Thursday, September 30, 2010


Is great!

Working with adults is great, too. They learn their music ahead of time! They have years of training and experience! I can give artistic notes, instead of making melodic compromises!

Don't get me wrong - I love love love working with kids - but this is a delightful break.

In other news: I get to work with adults again, soon! I got hired to music direct Plaid Tidings at the Penobscot Theatre on Bangor. Yay!

Now for updates on the past three weeks.

I live in Toad Hall, which is a sprawling, old Victorian house across the street from the theatre, which is in Cumston Hall, which also houses the library.

Toad Hall

Cumston Hall

My new library card!

Alex and I got here on the Greyhound through Boston. We had a good time!

Alex and me, having a good time

I read If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino (which is written in the second person, and which I highly recommend! It is a weird book! But neat.), and also watched episodes of Gilmore Girls. Alex read Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke.

Anyway, we got to Lewiston successfully, and were picked up by Dave, the producing director at the Theater at Monmouth, who delivered us to the supermarket, where we met Nikki, Tony, and Colleen, our delightful housemates. (Joey came later in the weekend, because he was working at the US Open.) We soon arrived at the house, where we moved into our room.

One angle of our room. There is another bed,
which is the one we actually sleep on,
hidden by the door.
Also, two more dressers.
There is more furniture in this room
than in my room in New York -
which is saying a lot!
Well, actually,
now that the black dresser is out of the bedroom,
things are looking a lot better.
But still.

Anyway, it is a perfectly lovely room, with lovely views of the backyard and of the street. It is not even cold anymore, now that we found a space heater in the laundry room/bathroom.

The house holds around 18 people in the summer, for the proper season, so it is positively roomy with only six of us - just the perfect amount of space, actually. Four bathrooms; one on each floor, and one of which is also a laundry room. The kitchen is wooden and upstairs, which is weird, but it is functional. Eight bedrooms, five of which are occupied and one of which contains about ten mattresses, all in a stack. Two living rooms and a dining room. Also, adjoining, the scene and costume shops and relevant storage, but we don't venture there often. Dave buys our groceries, so we eat delicious food, which we frequently cook together or at least for each other. It is lovely!

We also, because Monika, who is in the Pirates cast, has a semi-adopted barn cat who just had five kittens, and needed someone to foster them, have three kittens!

From top to bottom:
Climbing Gus;

I am trying to convince Jamie to try to convince Rita, our landlord, to modify her no-pets policy. But then I would have to pick only one or two to adopt! I don't know how to choose! Pip is super chill and sleeps a lot and is not afraid of anyone and also is kind of adventurous. Climbing Gus will climb onto your shoulder, and also onto other things, and is super playful but also will cuddle when tired and is the smallest and therefore the cutest. Kaipo was the scarediest to start with, and is still nervous about new situations and new people, but is actually very curious and cuddly, sort of in between the cuddliness of Pip and the activity of Gus.

So difficult to choose!

But I probably won't even have to choose, because probably we can't have cats. Alas. We will see.

Anyway, as you can see, this is a fun house, with fun people and animals! I have to go eat lunch now, and take a walk, but I will update again this week! Next up: Apple picking; AppleFest; Narnia tea party; Freeport; delicious baked goods.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Seattle and Vancouver!

Two weeks ago I flew to Seattle! Ya'el picked me up late at night, and I stayed the night at her place. The next day, we met the rest of the family, and Ruthy, at the Amtrak station, and took the bus up to Vancouver for J-West, the west coast secular and cultural jewish conference, organized by the wonderful members of the Peretz Center!

Lots of fun - great workshops - good company - entertaining talent show - delicious potluck food. I participated in a workshop where I made mandelbroit - Jewish biscotti, more or less - one where Mark ran a game of Jewpardy!, and gave one on Jews in musical theatre! That was super fun for me; I got to talk lots of musical theatre details and history, and play an hour's worth of music snippets from Irving Berlin's "Yidde on Your Fiddle, Play Some Ragtime" to Jason Robert Brown's "How Can I Call This Home," from Parade, all for an appreciative audience of many generations!

Anyway, after the highly successful conference, which was a great time for all and during which we stayed at a delightfully comfortable Vancouver hotel (have I mentioned how much I love hotels? the mattresses, oh, the mattresses... the free toiletries... how clean they are, without me having to clean them! ah...), we squeezed into Ya'el's tiny black Honda (the one that is actually my parents', and which I used to drive, and which used to belong to Ruthy) for a miserable drive back to Seattle, although the drive was followed by a nice day and a half exploring Seattle a little and visiting with Ya'el. We shopped at a used bookstore, where I acquired, among other books, Queen Zixi of Ix. We also had brunch at a coffee shop where I had hot cocoa that was both delicious and beautiful:

And the full day in Seattle, we made food at Ya'el's house, which was also great! And also saw Ya'el's work and wandered around the University Village.

Anyway, the next day I flew home to New York, hung out with Skye, who was staying at our apartment for a few days for some meetings with managers, and the next day Alex and I left on the bus for Monmouth, Maine, which is where we are now, and which I will post about later!