Milwaukee left us one person short, unfortunately. Jenny Piersol, our precious “Bessie Mae,” slipped in a rehearsal and actually broke her foot! We were all just so upset about her leaving, but the show must go on and though our hearts were with her, we kept on and our swing, Angela, really stepped up to the plate! We had quite the travel to get us to our next show in Grand Forks, ND! We spent one day traveling as far as Minneapolis where we stopped at the Mall of America for the night! It was really fun to explore the mall and we even took the time to ride some pretty great rollercoasters in the mall! Ha ha!
Grand Forks, ND sits right on the border of MN so me and my roommate took the time to walk over the river to say we walked to Minnesota. Ha! The night flew by. These one-nighters are so hard to keep up with because they just fly by so fast! Thankfully, our crew does an incredibly good job of keeping the show running really well, which makes all the shows blend together at times. From Grand Forks we went to Bismarck, ND. On our way to Bismarck we stopped in a mall and I saw a friend I went to college with at NKU. This world is just so small. I say it all the time, but I continue to be astonished by how much we are really all living so closely. To think that we both just happened to be in BISMARCK at the same mall, at the same food court, at the same time of day?! It blows my mind. Anyway- it was great seeing him.
That night we had our one and only night performing in an ARENA. Yup- that’s right. I don’t hardly know how to describe it to you. Basically they sat up a bunch of chairs on the ground floor with a temporary stage set up facing half the auditorium. There are big drapes hanging to cover our “backstage” and we have some other obstacles. First, the sheer size of the building becomes quite interesting. Any sort of quick crossover to get from one side of the stage to the other all of a sudden becomes a long sprint to make your entrance! The biggest difference in an arena show, though, is that we have no flys. That means that anything that is flown in from above is cut from the show. It is pretty interesting, but really becomes a sort of acting exercise to tell this story with our limited resources. I was surprised to see the audience PACKED in Bismarck and you never would have known the show was missing any of our regular set by the way the audience was eating up the show. It was a really fun night and kept us on our toes, for sure! Nights like that make me appreciate non-equity touring experiences and taking these shows to smaller markets like that. Bismarck needed to see this show and have a really great night at the theatre as much as Boston did. The audience was so excellent and we were so happy to be there.
Our next shows weren’t for a couple days in Ft. Collins, but that long travel included a stopover in Rapid City, SD. I was pumped to make it there, though, because Rapid City is home of Mt. Rushmore! We took a full busload of us up to see the monument for a few minutes. It was pretty incredible to think of the people who climbed around those hills and thought, “I know what we’ll do!” Ha ha ha! To have the thought of carving these faces into that mountain is just ridiculous, but it did just what they wanted, bringing tourism to their area. It was definitely a bucket list item marked off and we had a nice relaxing night enjoying a great meal at Firehouse Brewery and playing celebrity.
We didn’t know what to expect from the Dakotas, but what a treat it was! Some crazy country that reminds you of just how much land there is in the world. Just… open space.
Anyway- on to Colorado and Texas!