feeling the need to view an epic saga, so I have started re-watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy ( yes, again...I am a nerd).
Tomorrow, Donna and I are being interview for a documentary being made about the Signature Theatre. This will air on Arlington Cable Access channel at a later date (details to follow). So, that should be fun...I hope I don't sound like Stritch while I am talking. That might be funny.
I am also happy to announce that my diet has been going very well (aided by this cold, too). I started out this run at roughly 170 pounds. I am now...(drum roll, please...) 159. I am very happy about this! I have basically tried to stay away from pizza and too much meat. I have been eating, when I eat bread, the Weight Watcher's bread (1 point for 2 slices), also, I have totally converted to the I can't believe it's not Butter spray, which is 0 points, for it has 0 calories. The south Beach and Lean Cuisine frozen dishes are fantastic, I highly recommend them. Also, South Beach puts out these little snack bars that are granola, peanut butter and chocolate. They are 100 calories, and when you feel a little peckish, they are really great to tide you over.
Well, that's all for this chilly Monday of Thanksgiving week. My Christmas Decorations are just about to bust out of the closets, but they will have to wait till after Thursday. They may have to wait until after the show closes this coming weekend. Well...maybe a few things might sneak out of the closet before the show closes, but the bulk will probably wait until next week. Probably. It is me we're talking about.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Buddha has TWO NEW BLOGS! A special holiday greeting and then below that, his second edition of "My Friends are Your Friends" starring Vivian the Kat. Check it out!


Well, about 2 weeks ago, Matt started coming down with a cold. He and everyone else in the universe, it seems. I kept telling him the usual things that I tell myself, like " It's not a cold, it is're fine". That is my personal mantra during cold season. As everyone around me in the cast seemed to be succumbing to this cold, the backstage started to sound like a Tuberculosis ward. Instead of "Hello!", the new greeting seemed to be, "Don't come too close, I've got a cold."
That always makes me laugh, if I can avoid illness if I stand 1 extra foot away from you. I would always say, "Oh, it doesn't matter-Matt's sick too, so if I'm gonna get it, I'm gonna get it."
When Lauren told me that she was sick, and I should stay clear, I laughed and said "My immune system is strong like bull...RED BULL!"
Pride cometh before...later that same night.

Last Friday night, I was at Capitol City, and I had a headache. I felt like someone hit me in the forehead with a baseball bat. Kathy gave me two excedrin, and I took them. I sat trying to carry on conversation, while massaging my temples and neck. I soon realized that (duh) I should just stop pretending that I was listening and partaking in conversation and just go home. I made sure Matty had a ride home, and took to home.
I got home and drank a bunch of water. I suddenly felt tons better...hmm...maybe it was just a stress headache. I even bragged to Matty when he got home that I felt MUCH better.
We went to bed.
I woke up and oh yeah. That headache was the harbinger of the dreaded head cold that has been stalking through the theatre. (We like to call it "the creeping crud")
Funny enough, that sounds like the title of a movie I was watching last week...I digress.
I whined to Matty...I'm sick! I have a cold!
He said, "It's just allergies."
I guess I deserved that one.
Well, I drug my sniffling butt to the CVS between shows on Saturday and stocked up on the essentials...lozenges, chicken soup, and ...where is the Advil Cold and Sinus? A little sign says (located behind counter in Pharmacy).
I go and ask the pharmacist for a box. She asks for ID. ? I show it. She opens a folder that looks to be filled with registry forms...She asks me to fill in my address and phone number, and to sign my signature at the end. ?
I suddenly start wondering if I am hallucinating, so I ask.."Why?"
The woman sighs and says that because kids have been using certain decongestants to make Meth. Now you can only buy so much of it, and sign off for it. She tells me a story about a woman with about 4 kids, all of which were sick, and she was trying to buy several boxes for herself, husband, and the sniffling family around her. She was not allowed the multiple boxes.
Isn't that a bit ridiculous?
A few drugged up brats ruin it for everyone else.
I went about this past week pretty much like normal, as I didn't really feel bad, per se, the cold was merely an annoyance. Then the cough came. The cough started Tuesday. My voice started getting "thin" on Wednesday. It is now Friday, and we have a 5 show weekend, plus callbacks for Reefer on Sunday morning, and then no Monday off, because we have Thanksgiving off. I'm not sure what will happen, exactly. I am resting and not speaking unless I absolutely have too, and I will be going home like a good boy all weekend to get rest. I'm not pushing the panic button yet, as I have been much worse before...but it does make me a little nervous.
As most of the world says "TGIF", I say, "Oh God, here we go! Hope I can get through it!". Funny, that.
Well, ta-ta for now.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sally Murphy

I miss Sally already.
I love this woman. I learn from her every night.
I love watching her work.
I'm getting a little bit sad.
Close to the end.


I had the pleasure of spending most part of the evening with Tracy Lynn Olivera. She was down in Virginia for rehearsal for the "Last Garage Hurrah" cabaret, and stayed for the show.
She went out afterwards with us, and I miss her SO much. It was great to reconnect with her.
She is singing some amazing things for the cabaret, and yinz should get tickets to the show if you haven't already...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This Past Week

So, it is early Wednesday morning.
2 weeks left in MFL, and the show is going great.
I am practicing music from the "Last Garage Hurrah" cabaret.
I am rehearsing "The Riddle Song" and "One Red Flower" with Will tomorrow.
I am currently obsessed with "Don't Blame the Prince" from The Fix. What an AMAZING song that I get to sing.
I have been on a kick of watching the STAR WARS movies of late.
Don't know why.
I have been falling asleep to either "A Christmas Story" or "It's a Wonderful Life" for the past 2 weeks.
Soon enough the Christmas decorations will emerge.
That is all the scoop tonight.
I am trying to get over a cold. EVERYONE has it.
Luv and more to follow,

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Featuring Eleasha Gamble, Will Gartshore, Donna Migliaccio, Tracy Lynn Olivera, Stephen Gregory Smith, and Harry A. Winter.
With Jenny Cartney on piano.
What better way to say good-bye to the garage we’ve called home all these years then a night of song? This special Cabaret performance will feature a cast of Signature’s brightest and best singing their favorites from the past sixteen seasons of Signature musicals. This last hurrah will be the final blowout show held in the current building — the perfect send off before we pullout of the garage and rev it up in our brand new home in the Village at Shirlington.
December 13 – 16, 2006"

I am really looking forward to this, everyone. I think that it will be a fun cabaret, and if you haven't purchased tickets yet, I would do so soon, as this only runs for four days!