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12/29 Clearwater, Fl


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From the website for Ruth Eckerd Hall:

Ruth Eckerd Hall was nominated one of the top five concert halls in the United States by a nation-wide industry poll of technicians, artists and their management.

It comfortably seats 2,180 for concerts, recitals, plays and special events. In addition to the 200 events presented annually by the center, community groups and nationally recognized arts organizations, including The Florida Orchestra, lease the venue. Our volunteers and staff warmly welcome visitors and artists to our acoustically perfect chamber.

The website also features pictures of the backstage set-up.

Star Suite setup so you can imagine Clay relaxing with the posse, watching TV, or getting his hair and make-up done ( waves to John D).

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My last cellcert...


I didn't hang around here much during the cellcerts (mostly because of time constraints), but it has been a blast. Thank you all!

And thank you Clay...this has been a great tour, even if I only got to see it once, and didn't get a M&G either. *g* Thank you for putting yourself out there with this show...I feel like I got a real sense of YOU during it.

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yes we are on...our cellcerter is Newland and she was the one that was on stage last night...

she said the venue is 95% full...

Newland was giving her story about last night.

She knows Allison from being on plays with her in the past. She got in touch with Allison in DC and they have been emailing a bit after...then Newland asked what theater group they were using in Melbourne since she lived there and was aprt of the theater group. Allison suggested that she be part of the Melbourne group...she got in contact with the director and she got the part.

She said the players all liked Clay

Allison did most of the rehearsals specially for the songs...she does Clay;s part and when they do DSIAFCD she would go low for baby thats a fact and say this is when the audience scream.

They do blocking at 3 o clock and everyone works with a different dancer who is incharge of groups of people leike the carollers or the snowball fights..etc.

4 pm Clay was suppose to come in and rehearse but didn;t come in and Allison was the one who did it. So they did the show without really interacting with Clay.

The group did not have any expectation of meeting Clay...

5:30 they broke for supper...they only stayed in the backstage and they don;t see anything that is happening on stage.

They did a lot of waiting. they never met WJ...oops I lost connection

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Can Newland talk any faster? I would type it, but really - it is quite a lot.

Corabeth is typing it up at the CH, can I just steal from her? OK

From Corabeth at the CH

Venue is approx. 95% full

Newland's report

She and Alison has been emailing as Newland had done theater there for 10 years and asked her what she was using for theater group. Alison asked her to do the show and so Newland contacted the director of the theater group.

Her biggest fear was that they would get people who didn't like Clay but everyone was a fan and excited to be doing it. They knew from the descriptions that they would not get actually see much of the show.

Allison is a riot. Newland said she is just the way she remembered her. She has a laugh that is very fun. You can tell that they had been on this tour a looonnnng time.

She said this (quotes with fingers) an angel who earns his wings. Yeah, it's really cheesy (big laugh).

They do small parts and an accompany part to DSIAFCD. Everyone strained to learn CT and she let them watch an LA rehearsal video to see where they were supposed to stand. The song is actually tough to sing. They did that 10 times.

CMH, small part easy to rehearse.

DSIAFCD: Newland was only one who had heard the song before. They rehearse to just the backing track. Allison sang Clay's part but she has a cold. She did the Hug is warmer and did Oh Baby that's a fact as Elvis and she said "That is where audience comes in screaming". Anytime there would be normal audience screaming, Allison pretended to scream.

They goofed on every time, they "don't get it'. (My opinion-they just see him as regular Clay).

Edited by playbiller
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OK, got my connection back finally. I don't know if they missed us.

More from Corabeth at the CH

Continued --Good thing I type fast-she's talking as fast as Clay.

They must have 9-10 year old boy to mirror cookie making scene and a 20 year old girl to mirror Beverly.

They continued to learn the CT parts. It is actually pretty complicated. They rehearse without music first and then with music.

At 4 PM Clay was due on stage to go through the first number with them to do blocking. Clay did not rehearse with them. Allison walked through his part so that they would know where to walk. No word on why he didn't rehearse.

So what you saw in the concert, that was the only time they did it with Clay on stage. Constantly drilled into them that they cannot see the angel.

Group had no clue as to what interactions with Clay they would have.

People didn't have things to sign so they bought merchandise! The theater group was very excited even though they could not see the show from backstage. You can't really hang out in the wings. They did get to meet him and get things signed and a group picture.

Angela lay down on the stage and sang her whole song lying down in rehearsals.

I don't see that she mentioned that Newland said that in the church scene, since they could not see the angels, there was a lot of look at Gregory and freeze, look at Gregory and freeze.

Throught the whole show the extras could not see the angels. The had to look through them or at other places, but at no time could they recognize that there was anyone in that spot. She said there were people in Christmas time circling Clay, but they had to move in a way that would not acknowledge that he was there.

It was hard in the church scene nto to look up at Clay, earlier today, she said she found a way to look down with her head while rolling her eyes way up to see Clay. .

Edited by playbiller
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Merry Christmas with Love. As far as I can tell Clay seems to be in great voice, although I'm getting some static over my connection.

This is some of the best crowd response I've heard on a while.

Jingle Bell knock as Tommy makes his entrance to Beverly's house.

(Is this the place to fess up that I'd didn't have a Christmas tree either, and have never had one in my current house? I do not, however, smell like onions and gasoline. And my face, as of yet, does not need ironing. A little botox, on the other hand... B) )

Edited by bottlecap
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Stop me if I am wriong, but I did not think temps sang - they have a backing track that sounds the same for each show. I would think a better description than singing would be mouth the words (sigh reminds me of my youth when the teachers would come around and tell people to sing the star spangled banner, not just mouth the words. Then they would come to me and say - "mouth the words").

Bwah, bottlecap, I just went over and lit mine up. I don't have the usual ton of decorations though because fewer and fewer people come over during the holidays.

I love it when he starts with the "old Saint Nicholas" line there is something that transports me back in time to a real musical from the 50's or something.

Edited by playbiller
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I would agree about the backing track, pb, because the chorus is remarkably consistent from venue to venue, and there are definitely more instruments playing then are on the stage. And the community theater people aren't miked are they?


Sleigh Ride and Jingle Bells - everybody rock out!

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(Is this the place to fess up that I'd didn't have a Christmas tree either, and have never had one in my current house?  I do not, however, smell like onions and gasoline.  And my face, as of yet, does not need ironing.  A little botox, on the other hand...  B) )

BWAH! I didn't get one up this either! No time. I kinda missed it though.

I so love this version of Jingle Bells. So much fun! Time for some jazz!

The community theater players singing? I think it's mostly a backing track, but Clay said at one show (was it Raleigh?) that they were the best singers they had, so I'm thinking there was at least some attempt at singing by the groups.

Edited by ldyjocelyn
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Hee. A poster at CV's relative refered to the concert as "Christmas Noises"! Love it, and I'm going to call the JNT05 "Christmas Noises" going forward.


Christmas Serenade / Season for Romance..... Wonder if hearing Tommy make fun of Mr. Ledford's nose every night ever starts to bug Adam. :huh:

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Well, if making fun of Adam's nose is something, just think how his sister feels with the same nose.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas - makes this song so much better tahn it has been in over versions. I likethe way the guitar comes in.

Edited by playbiller
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Christmas Waltz.... this song of mine in three-quarter time wishes you and yours the same thing too.

Does the tempo seem a little fast tonight, or is it just me?


Appropriate respnses to seond place schtick. And just how many votes did you lose by, Tommy - 1, or maybe 3 or 4?

Silver Bells duet - Alison stills sounds a little husky tonight.

Edited by bottlecap
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