The Road Forward in Vancouver: 2

In case you didn't know, "The Road Forward" is a remarkably important piece on many levels. For one thing, it's only the second time in history that a musical by and about First Nation's people is being staged, and the first one which happened in the 1990's was such a disaster that First Nation theater people and companies were afraid to try it again... until now. So here I sit, looking out at the evening sky-line of Vancouver, from the 23rd floor, knowing that one way or another, I am a part of First Nations theater history.

4:22 am I spring awake. To my body, it's still 7:22 am; about the time that I get up to get my son up and ready for school each morning. The sun isn't even close to up yet, but I'm up and ready and waiting for the morning shift to come in so I can get them to give me the correct room. Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic hotel and the room is lovely, but need a kitchen to flex in. Troy, the wonderful sound man was able to acquire a midi controller so that I wouldn't have to try to negotiate mine onto the plane and through customs. This one is the 61 key version of my 49 key system at home. I set it up and start running a few ideas and riff on my system, answer a few e-mails, and go back to bed.

Around 8:30 am, I call downstairs to arrange my room change. The sweet sounding young woman on the other end, initially tries to convince me that I can stay in my room and that there are wonderful restaurants in the area. I ask her if she can eat out every night for two weeks on her salary, or if it's healthy to subsist on microwaveable food for weeks at a time. I also point out that the production company paid for me to stay in a room with a kitchen. She makes arrangements for me to move to a room with a kitchen. I give a call down to Jennifer to see if she wants to grab breakfast, but she's on her way to Market Place IGA, a local supermarket to stock up her fridge.

IGA, seems to be a chi-chi foo-foo kind of place along the lines of Whole Foods or Food Emporium, with lots and lots of organic products. Makes me wonder where my fellow poor people shop. I also find that I owe a major debt of thank to the New York Public School system of the 1970's and '80's when they started teaching us the metric system and how to do conversions or I would have been at a complete loss at the deli counter, as I ordered by 100g of smoked turkey.

We had a production team meeting in the hotel lounge this afternoon. It was cool to finally see everybody in person. Theater people, music people, sound people and me in the role of being a music theater person who can do sound. I suddenly had the feeling of being a link pin or sorts; as I understand both the intensity of the theater personality and the aid-back flow of the music folks. I guess one of the reason I got into the playwriting and production end of theater because being laid-back as a writer doesn't seem to bother people as much as dealing with a laid-back director or actor. Marie explained what the process would be for ensemble development for the whole cast, musicians, actors and singers. Sounds like it going to be a fun process and it all starts rolling tomorrow morning. I also found out that the play is already sold out, which is unheard of for Vancouver. As Jennifer put it, "No pressure though..."

As the meeting closed and folks were leaving, I decided a little adult beverage might be the thing to go with dinner. Here, I showed how much of a New Englander I am when I asked if anybody knew of a package store in the vacinity. They al looked at me, Marie verbalizing the puzzled looks, "a what?" I replied, a store that sells beer and wine... in packages. She directed me to such a store, basically around the corner from the hotel.

Looking in the refrigerator case, skeptically starring at a 750 ml bottle of Flip Flop Mascato for $11 (I think they're bugging when they want $7 for a bottle of it at home), I suddenly realized that the 2 litre bottles of what I thought were soda were actually hard ciders!!! Anybody who knows me knows that I'm all about hard cider, especially cider proudly bottled in BPA free plastic.

So, tonight I'ma hit the pool, make some dinner, and enjoy some cider. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow morning, the reharsal for history begins.