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!