Saturday, August 20, 2016

By the Beach with the Boys

Rockapella in Laguna
Show #1
Friday, August 19, 2016
Laguna Playhouse
Laguna Beach, CA

Rockapella has been at the Laguna Playhouse since last week, but due to Drum Corps Finals, I was unable to attend their shows.  Luckily for me, their run in So Cal lasts 3 weeks, so I bought tickets to see them on the Saturdays and Sundays, and told myself to go during the other days if my other friends decided to go on those days.  I didn't get much response, though, because APPARENTLY my friends do not know a good thing when it's in their own backyard.  On Sunday when I was coming home from my drum corps trip, I was sad that I wouldn't be able to make it in time to see their Sunday show, especially because it would be my only chance to see Steve during this run.  Oh well, sorry I missed you, Steve.  As I was texting Liz about her experience at Saturday's show, my hunger pangs for my Pella grew deeper, and I asked her if she'd like to go to a weekday show.  After I checked my work schedule, we decided to go on Friday.  Stupid work.  I should have kept all 3 weeks of my planned vacation.  But I did need to be there, so whatevs.  We met up with Karla at her house and carpooled to Laguna.  Thank you to Joe for the use of your transponder so that we could take the toll road!  There was a bit of traffic after we exited the toll road because it's summer in Laguna, and it is the time for Pageant of the Masters.  We thought we could park in the arts school parking lot, but couldn't find any signs to pay or catch the trolley, so we ended up in Lot 17 and parked on gravel.  I don't particularly like to park and walk on gravel, but I'm also cheap so we decided not to look for any other parking, and took the trolley to the Playhouse.  The trip was just a few minutes long, and honestly, we could have walked there had a sidewalk existed.  
Sculpture at Trolley Stop 17

We went to the box office and picked up our tickets, and I also asked the ticket guy if he could have someone bring my box of treats to the band.  I was in the area of Porto's Bakery the day before, so I picked up some of their wonderful Guava Refugio pastries and the Cream Cheese rolls.  I hope they like them!  
Who are these guys?

We were hungry and decided to eat at Romeo Cucina, an Italian restaurant down the street from the Playhouse.  I asked for a recommendation on the wine, and took the server's advice, ordering a Nero D'Avola, Rapitala from Sicily, which was smooth and tasted nice (red wine).  I also ordered Scampi e Capesante, which was delicious.  For dessert, I ordered the Torta Nocciola, which, as KP described, tasted like a Ferrero Rocher in cake form.  

We walked across the street to the beach so that I could look at the water for a bit before going back to the Playhouse.  Our seats were in the front row, A 106-108.  Liz was frightened about how close we were to the stage.  I was in my happy place.  

The Sun Brothers started singing from the top of the stairs in the house.

They were wearing their orange sunglasses.  Calvin shook hands with Liz and me.  Hi!

Across the Alley from the Alamo
I really like this Mills Brothers song, and I like that they're singing it.


Rock Around the Clock
Scott is the shiniest, with the lightest colored suit which is shiny, and his belt is shiny, and he's wearing my favorite tie (purple with silver bar and fleur de lis).  

Jailhouse Rock
Scott and Jeff looked at Karla.  

Scott:  We spent the last six weeks in Brandon, MO, so we're glad to be here in Laguna Beach.  I mean, Branson is nice, but Laguna Beach, c'mon!

Dancing in the Streets
JT only thrusted his pelvis twice, and looked over at Calvin.  APPARENTLY, Calvin controls how crazy JT is allowed to get.  They dance like robots when singing about Motor City.

Just My Imagination
Bryant:  That's a move right there!
Mitch:  Yes, it is!  

Oh, wait.  FYI:  Bryant is singing bass, in Ryan's place.  Mitch is singing tenor, in Steve's place.  They're funny.

Scott:  Calvin is from East St. Louis
Some in the audience: <cheers>
Scott:  Oh, you made the trip.  nice to see you!


Scott:  Mitch comes from Akron, OH. He is living the high life because Cleveland finally ended its drought of sports championships, and he's here to rub it in everybody's face.  

Scott:  I grew up in listening to Andy Williams and would start listening to the Christmas album in September.  I think he has the greatest pop voice of all time.  When we were singing in his theater (in Branson), we thought it would be nice to sing one of his tunes as a tribute.

Moon River
"It's the most wonderful moon of the's the most wonderful river of all..."
Well, that was lovely!  Yay -- a new song!

Scott: Bryant is involved with other groups - Vocalosity, Voice People, but we were able to snag him for Laguna.  

Scott started to talk about Jeff, then someone in the back of the audience yelled, "We love our Jeff in Reno!"  Jeff shaded his eyes from the lights and yelled, "Who's THAT?!"  

When Calvin talked about Scott's "Spaghetti Legs", they all pointed to Scott's legs.  

Scott talked about records, then told Mitchell: "It's before your time, son."

People cheered when Scott mentioned the Mills Brothers.  
Scott:  I thought I saw that demographic here tonight.

Paper Doll
So weird not to have a particular someone make Flirty Flirty Eyes at me.   Is this how all of you others feel when nobody is being all cute with you during this song?  (Not the weird part, just the part where you're not giggling at the cute). Bryant did make big eyes at KP, though.   I still love the song, especially watching the rhythm section.  They were particularly bouncy tonight.   

Blame It On The Boogie
Mitchell was particularly not in charge of his own legs, and he was dancing around so energetically that his mic pack fell.  He looked up at all of the guys, thinking maybe it was one of theirs, but they all pointed to him.  He uses a lot of pelvic action in his dancing.  I'm just saying.

Liz:  The young one is so enthusiastic!
She was talking about Mitchell.  I will now think of him with this nickname, and for the rest of the night, I giggled when I thought about it.

Robin's here!!!  Hi, Robin!  She and Liz thought Mitchell's energy reminded them of a puppy.

I have deemed the upstairs restroom "the Posse restroom" because we're the only ones that go up there.

Used Ta Be My Girl
Bryant pushed Calvin away so that he could sing to the My Girl in the audience.  Scott pouted.  It was hilarious.  In my head, I heard, "I like My Girl, too."

OK, the peacock flourish bit was hilarious.  First, it was normal, but Bryant and JT did the flourish.  Then JT did a raspberry instead of the beautiful flourish.  Then they all did the flourish. 

Scott made a coffee connection with Debbie, a teacher of special education.  Thank you for helping out the kids, Debbie!  She said that it was her friend Karen's birthday, and that she should be up there.  Karen yelled out, "Can we take a picture?" 
Scott:  Maybe *after* the show.
Scott asked if they'd been celebrating, and Debbie said yes.
Scott: Are you all liquored up now?
Debbie did not sing along, and said that Karen really sings well.  

Stand By Me

Mitchell:  You smell nice!  

Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Debbie started to leave the stage on her own after the bow.
Mitchell (with CD in hand):  I guess I'll keep this.

He did end up giving her the CD and walking her back to her seat.

Instead of what the actual lyric is, Bryant sang, "This is REALLY awesome." in case he needed to sing over others singing the F word.  

Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego
A guy that had been very vocal in the audience during the show was a big fan of JT.  During JT's solo, he stopped, pointed to the guy, and said, "This guy."  His friends, whom were in different places in the audience, cheered.


Up On The Roof / Wonderful World (off mic)
After Mitch did his solo, he backed up...right in front of JT.  JT gently patted him to move over.
Audience dude:  Yeah, baby!

The audience asked for more, but Scott made a motion of stroking his throat, saying that they couldn't sing anymore.  

Meet and Greet
The meet and greet was scattered, so we waited until the guys talked to other folks before monopolizing their time.  I asked Liz to take a picture of Robin and me while we waited, and she was having trouble with my new camera.  I threatened Liz that if she didn't learn how to use the camera, I would make her be in the pictures.  She quickly learned that we just needed to use the flash.  

Scott saw me waiting, and his face lit up as he walked over to hug me. 
Sherry:  I heard that you missed me last week.
Scott:  Yes!  Very much.
Have I mentioned that I love him?  He said that he saw that I was in Indianapolis.
Sherry:  Yes, in YOUR land!
He asked how it went, and who won.  I told him about the Bluecoats half-pipe craziness and showed him a picture on my camera.  He asked if they were riding skateboards, and I told him that they were just sliding down them and running up.  He said that Jesse is now playing with the New York Knicks drumline!  He also does stuff with the Yankees and other sports events.  I asked if it was weird not to have Jesse at home anymore, and he said, "Not really weird, but sad."  Aw,, he misses his boy so much.  My heart hurts for him.  OK, I'm crying now, but I wasn't last night.  He said that Natalie is still singing, and she's a terrific dancer, and might follow Jesse to NYC. Liz had been asking about Scott's shoes, wondering about the brand, so I asked him.  Pharell designed shoes for Adidas Japan, and they were in a multitude of colors.  Scott picked these pretty blue ones, and you know I needed to take a picture of them with my blue toenails because I'm crazy that way.

An older gentleman came up to Scott to tell him that he was leaving for the evening.  Scott asked me if I had met Jeff's dad.  I said no, and he introduced us, saying that I am a longtime fan and now a friend of Rockapella.  Sweet!  All of a sudden, JT was behind me, and further introducing us, saying that KP is "a Fred groupie, in the modern sense".  I couldn't stop giggling and needed to turn around to giggle.  Jeff's dad said that Fred is a very nice man.  I see a strong resemblance in the two of them.  Jeff said that his dad never has any facial hair, but both of them have stubble right now. Jeff's dad will be leaving on Tuesday, although I don't know if he'll be at the other shows.  He seems like a kind man.  He was a teacher in engineering, I think, which is where we figured JT got his brains and also his respect for teachers.  We said good night to him, and JT thanked me for the pastries, saying that he's going to need to be careful with those.  I asked if he had ever had Porto's, and he didn't think so.  He said that that he took a tiny piece off of one of them, and is looking forward to having more of it.

As I was talking to Scott, I saw that Mitchell was going to leave.  I don't know why but I snapped my fingers at him, like "Garcon!"  Instead of that word, though, I said, "I need to meet you!"  He came over and I introduced myself and apologized for snapping at him.  I mentioned to him and Scott that I noticed that all of the guys were drenched in sweat by the end of the show, but I didn't see one bead of sweat on Scott.  Mitchell said that he had nothing on him to lose.  Scott said that underneath  his clothes, he is wrapped in terry cloth. 

Sherry Sandwich!

Calvin came up to say hi, and I told him that I know I promised to bake for his birthday, but I couldn't resist bringing Porto's.  I told him that he would get his birthday goodies next week.  Mitchell came over to say bye to Calvin, and I asked him what he likes in form of baked goods.  
Calvin:  She takes requests!  Tell her what you like, man!
So I've got at least two recipes for next week.  :)

Not a lot of people were left, but I had not yet met Bryant.  I asked KP and Scott if one of them could introduce me to him because I didn't want to interrupt him speaking with other folks by snapping my fingers and being rude again.  Scott offered to introduce us, and did so once there was a lull in Bryant's conversation with other folks. 
Scott:  This is our new man, Bryant.  This is Sherry.  She was the one that brought the pastries.
Bryant: Oh, thank you!  I'm trying to be good! (as he rubbed his belly)
Sherry: That's not possible when I'm here, sorry.
He was very attentive as KP talked about us being on a road trip and writing haiku.  He's really tall.  I was in heels, so I didn't feel as short as KP did.

Bassman Bryant and me

We said our goodbyes to them and Robin walked us over to the trolley stop before separating from us.

So if you're wondering what Scott meant when he introduced Bryant as "our new man", well, I'm wondering, too.  Last week, Steve mentioned to the posse that Bryant isn't sure what he is.  Interesting.  I do like Bryant's voice.  He has been a fan of Rockapella since he was 8 years old, so he is a Barry fan, and I see the influence in his performance.  Bryant has a great voice and personality, and I think he fits in quite well.  I would miss RyanC if he does leave, but I honestly don't know what's going on, so don't take this as any kind of welcome or goodbye.  I'm already distraught enough when one of them is missing and needs a sub, much less two of them.  I do like Mitchell, too, and hope that he continues to sub for Steve whenever he is unable to be there.  I know that Steve wants to stay with the group, so I hope that this is only for now.  I would rather have some of Rockapella there instead of no Pella at all, so I'm not going to complain.  At least not to them.  :)

I was thirsty and there wasn't anything available after the show, so we stopped at a gas station in Huntington Beach so that Liz and I could get something to drink for the way home.  Ah, the thirst has been quenched, thank you Gatorade.  KP gave us a tour as we drove through her neighborhood.  I dropped them off and made my way home, happy that I made the decision to go a day earlier than I had planned.

Next up:  Show #2 - Olivia's first Rockapella show

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