Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Denver, CO

Here we are in Denver. I'm staying at the Magnolia hotel and it is beautiful. I'm staying in of one the extended stay suites with a kitchen, and what a treat it has been to be able to cook food and not just eat microwavable meals (or P & J ). We're a block away from the 16th Street Mall which is a 2 mile strip of stores. It's been wonderful to have everything within walking distance. Gizel (Rosalia) and I have become frequent shoppers at the corner Walgreen's, as have many of the other cast members. If anyone wants to see any of us out of character after a show that's the place to go! The first week in Denver we had some press to do. Ross Lekites (Tony), Ryan Ghysels (our dance captain) and I did a sit down interview with Eden Lane for her show on PBS "In Focus with Eden Lane".
Here is the link:

I also did an interview for Big Hollywood.
Here is the link:

After press I was free to explore with my guy who came to visit me. We walked all over, looking at the beautiful architecture and even visited Occupy Denver (although there didn't seem to be much occupying going on, just a few people hanging around smoking.) We walked Larimer Street which is pretty and quaint with lots of little shops and decorated for the holidays.

We walked along the Cherry Creek Trail which runs thru Denver to get to the aquarium. Another successful day of exploring in yet another city.

Its been busy here in Denver with a 16 show run with no day off the first two weeks and flying home for the holiday. We all needed those days off to finally recover! After going home to NY for the holiday, it's the final week here in Denver and I'm getting ready to head to the next stop Portland, OR. We have two shows on New Year's Eve and a matinee on New Year's Day, so the celebrations aren't going to be too crazy for me.
So far Denver has been a great city to perform in and explore!

Denver: Behind the Scenes


I asked some of the Jets..."What is your favorite thing about Denver so far? What has been your favorite restaurant or meal?"

Chris Rice (Baby John/ Tony understudy)

"I really love the responsive audiences. There's a really big theatre community here and its really exciting to have good audiences and to feel like they're excited to be a part of the show.

I had these amazing nachos at Rock Bottom Brewery on 16th Street. It was delicious so definitely check it out if you're in Denver!"

Clay Thompson (A-Rab)

"My favorite thing about Denver has been the beauty of the mountains.

My favorite place to eat so far has been Sam's No. 3 Diner. I had the french toast and it was really good. I've been there multiple times and I plan on going again before I leave."

Casey Garvin (Deisel)

"My favorite thing about Denver has been the beautiful landscape we're surrounded by, it's mind blowing. And it's good to be back doing the show. Everything here is so festive and there's something on every block, whether it be food or a store, the town is so easily accessible.

One of my favorite place so far to eat is Sam's No. 3 Diner. The omelettes are so good!"

Christie Portera (Velma/ Graziela understudy)

"I love the free mall ride on 16th Street and Larimer Street because it has a ton of little individual shops.

The best meal I've had so far was at Rioja. And the Euclid Bar was great too. The chicken and waffles were amazing!"

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It's been a month since I've done the show and it seems surreal that I will be performing again in 2 days! I have been home in New York for a month and it has been wonderful spending quality time with my Mom, puppy and special guy :) I've been lazy, gone to the country to learn how to fish, be lazy some more, buy taffy, shop at Kmart, put up Christmas trees, have visits with old friends, build a ginger bread house...It's been so good to be home and I feel rejuvenated. New York how I missed you!

Vocally and physically I'm well rested and its exciting to sing the music again. I had a voice lesson this week to check in and it's amazing how all the music can come back so quickly, even after a month. The next stop is Denver, CO. I'm ready to take on the altitude and dry air
with my humidifier and tea!

Happy Holidays everyone!

East Lansing, MI

Hi everyone!

This is going to be a quick short blog because as you know (if you've been following the blog) this entry is very late! East Lansing was a tough week because of some fatigue and home sickness setting in. Our opening night party was at a local restaurant and we had some of the best food so far of our opening parties. I treated myself to a facial and massage at the local spa attached to our hotel and it felt great! The week was mostly about performing at night and preparing to go home the following week. We were all excited to have a month off!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Charlotte, NC

I loved this city! When we arrived I was thrilled that we were staying downtown at the Holiday Inn right across from the theater. We were surrounded by tons of restaurants, stores and parks. This city offerered the best of both worlds…a business district (think a little Manhattan) combined with a small town feel.

On our first day of exploring Gizel and I discovered a quaint little park attached to the back of St. Peter’s Church. The park had a small meditation and reflection section covered with carefully positioned trees to block the sun. It was beautiful.

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is my favorite theater so far on this tour. It was small but very high with four tiers. During the shows it allowed for intimacy with the audience and had an old opera house feel to it. The orchestra played the music beautifully. The best part was the acoustics! The theater was wonderful to sing in. I could even hear my softest note bounce back at me. Never did I feel the need to push my voice. My dresser Janice, was lovely, good at her job and very social. I’m happy to have met her!

This week we had one radio interview with an NPR affiliate and one television interview with Charlotte NBC. Here is a link to our performance: http://www.wcnc.com/charlotte-today/The-musicale-West-Side-Story-133165688.html Not bad for an early Thursday morning with very little warm up, right? It was my first time on television for the show and I’m happy I did well! The theater publicist who escorted us, Danny Knaub, was very friendly and supportive. He even helped me discover a new morning treat: cranberry orange scone from Starbucks. Thanks Danny!

We had two parties thrown for us this week. One at Newk’s for opening night and the other at Enso Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar, courtesy of Danny, as part of their "Out On The Town" gatherings. The first gave us a yummy buffet of pasta, sandwiches and rice crispy cakes! The second cuisine offered us sushi and tasty spring rolls. They even had drinks named after some of our characters!

In addition to the places mentioned above, I ate at a few other restaurants this week:

BlackFinn Saloon: GREAT SERVICE. I recommend the Ranch chicken salad, the flat bread pizzas and the BlackFinn hot chocolate dessert (a warm chocolate peanut butter soufflĂ© with vanilla ice cream, topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream. So. Good). I don’t recommened the mozzarella sticks. Cheese wrapped in spring rolls did not make a good combination.

Mert’s: If you want soul food in Charlotte, this is the place to go. Get the cornbread.

Fuel Pizza: Good pizza even for this New Yorker (we’re snobs about our pizza :) But be prepared to wait a while for your food if you go there late at night.

Five Guy’s Burgers and Fries: This was my first time as Five Guys. If you like thin burgers this place is for you. Each burger is made to order so you’re getting a fresh patty. The cheeseburger was tasty! It’s a somewhat healthier way to eat fast food because there is no trans fat in the food and the ground beef is fresh and never frozen.

Thank you to Mom and Aan for visiting and seeing the show. Our late night search for dessert was fun!

And a big THANK YOU to my dear friend Scott Willis who drove three hours to come see the show on his day off from rehearsal. He’s playing Santa Claus on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular tour!

Thank you Charlotte, NC. You were lovely!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fayetteville, AR

We arrived a week ago in a little town in Arkansas called Fayetteville. And to our delight we encountered Fall weather! Once I got over the not so great hotel situation, I let myself appreciate how pretty this area is. The trees are all shade of fall colors…bright orange, deep red, pale yellow. The area is surrounded by little shops and small businesses. It’s actually nice to see an area like this not flooded with chain restaurants and stores. It’s a college town so there are many bars (lots of random karaoke singing spills out from most of them at night lol). But the architecture is beautiful and very quaint. Common Ground has become a favorite coffee shop (great vanilla lattes) for some of the cast and Waffle House has saved the night many times when we’ve come out of a show starving.

I bought my Halloween outfit from a cute store in the style of Urban Outfitters called Riffraff.
I love it and I'm looking forward to wearing it on Monday, which is going to be a long travel day to our next destination. This has been a rough week with the travel and not feeling quite settled into the new place. But Ross (Tony) and I did have a pretty painless day of press on Tuesday with two radio show interviews. The first one was quick and fun and the second one was more in depth for KUAF 91.3, an NPR affiliate. Thursday I had three phone interviews back to back for newspapers in upcoming cities. The publicity part of the job can be fun but also tiring at times. Our company management made this week very special by buying pumpkins and decorating the office with fall and Halloween decorations! They even bought pumpkins for us to carve. It was my first time carving a pumpkin!

Tomorrow is our last show day here and then we’re off to Charlotte, NC on Monday!

PS Our publicity shots came out this week! Here’s a snap shot of “I Feel Pretty”.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dallas, TX Part 2

So my time in Dallas has come to an end. I can’t believe how fast it has gone by. Last week I finally did the tourist thing…the aquarium, a local fancy restaurant with live music called Sambuca (thanks Vicki for that recommendation!). And Chris came to visit me! He even had the band at Sambuca (Big Daddy Dallas) sing Extreme’s “More Than Words” for me. A cheesy song, I know, but I love it! Overall , the atmosphere was sexy, the food tasty and the live music such a treat. If you like acoustic music/blues its a great “date night” place.

Before homesickness could really take over when Chris left, my Mom and the girls came for the weekend.

Mom bought a bling cowgirl hat that she wouldn't take off lol, and we had a fun night with yummy pizza at the Pizza Lounge across from the theater. Tasty food, good music and relaxed vibe. And they're open until 3am!

Dallas was wonderful to me. I met such kind people and I’m lucky to have had an incredibly positive opening. Everyone at the theater, especially my dresser Vicki was so supportive. She helped me thru the show with comments like “that last note was extra floaty today.” No wonder why Sutton Foster cried about her dresser leaving her! I cried just saying goodbye to mine after only 3 weeks!

The reviews came in and thankfully they were all positive. Thank you Dallas for a wonderful opening! I’m leaving with wonderful memories!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dallas, TX

This has been a crazy week so far! We opened on Tuesday and the show for the most part went very well. Thankfully that’s when the critics came to see the show. So far we've received rave reviews! The next two days were a little rougher but I’m getting into my vocal groove. I can’t believe we put this whole big show together in 3 weeks! All of us are working very hard and sometimes need to be reminded of all that we have accomplished so far. As for Dallas…the hotel is great…except for the fact that everything shuts down at 11pm. With so much rehearsals I haven't had the time to explore Dallas yet but that's going to change this week. On the to-do list: the aquarium, zoo, BBQ restaurants, the West End area…I can’t wait to get going! The people here have been so welcoming and I love the accents. My dresser backstage endeared herself to me the moment she spoke. On opening night a party was held for us at a huge mansion. We felt like celebrities! They even brought out a huge birthday cake for the Tony and me!

My good friend Marvin Avila visited me on Wednesday and like a movie star made an appearance for a day. With limited local options he took me to Denny's for a birthday lunch and then off to the Texas State Fair we went. Basically FRIED everything. And car shows. And live stock. And vibrating foot chairs.

The goal for this week is to explore the West End and find the perfect belt buckle!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tempe, AZ

Here I am in Tempe, AZ.

The flight here was exhausting but Gizel (Rosalia) made it go by faster by teaching me the card game Phase 10. At first I thoroughly sucked at it but eventually I made the greatest come back in history!

Yesterday was our first day of rehearsal. The show is playing at the Arizona State University Gammage theater. What a difference it was, doing those scenes and songs on a stage instead of a small rehearsal room. Looking out from the stage all I saw were rows and rows of seats and I was reminded of the many times professors told me "don't perform for the just the first row! Your energy and voice needs to reach that back row!" Us newbies were thrown in but I think we did well. The pressure is on but I think we'll all thrive on it.

The best thing about Tempe so far is my room balcony. I spent the afternoon with my feet propped up on the railing and looking out into the distance seeing mountains and the sun setting. Not a bad way to spend my first full day on tour.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So far...

Hi family and friends!

As a way to keep you all updated weekly and to share this experience with you I've decided to blog my tour experience (thank you to Marvin Avila for the blog title). I'm going to miss home very much and I think this is a way of keeping us all connected. And maybe you'll be tempted to visit me on tour and discover a new city in the US!

So far I've received my itinerary of travel details and I have to go for my shoe and dress fittings this week. So exciting! Anyone who knows me knows I love shoes and dresses lol. And I'm in the vocal studio this week with voice teacher Brian to get all the music in my voice before my first rehearsal next week. So that's it so far! Next blog will probably be from my first stop on the tour, Tempe, Arizona!