I had a couple of reasons for wanting to take this show on the road and do it three times in one week.
One of them was just to see if I could do it. I’ve always been curious as to what it would be like to be a traveling performer doing one night gigs and now I’d find out.
The other reason for this trifecta of traveling shows was that I’d really like to start doing this particular show at colleges. I’ve discovered that colleges are always looking for speakers to deliver different kinds of shows for students and town people and I think this show could work on that level. But I wanted to test it out in different places for different audiences, so that was the other reason for this mini Marty Monologues tour.
My one problem with the Chicago show was that time crept up on me and I really didn’t have time to go check the theater in Chicago out like I wanted to or find a spot for an after-party.
While preparing for these shows, I still had to work my full time job and I was still doing my blog which I have to spend hours on every day. Before I knew it, it was the nearing the end of February and the shows were just around the corner! Yikes! I put the blog on hold to finish preparing for the show and my friend Amber stepped up and said she’d help to produce the Chicago show.
Amber and her husband Joe traveled to Chicago to secure and check out the Cornservatory Theater I had rented and they found a spot for the after-party right down the street, The Wild Goose Bar & Grill. This was a huge problem lifted from my shoulders and I want to give a big thank you to Amber and Joe for their help with this show!
Now here’s some photos and thoughts about the second show of the Marty Monologues mini nationwide tour in April!
I traveled to Chicago with my friend Clare and after having lunch with our friends Molly Lanz-Jones, Inc. and her husband Jeff, I went to my hotel room to go over my show notes and prepare for that night’s show.
One thing I was learning about traveling with a show was that you never want to stop rehearsing it or thinking about it for fear that you’ll blow that night’s show. The nervousness never leaves you until you step out on to the stage and the automatic pilot kicks in.
Everyone involved with the show agreed to meet at 5:30PM at the theater and here we are. This is a theater I found online called The Cornservatory Theater on Lincoln Avenue. As I mentioned Amber and Joe had done the advance work and met with someone from the theater earlier and got everything confirmed and set up the after-party.
I was thrilled to see the poster for the show in the window and the name of the show on the wall in the coming attractions list. Let’s go inside and take a look around!
Just like in Peoria, Amber and Joe were going to work the front room and sell and take tickets. There they are behind the front counter which had a stack of Marty Monologues hand bills on them. The lobby was decorated with corn art and purple walls, nice!
Here’s the inside of the theater and the front stage where I’d be doing the show from. It’s an intimate 50 seat theater which is perfect because I think about 35 people are coming to the show tonight, so we should almost fill up the entire place. I got my stuff all set up and the nerves are starting to really kick in. The show went great in Peoria and I’m wondering if I can do it again tonight.
There’s a side stage here and the musical entertainment for the Chicago show is over there rehearsing. This is Noion Cities A.K.A. Andy and Jackie who are tonight’s Windy City entertainment for the Chicago edition of The Marty Monologues!
They’ve been playing and harmonizing together for years and this is my first chance to hear them live in person and they sound fantastic! They are a musifcally gifted and talented duo and I’m lucky to have them on the bill!
They’re also performing the incidental music when I’ll be making the snack trays in between songs because there is no DJ here in Chicago, so they’ll be on the stage for the entire show with me. At least if I bomb, I won’t be alone!
We’re doing a quick sound check and there’s Amber and Joe up in the far seats letting us know how it sounds over there. They both gave a thumbs up and so now it’s time for the three of us to go down to the “green room” in the basement while the audience shows up and takes their seats.
Once again, the most nervous part of the night is the half an hour before the show as the audience arrives. Jackie, Andy and I hung out in the basement talked about different topics but the underlying force is the nervous energy we’re all experiencing.
Amber came down at one point at 7PM to tell us people were still coming in and some had gone to get some beer for the show (the theater is BYOB) and were coming back, so we decided we’d start around 7:15PM. Which meant another nerve-wracking 15 minutes. At this point I just can’t wait for it all to be over! There’s no business like show business!
In addition to being the Associate Producer and working the front of the room, Amber also agreed to be the opening announcer and welcome everyone to the show and introduce Noion Cities.
She took this photo of the crowd and she also took the rest of the photos from here on in. She did a spectacular job doing the opening welcome and introduction and before you know it, it’s time for the Marty Monologues show in Chicago, Illinois!
Here’s Andy and Jackie performing the opening tune, “She Loves You,” by The Beatles. This song was a challenge for all the musicians involved with the shows and they all told me it was tough to shape their own version of this iconic tune.
Noion Cities really nailed it and I loved their version and so did the crowd! They got a fantastic and enthusiastic reaction to their song and then Jackie introduced me and it was time to see if I could pull this off for a second time in Chicago, Illinois!
Amber took these photos from her seat in the front row and just like the other two times I’ve been on stage, the show in Chicago is kind of a blur. I don’t remember much about it and it’s fun to see these pictures because the whole thing kind of seems like a dream to me.
Jackie and Andy were seated off to the right of me waiting for their cue to start the incidental music after the introductory section of the show.
Here I am beginning the first story and within the start of that I gave a plug for my book, The Boy Who Would Be A Fire Truck. Whoops, I just did it again!
In addition to stories about growing up in the ‘60’s, I did a mini-reading from the book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas after two of the stories. The section I read from was what has come to be known as The Wave Speech, where Hunter Thompson writes about the rise and fall of the ‘60’s. You can listen to Johnny Depp reading it by clicking here.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that the show flies by when you’re onstage performing it. It seems to go by in fast forward motion and this show went off great according to the reaction from the crowd.
Noion Cities really helped take it to a higher level and this is Jackie and Andy performing the closing song, “Old Friends/Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel.
They did a fantastic job with the incidental music and killed it on both the opening song and they did such a beautiful rendition of this Simon and Garfunkel song.
Thanks so much to both of them for being part of the show! They truly were the icing on the cake that elevated the show to a place I never could’ve achieved on my own without them!
And now, the final bow. Whew, we got through the second show!
The crowd is getting up and leaving...
The theater has gone dark, except for the window with the Marty Monologues poster in the middle...
And now is the time when we drink! Amber and Joe found the Wild Goose Bar & Grill right down the street and we had our own section in the bar and it was a super-fun after-party!
Thanks to both of them for setting up the after-party and thanks to the Wild Goose for the hospitality and great service, it was a blast!
Once again, thanks to Amber for being the Associate Producer of the show and for being the opening announcer and taking photographs of the show! This show would not have happened without the work and assistance from Amber and Joe!
Thanks to Noion Cities for the beautiful music and harmonies, you two are so talented and I’m thrilled you were such a harmonic part of the show! i truly hope we can do it again somewhere down the road!
Thanks to Clare for driving and for pushing me to do this for the last twelve years!
And thanks to everyone who came to the show, you were a wonderful and enthusiastic audience and I appreciate you coming and supporting the show in Chicago, Illinois! I appreciate your energetic response to the show and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time and trouble to attend the first Marty Monologues show in Chicago! Bravo to all of you!