Monday, May 3, 2010

iTour: Israel 5/2: Jerusalem

in the arab quarter, Jerusalem

Pretty good day. Had an early trip to Jerusalem, saw the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, drove next to the 'Valley of Death' but didn't have time to walk down there. Wailing Wall ... several interesting old churches, a few stations of the cross, and the Church of the Sepulchre, containing the slab Christ was (maybe?) buried on and is over the spot he was nailed to and then crucified. Heavy stuff. One cool old church was a greek orthodox church underground, begun in an old cave ...

Luckily we had time for a trip over to the Iraqi Market, stopping in the old Roman Market along the way. In the Iraqi market we got a great meal of Hummus with Meat, Eggplant Moussaka (with meat), some sort of rice dish with carmelized onions and some kind of soup with dumplings.

After the trip, graciously led by Yoav's sister Judy and her son Asif, I drove us home in the rental car. Yeah, I don't know how legal it was, but I drove through downtown Jerusalem, the West Bank and back to Tel Aviv while Judy navigated.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

iTour: Israel 5/1

A few pics:
the view from the top of Masada

Our theater in Jerusalem:

Bettie and James and the Elvis mug

Dome of the Rock (supposed site of the ascension of Muhammad) built over the old jewish Temple built by Herod.Getting ready for the show in Jerusalem:

Friday, April 30, 2010

a day off!

Today we met at 8 to head out to Masada and the Dead Sea.

Stopped at Qumeran along the way - the area where in 1947 a pair of Bedouins stumbled across the Dead Sea Scrolls. A cool stop, to visit the area where the Essenes did their thing. Some suggest there's evidence that John the Baptist was an Essene, and that the apostle Paul was as well.

Masada was pretty cool, Herod built this amazing mountain top palace/stronghold, and then never spent any time there, except for a couple visits. It's an Israeli national symbol now ... and at one point the Byzantines built a church and had a monastery up there.

We drove through parts of the West Bank to get there, that was cool.

Best part of the day was the Dead Sea ... I've never ever floated before, I always sink, like most men in the company. We had a great time floating out in the water, goofing around with the black mud full of minerals all over us and paddling back out in to the water. It stung in our cut feet, and MAN does it burn if it gets in your eyes! It was a really great ending to the day - we'd been on our feet all day and listening to the tour guide. It was interesting stuff, we were just all so tired, so it was nice to have some time to play together in the mud and water.

We stopped at the Elvis diner on the way back, outside Jerusalem in the West Bank, in an area of Israeli control in the Palestinian territory.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

iTour: Israel 4/29

I wish I had more to say. There's no denying we're here to work ...

Tuesday I went to an artist market with Amy, Annmaria and Cisco. I didn't see anything that grabbed me so I headed back to the hotel for a nap and some yoga before the hour ride to Petah Tikvah. The show went fine, sort of a lukewarm audience at first.

The show was at 9, but at 7:30 we found it was really at 8:30! That was fine, since it meant we'd get back to Tel Aviv before our favorite falafel stand closed. I got sabiq: eggplant, hummus, tahini, tomato onion parsley and hard boiled egg in a pita with spicy oil. Real good.

Yesterday was like that, only it was a longer drive and we ate in Haifa before bussing home - I saw nothing of Haifa but the theater and the restaurant down the block.

This morning I wok up late, and headed out to breakfast with my kindle. I ate at Bistro 99 down the street - eggs, tomato cucumber salad, olives, bread and cappuccino all for 10 bucks!

Today we head to Jerusalem ... I am psyched but don't expect to see much until our group tour on sunday...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

iTour: Israel day 1

We got to our hotel monday morning at 4 am. Cool mural above my bed.
Slept until 1 and spent the rest of the day at the beach with Amy and Annmaria. Rob joined up with us for dinner in old Jaffa. We stumbled into a really nice restaurant.

I got a piquant tomato salad, tomato, onion, cilantro and melon all diced up together, followed by some sort of almond stuffed pork medallions on onions and cucumbers that was out of this world. The drink special was arak (anise liquor, like sambuca) with fresh pomegranate juice and ice. Really good.

Today I am heading to an art market before we leave for our show in the Tel-Aviv suburb of Petah-Tikvah.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

iTour Stage 2: Modena, Italy

Ceiling of the theater here in Modena

Beautiful theater here in Modena.
We didn't have to rehearse as much here, as they figured they'd let us rest a little more. However, I could have used it since this was the steepest rake. I made up for it by spending time warming up, making sure I covered tricky stuff like, turning on a diagonal.

Sean has a level app in his iphone, and has been measuring the last few rakes. Mestre was around 4 degrees, Pavia 2, and Modena 5.6! It doesn't sound like a big number or difference, but you could get a calf stretch by facing upstage ...

Smoke: Changes opens with a haze onstage. Steve called smoke go, then stop smoke. The guy misunderstood and cranked it up more. As a result there was so much smoke onstage that we couldn't see the audience, and they couldn't see us. It was like a scene from Spinal Tap. You couldn't even see the 1000 foot-candle lights from the side of the stage when onstage.

There was a pocket that seemed clear of smoke so I steered my solo/duet with Amy down to that part of the stage, but according to Bettie and Andy out front it didn't matter: when the curtain rose so much smoke went into the audience that they couldn't see more than a few feet.

Spinal Tap.

At least dinner was good.

Today we fly to Israel. First yoga in the room and then a walk with a few of the others. It's a holiday and everything here is closed, btu Amy and I have to settle a bet and someone owes a gelatto. Trouble is I can't remember who owes whom ...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

iTour Stage 2: Italy tough day-2 Pavia

The above 2 pics are of the theater we performed in tonight in Pavia. Beautiful! And we got home at the timely hour of 3:15 ... so why am I posting this before bed?

nice theater in Modena ... we had a good time eating gelato and cappuccino between rehearsal and the show. This was Thursday. We got home at 3:45 am, by the time I brushed my teeth and did a little stretching to undo the busride the morning birds were singing.

Time for bed ... no bus ride today, just a 4 pm theater call for rehearsal and show.