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Los Angeles, California

March, 2000

Notes Posted to The BallfestNews mailing list - March 5, 2000


Hi Gang!


There were 12 of us for dinner at Cha Cha Cha...a Caribbean restaurant not far from Jeff's house.  After dinner, some of us went to see the STAGE concert which was really special this year.  It was so nice to see my friend David Burnham again, and he seemed to be one of the crowd favorites.  I had not known that Robert Cuccioli (Original National Tour and Broadway Jekyll/Hyde) would be there until just before we left for dinner yesterday, so that was a wonderful surprise!  Robert is looking great and told us he will be heading back to NYC after the show today.  He and David just finished recording the concept album for "Dorian" which is a musical they recently did together in Los Angeles.  "Dorian" is based on the 1945 movie "The Picture of Dorian Gray."


Jeff is going to the concert today with friends from San Diego - one of them was a classmate of Douglas Sills at ACT. in San Francisco, so I have enjoyed talking to him about Douglas.


I think everyone had a good time and enjoyed our day of Ballfesting.  They all say they will be back next year for another STAGE concert, too.


We took lots of pictures, and I can't wait to see how they turned out!  


(NOTE:  See Margie's Review for photos)


See you all real soon,

Love and hugs, Jackie J



Our Trip Journal Posted to the BallfestNews Mailing List - March 14, 2000


Hello from the Pacific Northwest!


We had such an interesting and exciting trip that I hardly know where to begin.


We left home on Tuesday evening, Feb 29th and spent the night in Seattle, had a great Thai dinner and went to bed almost too excited to sleep.  In the morning, we took the car to Rachel's jobsite to store our car, and were driven to the station bright and early by one of Rachel's fellow employees.


We took the Coast Starlight which must be the nicest train in the Amtrak fleet, and met a delightful young man at lunch who was moving from Seattle to Los Angeles, and who was tall, gorgeous, single and a hopeful screen writer who needs to be closer to the movie industry.  We exchanged email addresses, and of course, we told him about the Ballfest and about Michael.  He wasn't able to join us for the BF that weekend, but is writing almost daily, and besides musical theatre, he is also a bird watcher, as we both are, so again, Michael seems to find new friends for us everywhere we go.


Lunch, wine tasting and dinner were superb, as always, and we were both asleep much earlier than usual.  I have to confess that we listened to Martin Guerre for about half the trip, having recently seen that show in Seattle, and loved it!  (Thanks to Linda Bates for sharing that music with me long long ago)


On Friday, we traveled through some spectacular scenery, ate more delicious food, tasted more wine, and stopped briefly at San Luis Obispo, where Britt met us with two lovely long loaves of the famous San Luis Obispo sour dough bread!  She should be off hanging out somewhere in France just now, but I think we had the shortest mini Ballfest on record, so far as I know ~ 10 minutes maybe, but we made the most of our time, and babbled like we MB fans always seem to do!


The train crew were all just wonderful, and will be with us again on the return trip.  We got to Glendale safe, sound and tired, where our Jeff met us and whisked us away to Silver Lake where we were greeted by "Chaucer" who is Jeff's 10 month old Norwich Terrier.


Friday was spent settling in and calling everyone to pass along dinner info for Saturday's Ballfest.  Jeff took us to dinner at a delightful authentic Spanish restaurant which is housed in a former movie set!  It is called "El Cid" and the dinner was spectacular, as was the sangria and the flamenco dancers.  Since we had all lived in Spain for three years, it was a wonderful memory evoking evening.


Saturday finally arrived, and 12 of us met at "CHA CHA CHA" for a Caribbean style Ballfest dinner.  As Marjorie mentioned, there was Eric Moore, Heather Heslep and her boyfriend Mark Morrissey, Judy and Steve Sobel, Emi and her mom Jennifer Irikawa, Lou Ann Kennedy, Marjorie Siu and  Merrill, Jeff and me.  We ate, talked, looked at the four Ballfest albums I had brought along, and had one really great time, although it was a bit noisy and hard to hear each other at times.  I think some new friendships were definitely made, and old ones renewed.


After dinner, seven of us drove out to the Luckman Theatre at Cal State L.A. for the STAGE concert.  Shawn and Ted who are both STAGE Board Members met us with hugs and tickets for the cast party!  We checked out the silent auction, but none of us bid on anything this year, although I am still sorry I didn't go for the two autographed Sam Harris CDs and sketch!


I did get the double CD of last year's show though!  This year's show was recorded while we were there and hopefully will be available by summer.  The year before last, you could hear our group during Patrick Cassidy's "C'est Moi" and maybe this year we will be heard after David's number :-)


The show featured music from Annie, Godspell, The Magic Show, The Life, and several other musicals.  There had been some cast changes, but we did see Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Tyne Daley, Betty Garrett, Bill Hutton, Carol Cook, Andrea Martin and many, many others including Robert Cuccioli (original Jekyll & Hyde) and my friend David Burnham who was a crowd favorite I am happy to say.


He and Robert have just finished recording the concept album for "Dorian" and he tells me they expect to be touring the show fairly soon.


After the show, we spent maybe an hour talking to various cast members, both in the lobby of the theatre and later at the cast party.  We took lots of photos, which should be ready later today, so hopefully we will get some of them uploaded tomorrow.  It was great to see the original Broadway Joseph (Bill Hutton) on the same show (again) with the last touring Joseph (David Burnham) and of course we took pics of them together.  Again, it was a great evening, and we all had lots of fun...brought together by Michael...and supporting a most worthy cause.  The proceeds all go to AIDS related projects in the southern California area.  Shawn and Ted tell me that they are planning to tour the show sometime in the near future, so if that happens, I will give you the info as soon as I get it.  I would imagine there would be a wonderful cast of stars, and that they would visit all major US cities.


On Sunday, Jeff and friends from Palm Springs went to the concert, while M and I pretty much vegged out at home, looking out for the 5-star dinner Jeff fixed before they left.  It was nice to talk to a few of our MB pals who were not able to join us this year...especially Linda, who actually hostessed the first Los Angeles Ballfest at her home.  We missed Rachel, Mary and Lyn who were not able to make it on Saturday, but we hope to see you all next time.  (M is still trying to convince me to come down for Scarlet Pimpernel in May or June)


The only "glitch" in an otherwise perfect weekend was that Lou Ann's windshield wiper blew off while she was driving home in a drenching rain ~ which made further travel impossible!  She also ruined her cashmere sweater!  After spending the night in what could have easily passed for the Bates Motel (from what she tells me) with NO phone, she managed to call us on a fading cel phone which someone let her use after charging her $5.00 for the privilege!  While we were deciding on the best way to solve her problem, on a Sunday morning, she called to let us know that the motel manager's son had showed up and after getting the needed part, had fixed the windshield wiper and she was on her way home again.  I am sure she will never forget the LA BF!  By the way Lou Ann, Sheila, your friend from the Netherlands is a Ballfest list member...so you may both be reading this at the same time!   Amazing how Michael has brought us all together by so many strange and unique routes!


Monday and Tuesday were R & R days for us...M always says we try to cram in too much on our trips, so I planned nothing for the rest of the time, and, of course, he got just as tired, and is ready for a busy schedule next time.  It was really too cold and too rainy to do much this time anyway.  By Wednesday, we were ready for more Ballfesting, so 8 of us got together at M's favorite L.A. restaurant ~ the SoupPlantation in Beverly Hills, where Judy, Steve, Heather, Mark, Dave, Jeff, M and I met for dinner, and album sharing, picture taking and hugging were the activities of choice.  It was a great way to end our L.A. trip, and the next morning we turned in the rental car (Thanks Rachel) boarded the train, and settled in for a lovely trip home.  At lunch, we met a great couple, (Kim and Rich), who live in Arlington, Virginia, who love theatre and movies, and we had such a "Ball" that we spent the rest of the trip with them, told them about Michael, Ballfesting and will probably see them when we are in the area in July!   She was in the Peace Corps and could really tell us some interesting stories.  Richie used to work for NBC news, but is now working for my old alma mater - George Washington University in Wash DC, and they are expecting their first baby in September.  Rich looks quite a bit like Greg Stone, and somehow, M and I just knew he and Kim were gonna be great traveling companions!  By the time we got to Seattle we felt like old friends.


After hugs from half the crew, we detrained at Seattle where Rachel was waiting with our car and more hugs!  We took a quick tour of her new apartment, and headed for our hotel again, and could barely crawl into bed, tired, but radiantly happy.  Breakfast in the morning and back to Bremerton, to unpack and catch up on the mail.  We had an ice cream hour on Sunday with Scott and our granddaughters, and so far, the unpacking, laundry and stuff are getting done, slowly but surely.


M is on his way to pick up the pictures...  (Update: See Margie's Review 2 pages for photos.)


Next week and the following one it will be Ballfesting with Douglas Sills/Scarlet Pimpernel in Seattle, and  the following weekend, Rachel, Merrill and I will be in San Francisco, for the Bay Area BallFest...In between everything else, Richard and Leslie will be arriving from Manila (via L.A.) and a Ballfest that has been nearly three years in the making! :-)  (Update: All are covered elsewhere in this Web site - See our Contents pages.


Love, hugs, God bless, and have a Michaelful day!  Jackie J


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