Justin (Merch Manager) just walked into company management at the Orpheum Theatre and introduced me to his best friend as “The Queen of Memphis.” I like it. I like it very much.
I’m here in Memphis where I’ve been given a space to blog before the start of tonight’s show. The “office” is a dressing room so really it’s a long makeup station with mirrors. As I type, I notice I need to touch up my lip gloss.
My “desk” is in between Anna the Production Stage Manager and the microwave and I’m hoping no one needs to nuke anything before I can knock out this blog.
In order to make it official, there’s now a label on the mirror that says “Carolyn’s nook.” It’s my fourth day in Memphis, TN., and my 6th year working on Memphis the musical and I have finally arrived: with a title and a label.
The return of Memphis the Musical to the Orpheum Theatre has been epic in anticipation. Since our opening here in October of 2011, we have been waiting for the chance to come back here-play in this city and for these audiences. I’m getting to shoot video of the show tonight so I’m hoping everyone turns it out- cast and audience.
I’m here for the week. I flew last Friday from New York to Chicago with the Associate Sound Designer on Memphis, Alex Hawthorn. We caught the out of town tryout of BIG FISH–featuring former Memphis Broadway Cast member, Cary Tedder, and Bree Branker, formerly of the Memphis National Tour. It’s always fun to see people you’ve worked with in their new endeavors. But Memphis was calling.
When you drive from Chicago to Memphis, you might want to stop at Lambert’s- home of the throwed rolls. Yup. You want a hot roll? Hold up your hand and a sprightly young man who probably plays baseball for his high school team throws you one from across the room. It’s a thing you should do at least once in your life.
Returning to Memphis and knowing I was spending a week here with the tour meant I could really embrace the southern way of doing things, also knowing as the “slow down.” And while I have maintained my New York wardrobe of mostly all black, I’m now sauntering as I walk to the Starbucks in the morning, chatting with people I pass, and integrating the word “y’all” seamlessly into my talk and in my text messages.
It also means embracing the food. Lots of food. I’ve done the fried chicken. But I also found a quinoa burger…you can take the girl out of California…
Above: Producer, Nick Demos, a vegan, does his best in Memphis.
I’ve been on the road so long, that after I dropped producers off at the airport this morning, I found myself at a laundromat where I ran into Memphians, Jack Sippel and Kristin Piro. I felt very official and one of the gang.
Then it was time for lunch which meant Alex and I met up with Christopher Gurr and Jody Reynard and went out to Harbortown for a dining event at Paulette’s. Two and a half hours later, we were full up and happy.
A Ham Palacsinta & Mushroom Crepe. Which is like a gourmet ham hot pocket. Photo credit: Christopher Gurr.
After the deliciousness, Christopher and Lindsay Roberts taught a Broadway 101 Classroom to about 55 students. I tagged along and got some great advice on auditioning—which I will share with y’all tomorrow. It’s time for fight call which means I need to freshen up my lip gloss and get ready to film tonight’s show.
Carolyn aka “The Queen of Memphis”