I was invited to attend the Broadway Across America unveiling of the upcoming shows in 2010 and 2011. This is the line up:
Phantom of the Opera: January 20 - February 14, 2010
In the Heights: March 9-14, 2010
Xanadu: April 27 - May 2, 2010
Spring Awakening: May 18-23, 2010
Young Frankenstein: November 30 - December 5, 2010
Rock of Ages: January 11-16, 2011
West Side Story: February 1-6, 2011
Wicked: February 23 - March 27, 2011
Shrek The Musical: May 17-22, 2011
Hair: June 21-26, 2011
The festivities were held at the Fairwinds Corporate Tower (135 West Central Boulevard). I decided to dress up a bit for the event, so I wore a suit and nice slacks. To get in, I was told I would have to get an wristband. Jeremy Seghers was handling the bands, so I felt at ease knowing I was among friends. Inside the bank there was no noticeable decorations except for the fact that a bar had been set up. I immediately walked towards this group of men pictured in the sketch; an a capella singing group called 4:2:Five. They were singing, "They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there's always magic in the air. But when you,re walking down that street, and you ain't had enough to eat, the glitter rubs right off and your nowhere..." I loved singing this song when I lived in Manhattan. The lyrics take on a magnified meaning once you have had to struggle to make ends meet in the Big Apple as an artist. I sang along happily sketching the performers. Amanda Norvell, who arranged for me to sketch, said hello and Terry Olson walked up to me and said, "I am sorry, we do not allow sketching in here". He was kidding, and we both laughed. I seem to bump into him everywhere I go these days.
When it came time to add some color to the sketch, I realized that I had left my brushes at home. I had changed my pants, and the brushes were in my pants at home. I was frustrated, but had to finish the sketch regardless. I ended up finding a reject brush that functions more like a sponge than a brush. It sucks the color into the handle and then refuses to put down a decent wash. Well, regardless of the struggles, I managed to get something done.
After this group left the floor, the Mayor gave a quick speech. He joked around that he had been given a key to the banks' safe last time he was here, but he hadn't managed to get to the money yet. Singers then performed solos from the upcoming season shows.
Of the shows coming to Orlando this year, I am looking forward to sketching "Phantom" and "In the Heights" the most. When I lived in New York City, I lived in Washington Heights, so sketching "In the Heights" should feel like going home again. I hope to start sketching the load-ins for each of the shows when they get to town, as well as sketching from the wings. I also hope to start sketching the Broadway series cast parties and events. 2010 should be an exciting year, as I discover Broadway in Orlando through my sketches.