Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sonnets & Chocolates Recap

So, where to begin. Well, for one thing, I must say that it was a real thrill to be back on the stage again at Endstation Theatre Company’s annual Sonnets and Chocolates. This old retired megastar left the performance world nearly seven years ago, and as my fans and foes will attest, our local theatre community has never been the same. Of course, we all know that Central Virginia provides some of the best local talent that the world has ever seen, and Endstation has this unique talent of bringing together in new and exciting ways, but let’s face facts, since I made my departure from performance, the world has been a little lacking. The stars just don't seem to have that same twinkle anymore, am i right?
Two people, I believe their names might have been Liz Butler and Aaron Farr, maybe?, singing a piece from Urinetown. Not bad, but not me.

But, never fear, friends and fans, I’m back, with a vengeance. When Endstation approached me about hosting, my first thought was, what kind of event was it going to be? If I am actually prying myself away from self imposed reclusive-ness, it must be for a good reason. Would my needs be met? Will my case of Fiji Water be properly chilled? Will they be able to find an even number of peanut butter AND almond green M&M’s stuck together with nutella to form decadent little candy sandwiches, in sufficient quantities to ease the strain that hosting such an event can have on a performer like me. Luckily, Endstation was able to provide an entire events committee to wait on my beck and call. Headed up by Laren Baum, with the talents of Rob Vaughn, Kay Wright, Peg McFadden, Bill Kershner, and featuring the delectable culinary mastery of Jen Staton, they assured me that every little request that I made would be fulfilled. And from what I hear (of course we only corresponded through my team of assistants and social secretaries) they did a fantastic job of not only making me comfortable, but the audience was blown away as well.

My Entourage (from L to R): Andrew Jackson (or $20 for short), PYT, The Miracle Worker, The Boss, The Boss's Boss, L-Hay, and The Fix.

Then of course, there was the subject of entertainment. At first, I was begged to perform a one person show, but I warned them, that the demand would be far too great. As amazing as the Academy of Fine Arts is in Lynchburg (truly a fantastic venue for any special event), most of the time we would be looking at the Kennedy Center or the Roanoke Coliseum to accommodate the audience I would attract. Therefore, in an effort to, well I suppose, mellow out the event, we decided that perhaps some other performers might take away from the glare of my limelight and provide a more reasonably size event, logistically. Normally, I would have one group open for me, but due to the sheer magnificence of my talent, they felt that it would be better to have individual groups offer “openings” for me throughout the night.

Paddy Dougherty, a megastar in her own right, was THRILLED to finally meet me.

Special Edition: A subgroup of the Amherechoes, which was instrumental in making me the megastar I am today.

I even allowed one of my staff, Ashley Zach (I think, most of the time I just read her name tag), to join in the fun. She did an amazing job. Keep plugging along and you might one day (no time soon, mind you) be as amazing as me.

Wasn’t that sweet? And each and every one of them did a fantastic job warming up the audience for the next time I graced the stage.

Then, at the last minute, we almost had a deal breaker. They told me, that due to sound levels in the space, that it wasn’t very conducive to having only one performer at a time. Well, of course, this took me aback. How on earth could they find someone of equal level to me share the stage? How could they afford it? J-Lo is busy with Idol now, Bieber is opening his movie, and Barbra and I haven’t spoken since that little tiff over whose noodles had more tofu at P.F. Chang’s. (seriously Babs, grow up). Well, they told me that there was this man who was kind of funny, knew how to tell a joke or two and would help keep attention on me throughout the course of the night. We had met once or twice before, not socially of course or anything, so I figured, why not. I mean, this is a charity benefit, and I do want to help this darling company. And there is a good chance we wouldn’t have to socialize or make eye contact through this course of the night (don’t want him to be starstruck!), so I said, sure, Bill Bodine could come along for the ride.

He did a pretty good job at the event (although the man can’t keep his hands to himself in the dressing room. Seriously, dude, I'm married!)

So all in all, it was a fantastic evening and one in which I sincerely hope our audience had just as much fun as I did.

Jeff Price
Semi-Retired Megastar
Endstation Board of Directors