Friday, August 29, 2008

Wild turkeys Rancho Murieta. (Click on the image to see them better.)

Hairspray album

Hairspray Music Circus 2008

click on the image to see the whole Hairspray album.

We are Stan

The band for Hairspray on the night of Stan's last performance. Everyone but Stan is covering his face with a Stan mask.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stan's old friend

This piano belongs to a customer who turned out to be an old friend of Stan Lunetta's from high school and college. They haven't talked in years; I gave his number to Stan.
Tonight a Bee photographer was taking a picture of Stan. I'll link to the article when it comes out.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Box of chalk

This is a box that dancers can step in to get chalk on their shoes. It's like gymnasts chalking their hands.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Musicians through the ages

Stan Lunetta compiled a list of all the musicians who played at Music Circus during his tenure. You can see it here.
(Or just click on the image above.)

The Trap

Last night at the show someone told me that the Trap, Sacramento's oldest bar, is in danger of closing. I found this article by Lisa Heyamoto from a few months back in the Bee:

It doesn't take an architect to see that time has not been particularly kind to the Trap. With its horizontally challenged floors, its dilapidated deportment and a roof that isn't exactly holding up its end of the bargain – let alone the walls – the legendary Pocket watering hole is a bit like an ungracefully aging debutante who was never that cute to begin with.

But to shut it down for its aesthetic indiscretions? Owner Richard Crudo thought he'd never see the day.

"We knew it needed work," he said. "It's been here since 1860, you know?"

To be fair, the problems run a bit deeper than what meets the eye. Turns out the Trap – brace yourselves, now – isn't up to safety code, and the city's housing and dangerous building division recently slapped it with 14 code violations ranging from improper plumbing valves to unpermitted add-ons.

This is a cause of significant worry for Crudo, who fears the much-beloved bar might end up closing down.

But shutting the Trap is not what the city is after, say both Ron O'Connor, operations manager of code enforcement, and Councilman Rob Fong.

"We want to make sure it's safe for the customers, but at the same time, we're not interested in putting anyone out of business," Fong said. "It's certainly a Sacramento institution."

Yet Crudo said that even the smallest repairs would cost more money than they have, especially considering what they just paid to upgrade the bathrooms. So he's turned his mind to fundraisers or – fingers crossed – benevolent millionaires to somehow keep the bar from closing.

"If we have to fight to keep it going, we will," he said. "I'm not giving up yet."

Forget about the whales. Someone save the Trap.

I'm going to make sure to drive by and take a picture before it gets knocked down.

Dressing room piano

The men's dressing room at the Cosumnes River College theatre has this odd piano on it. Note the faces on the front. (And why is it shoved in front of the lockers?)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I can't wait to see...

... the movie Hamlet 2. It's a send-up of movies about inspirational teachers like Mr. Holland's Opus and Dead Poets Society. A teacher played by Steve Coogan tries to save his school's drama program by staging a musical sequel to Hamlet. The hit song is "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus." (see picture.)

Are we too loud?

Today we had a band meeting before the evening show and our conductor, constantly apologizing, said that he was getting complaints from the sound man that the band was too loud. We listened attentively and then played exactly the same. We are AWESOME! In fact, the conductor said we were the hottest band he'd had all year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Edna

On the left is Paul Vogt, who plays Edna Turnblad in our Hairspray. He played the role on Broadway and in Las Vegas. On the right is a friend from Best of Broadway whose name escapes me right now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Toasting Stan

Between shows today we took Stan out to dinner at Michelangelo's, which is walking distance from the theatre.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A big pile of wigs...

...near the dressing rooms backstage.

Movie composer

This is my friend Steve Coolidge holding the storyboard for a short film he scored. It's called Mobyflick, and you can see it here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Totally fab

I walked by this business called Artfab in an old industrial neighborhood.
They are:

Stan retires

I just found out today that Hairspray is going to be Stan's last show. In a way, it's not a surprise; he has said for years that if Music Circus ever did Sweeney Todd, he'd retire, and they did. Also, his son Larry is available to replace him as contractor. The page above was published in the Hairspray program; click on the image to read the text.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Today I tuned at the Sierra 2 theatre. I did Gilbert & Sullivan operettas there from 1988 to 1994. It's a lovely theatre in a lovely community center. You need to click on this image to really see it.

You can't stop the beat

Hairspray Music Circus 2008
This is part of the set for the Music Circus production of Hairspray. It looks fantastic when it lights up. Click on the picture to see other photos from the production.

Inner peace in exchange for piano tuning

My customer has this sand garden on her dining room table.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Don't cry for him

Eric Johnston with a picture of his friend posing (wearing a blonde wig) in the Eva PerĂ³n pose in front of the actual Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Piano pick

I sliced a piece of hammer felt to make a piano pick for the keyboard glisses in "Goodnight and Thank You." During intermission I talked to a man in the audience about it and gave him one of my picks (actually, it was one that I gave to Eric and he wasn't using.) The man gave me $20 for the pick and my information. I felt like I had to give Eric $10 of it.
Immediately after that, someone spilled a drink and it started dripping into the pit. Some of it got on Eric's keyboard. Nothing critical.


A chorus girl from Evita imitating Rosie the Riveter.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This week's Foodstuffs illustration

I particularly like the illustration I did this week. The piece is about "vinegar mother", a catalyst you add to wine to make it turn quickly into high-quality vinegar.

Evita review in Bee

Time has been good to "Evita" – and to the Music Circus, which last produced the Tim Rice-Andrew Lloyd Webber concoction in 2000...
read the rest of the review

From the Bee: a photo of the other Mark Stivers

A a water break for Mark Stivers of Sacramento in the Milk Ranch area of Snow Mountain Wilderness Area. (Carlos Alcala / a water break for Mark Stivers of Sacramento in the Milk Ranch area of Snow Mountain Wilderness Area. (Carlos Alcala /

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Evita pictures

For Stan Lunetta's pictures of the Evita orchestra, click here.

The keyboardist under the stairs

This is Key 1 for Evita under the ladder to the pit. It's like a Manhattan apartment!
As usual, we pulled it all together in time for opening night. It was quite good.

Remember that great song...

...that little Ronnie Howard sang in The Music Man? "Oh, ho, the Wells Frago wagon..."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Evita orchestra read

Today we had the Evita orchestra read. Unfortunately I left my camera in the pit so I can't post any pictures.
The orchestration is screwed up. But I'm sure it will all turn out well in the end.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The difference between British and American humor

Q: Why did the lion get lost?

A(British): the jungle is massive.
A(American): Africa is huge.

Maybe we should let him out

Make a wish

The wedding I played on Friday included this little ritual: each guest lit a candle, made a wish for the new couple, and then blew the candle out. Very dramatic in the darkened room.

Birthday bagpipe

The very end of "Happy Birthday" played on a bagpipe.

Both gettin' paid

On Saturday Rachel and I both got checks from Music Circus.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A great art car... Midtown Sacramento.

The Firehouse

I played with Ron Davis and Vivian Leigh at the Firehouse tonight. It was a reception after an evening wedding. ("An evening wedding!" said Jennifer. "They must have a lot of money.") We all love the Firehouse. It's such a great setting for food and music. Several of the band members have happy Jazz Jubilee memories playing at the Firehouse.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

JB's Lounge

Last night the big band played their monthly job at the Red Lion. Josette, one of the singers from the Bear Valley concert, showed up with her husband.
The rumor is that there are going to be several more California dates for that show. Sounds like fun, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What happens in Meadow Vista...

The Ron Davis band played a wedding showcase in Meadow Vista. In the upper left you can see silver balloons spelling out the party theme: VEGAS BABY.

Just like in "Spinal Tap"

I gave Rachel a Stonehenge kit that I got at the Berkeley Museum. Here it is assembled in her apartment.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hilarious online musical

Click here to enjoy this 45-minute superhero musical comedy. Think Urinetown, Bat Boy, Avenue Q, and Reefer Madness.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Makes a great doorstop

I met a guy today who carved a cat out of solid oak. Here it is shown on an oak floor for comparison.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Today I spent nine hours fixing the trombone book for My Fair Lady. When I am done, I will have spent almost as much time working on it as Chip Tingle will spend playing it.