These last few days have been crazy, busy, and exhausting. But they’ve also been exciting, incredible, and thrilling.
We’ve just finished up a 3 day run of performances in Washington state. The schedule was a bit frantic at times but everything came together well. We arrived in Longview, WA on Thursday night. We loaded in, set up, and performed at the Columbia Theatre on Friday night. After the show, we packed, loaded it up and drove to Olympia. Saturday morning, we were up early and drove (in the snow) to Bothell, WA to load in, set up, and perform at the Northshore Performing Arts Center that evening. After the show, we packed, loaded it up and drove to Tacoma because we had a 7am load in on Sunday morning for a 3pm matinee at the Pantages Theatre. After the show, we packed and loaded it up….again. And then, back to the hotel for some much needed rest!
COLUMBIA THEATRE – LONGVIEW, WA
The Columbia Theatre is a beautifully restored vaudeville house saved from destruction by the explosion of Mount St. Helen in 1980. You can read all about it on their website. It is an intimate 900 seats and we had a full house coming to the show on Friday night.
The audience was fantastic! From the moment they entered the theatre, there was this sense of excitement and energy about the show. When we hit the stage for the first illusion, the audience literally burst into applause! And they kept that energy high throughout the entire show. When we finished the finale, they were on their feet for a standing ovation. They made me feel like a rock star!
NORTHSHORE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER – BOTHELL, WA
This is a very new venue – only 2 years old. They are still very much in the early stages of raising the awareness of their community that they even exist! It is always a challenge to market performances when no one knows about the venue. We were able to get a couple of nice articles in the local paper, the BOTHELL REPORTER, and a very nice article in the SEATTLE TIMES.
We had a wonderful crowd for the show and, while not sold out, it was a great audience and one of their largest crowds to date. Our on-stage volunteers were awesome – adding that spontaneity to a show that you just can’t predict! We also had some friends drive down from Canada for the show. It was especially nice to see Shawn and Lori Farquhar. They made the trip down with a large group of friends. We had very little time to visit after the show because our schedule was tight. We had the drive to Olympia after the show so I didn’t have the opportunity to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. There were several area magicians that I met as well – a nice treat for me!
PANTAGES THEATRE – TACOMA, WA
The Pantages Theatre is another wonderfully restored vaudeville theatre in Tacoma. We were there early, slightly before 7am, to get loaded in for the 3pm show. The local IATSE Union 15 was our crew for the day. We worked well as a “team” with only a few snags along the way.
Matinee audiences are generally more reserved than evening crowds. I’m not exactly sure why but I’m sure there’s some psychological reason for it. This audience went against the “typical.” They were really very enlived and electrified! Volunteers from the audience were animated – including the Mayor who managed to get selected to be on stage (a very nice coincidence)! And with the closing words of the performance and “good night,” they were on their feet with applause and cheers. It was a privilege to be in this place!
I met so many people in the lobby after the show. Someone left us a wonderful gift – an original recording of Henning’s Broadway musical THE MAGIC SHOW. I wish I had had the chance to meet him personally and thank him for such a wonderful token, but he left it quietly as I talked with those who stayed for the “meet and greet” in the lobby. He left a simple note that read:
I believe it was no accident that I found this recording this morning before coming to your show…I am aware of teh positive influence that Doug Henning had upon your development as a performer. I hope you will accept this as a small token of appreciation for what you and your troupe have and continue to contribute to the tradition of magic which has brought so much enjoyment to the world.
Cindy and I were both touched by the kindness of this gentleman and the response we received from the Tacoma community.
Now, we’re off to Idaho!