Hello, hello, hello.
You guys it’s been two weeks and I have been slowly writing this blog for a while. It’s epic so grab a snack! We’re going long! And it’s chock full of pictures today. We’ve go to finish this thing! FYI I started writing it on 9/12, so that explains the date reference.
We are back at it after a fun filled day of service and performing on 9/11. We were all over the map on 9/11 including Petrina Bromley, our own Bonnie Harris and only Newfoundlander in the cast, who flew to Newfoundland on our day off to participate in a talk with the dreamy Justin Treaudu, Canada’s hunky prime minister. You guys, I have to tell you, when he came to see COME FROM AWAY in the spring there was quite a commotion at the show, basically due to his hunkier-than-thou status (ok and also because of his whole “let’s have good relations with the US and be nice neighbors blah blah blah”) but really because of his handsomeness. And I was pretty much, you know, above it all and a pretty cool cat. I was all, “Wow, ok, calm down everyone, he’s just a person.”
And then I met him after the show.
And his vivid blue eyes locked on mine.
And he smiled so warmly.
And I shook his hand.
And the next thing I knew I was running my other hand up his arm as we shook hands and I was holding his elbow.
And I basically had the Prime Minister in an arm lock to go with our eye lock.
And time stopped for everyone around us.
And then I remembered his secret service detail…and his kind and adorable wife…and I let go.
And I was mortified but it was worth it and I am insanely jealous of Petrina who managed to score this moment with my Canadian boyfriend.
And now, oh no, Joel Hatch, I am so sorry, I did an entire paragraph that was not just vanity but also fantasy so I’d better get right back on track.
Where did we leave off? Are you behind? Go here. Remember, there’s no more recap, we just “hit it” as my Dad would say.
So we left off at rehearsal at the hockey rink where we were definitely not skating but we were for sure freezing. And we had some more sandwiches (so many sandwiches). Here’s the crowd on stage left. This is before we added our winter coats. Please note that Colella is wearing her Annette vest over her layers of clothes, which is my favorite look of hers.
As we rehearsed there were various people milling about at all times. As you can imagine, 120 people from Broadway landing in a tiny town in Newfoundland might get a bit of attention. Most everyone in town had participated in hosting 7,000 people in some small way. All of them were both curious and fascinated about how these young kids (David and Irene) planned to make a whole musical out of “people making some sandwiches”. So if they were driving by the rink and they saw the school bus outside, they’d swing in to see what was happening.
At one point I looked back and I recognized none other than…
Wait. I’ll post the picture. Guess who it is.
Here’s a hint. He’s played by this guy.
Yup! Oz Fudge. The real guy!
I had to get a picture asap, which meant me running the length of the ice and back before Kelly Devine noticed (she noticed).
Oz was there with his daughter Lisa, who plays another important role in this story, but we’ll get back to her in a future blogisode. Geno and Oz hit it off so well that Oz actually let Geno drive his police cruiser and do the siren (say it with me, “whoop, whoop!”). In fact, they made quite a big entrance on Sunday morning when Geno rolled into the Tim Hortons parking lot in the police cruiser in front of everyone—we were having a big event there that morning—and Oz then presented Geno with his very own badge (one of Oz’s), an official uniform patch, and made him an honorary member of the Gander Municipal Police. At Tim Hortons. In Gander. To give you proper perspective, It was so awesome I even put down my honey cruller to clap. Geno sent me this stream of pictures, so let’s just take a minute and look at them all.
Basically, playing a real person has turned out to be nothing short of awesome.
You know what I think? I think I should do short vlogs with everyone and have them describe when they met the people they were playing and what it was like. Wouldn’t that be fun?
But that is for later because for now I want to tell you what happened after rehearsal, and let’s face it, we have GOT to get to the concert. Ok?
After rehearsal, we went home and peeled off our many layers, changed into some nice clothes and headed out to a dinner held in our honor at the—this was a trivia question—The Gander Airport. There were dignitaries to meet we all lined up and met some Canadian dignitaries (do you cutesy? Kiss the ring?) then we played pool while the rest of the group walked the line. Here’s a shot of the boys. And yes, this is in the airport. Lee=pool shark. I like Chad and Joel watching him like hawks.
Then we headed out into the main terminal (I think it was the international departures wing, but someone remind me) and let me tell you what. For as much as we talk about how it looks like it’s been frozen in time, it really does. The whole thing is incredible, but my personal favorite is the bathroom. Look at this!
The dinner started off with Astrid meeting Beulah Cooper and Diane Davis (I will let her vlog and she can tell you about that), and Rodney met Derm, the Mayor of Appleton, and Petrina met Bonnie Harris, and Kendra met Janice and Brian Mosher (her character of Janice is a composite of two characters, as is Astrid’s). The rest of us had met all of our people and we sat with them for the dinner, where there was a plaque presented to the town of Gander. Here are a couple of pictures from the night. Note how me and Diane are dressed in the same colors, as are Astrid, Beulah and Diane Davis. (Beulah is in the patterned blouse and Diane Davis is in red.) We did not plan this. (Sorry there are so many of me…but…you know…it’s off of my camera. I’ll try to get some more from other people.)
I want to end by saying there was a choral group running a coat check for all of us at the dinner, and they were raising money to try to come and see the show in New York City. Many of us did not have cash on us and could not contribute, but I think there may have been an anonymous donor or two who helped them reach their goal. When they came to New York we did a talk with them after the show and I took a little video of them. It was an awesome, incredible night for all of us. Look at these cute faces. Welcome to New York, Gander kids!!!
Our cliffhanger/trivia question of the night is this. What is extremely easy to collect in Newfoundland? What does everyone hand out? Hint: We all came home with a giant collection of them.
Next blog leads us into probably the greatest day any of us on Come From Away ever experienced. We’ve done some extremely cool things, but this takes the cake. Tune back in!