You haven’t heard anything from me in a while because I’ve been obsessively preparing for my first solo gig…and now I’m coming up for air to report that it went very well. I’m relieved and delighted: all baggage maneuvering was successful – I was able to fit my 3-space rack carry-on into the overhead compartment of even the small American Eagle plane (go, Gator Cases!) – I plowed through all 50 minutes of the gig relatively smoothly (interpreting a few looping mistakes as musical choices, and using my new “undo” button to avoid train wrecks) – and the audience, at the in-my-case-hilariously-named “Lunch Unplugged” series in downtown Des Moines, IA, was fantastic and wonderfully supportive. It was St. Patrick’s Day, with a giant parade outside the door which closed down the street to all vehicles, and yet the room was packed with lovely people eager to be the first to see my new solo venture. In honor of the date, I did a mashup of the GrooveLily tune “Thaw,” which was a song for my half-Irish mother (who loved to drink a single green beer and sing Irish songs at the top of her lungs every March 17), combined with “An Irish Lullaby,” which was a song she used to sing to me when I was little. That song, along with so-wrong-it’s-right versions of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Miss Independent,” as well as the opening number from our upcoming solo musical ERNEST SHACKLETON LOVES ME, were highlights of the afternoon. I left the gig completely exhilarated, inspired and filled with confidence about the future of this project; and I can’t wait for the next show.
I unexpectedly got to spend the evening catching up with friends who are on the NEXT TO NORMAL tour, which was also in Des Moines: Pearl Sun, our original leading lady from LONG STORY SHORT; and Shannon Ford, who took over for our drummer Gene in the 2007 production of SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES because Gene’s first son was about to be born!
After heading home and being momentarily dazed by tax prep, we packed up the household and flew east to Princeton, NJ yesterday, where we start rehearsals in a few short hours for the McCarter Theatre’s production of SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES. I’ve got my violins and gear with me, and hope to find time to film a few more songs while we’re here…so stay tuned. You’ll be hearing from me soon.