Rockapella at Pepperdine
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts - Smothers Theatre
After a morning of baking and preparing goody bags for the guys, I still had time to get pretty before Wendy and Jeff arrived. Well, I was mostly pretty, just putting on some finishing touches. I had received a text from Rudy 20 minutes earlier, saying that he was in Chino Hills. Wendy said, "He's not going to make it." I don't know why she thought that when we had 6 hours before the show. He was there about 10 minutes after she had given up on him. We were still at my house, and all was good, so they helped me carry the goody bags to the car and we made our way to Malibu.
I told the guard at the entrance that we were dropping off something at Smothers Theatre, and she gave me a token for the parking lot. We briefly contemplated just finding a place to eat on campus and leaving the car in the lot, but we didn't. I asked the folks at the box office if I could give them or the house manager the bags, and they said I could leave them there and they would get delivered. I also picked up my will call tickets. They had trouble finding my tickets but were able to print them on the spot. Technology worked! Yay! JT arrived as we left the theater. HI!
We walked around campus for a little bit and talked about the Battle of the Network Stars and its role in helping me choose Pepperdine as my school when I pursued my Masters degree. We enjoyed the view of the Pacific Ocean until we got hungry and decided to go to dinner. We saw that some students were setting up the plaza around the Christmas Tree, and they said that there was a social function taking place there later that evening. We figured maybe we could check it out if we got back early for the show.
|Sher and Roo chilling, too|
While walking to my car, the guys pointed out to me that there were spots reserved for Rockapella cast and crew. Hey, that could be us! Kinda. Well, I figured I should at least take a picture with the sign. So I moved my car and JeffEvs took this picture. Yes, I'm well aware that the school colors are my least favorite combination of colors EVER. There is a reason you don't see me wearing Waves gear very often.
I usually like to go to Coogie's before a show at Pepperdine, but the restaurant is now called Ollo, even though it is still owned by the same people that own Coogie's. Whoa, it looks really different. First of all, there's a bar. They had closed for 6 months to remodel the place, and it looks swanky now, instead of the homey, beachy feel of Coogie's. The menu is Farm to Table fresh. I changed my mind about my order about 5 times before I finally chose the Seared Sea Scallops with cumin, basil oil, bacon mashed potatoes, and spinach. It was delicious! I wish that I had some bread to sop up the oil, and somehow refrained from just picking up the plate and licking it off.
Rudy and JeffEvs ordered drinks, which made a nice backdrop for GingerGeorge and Scotcherbreadman to pose for a photo. Rudy liked his drink, but later ordered the Spice Cabinet Margarita, which he really enjoyed. JeffEvs ordered the Watermelon Lust, which he also enjoyed. I think everyone really liked their meals, so I'm glad we went there instead of some place on campus.
We had fun with our server, whom decided that whatever we ordered, he would just say that we ordered margaritas. I don't know why because I was still changing my mind about my order at the time. When it came time for dessert, Rudy told him that he was allergic to kiwi and asked if it could be taken out of the panna cotta. The server checked with the chef and told Rudy that it was mixed in with the other fruit. Rudy ordered it anyway and told him that he's not actually allergic, just doesn't like it. The server threatened to have the chef double the kiwi. When the dessert came, Rudy took one bite of his, then tried mine, and asked if he could change his. I don't know why he just didn't avoid the panna cotta in the first place. The server was appropriately snarky with Rudy while I was mortified. This whole exchange inspired a new band name, though, which is always a plus: Sarcastic Kiwis. Anyway, here's a picture of my yummy dessert, the butterscotch creme de pot.
When we had finally taken up as much time as possible without being totally irritating to the restaurant staff, we returned to campus for the show. We still had a little bit of time and checked out the plaza, but some of us didn't feel right about crashing the student party even though the folks setting it up had told us to return. So we sat on very heavy wooden chairs and chatted until Bro informed me that he had arrived. Bro and V were able to bring the kids because Jenn and Katie had both dropped out due to illness. As I was saying hi to all of them, who should come up to me but my dear friend Gordon! Gordon was the first friend that Angela and I made while standing in line for a Rockapella show. I don't know what show it was, but it was very early on in PellaPusher years. He was even wearing his Rockapella varsity jacket that I love. He said that he was hanging out with the band before the show. I asked him later where they went to lunch, and he said Wahoo's. How am I NOT surprised?
We did some ticket exchanging so that the family could all sit together, and I sat by Rudy in row G. Thank you, Dodie, for allowing for this to happen! Let me tell you right now that I don't like being so far away from the stage when Rockapella is there, even though our seats weren't bad. It didn't help that my original seat in row B was still a little bit farther than I would have liked because there was so much space between the stage and row A. But I was happy to sit by Rudy because we hadn't sat together at a Pella show for a very long time. Besides, I knew that I'd be in the front row later in the week, so it was all good. Linda arrived and introduced us to her sister, Diane, whom was attending her first Rockapella show. They sat behind me and Rudy. Dodie was on the other side of the theater, sitting by KP and Nicole, in Jenn's seat. We all finally settled down to watch the show.
Wait. I need a picture of the stage first.
I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas
Here we are, sitting in our seats, all mellow, listening to the dulcet tunes of the Sun Bros, and lo and behold, the lyrics to the new song turn out to be based on this year's presidential election. "I said Obama's from elsewhere...(Somebody snitched on me) / I said a ferret was my hair...I wrote in Gary Johnson's name...I know that Hill will win the same..." Scott forgot a line somewhere in there, I think because he was laughing. Something something "authenticity". The line "now I'm Mister President" had a reaction of silence, then boos. The song was mashed up with Michael Jackson's "Bad", and I laughed at the background lyrics of "Can I get a tic tac?" Oh, Scott Leonard, I love you and your wit.
Rudy's reaction to Bryant: DANG!
I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day
I miss you, Steve. I was like this when I first heard Steve sing because I missed Kevin, too. It's just that the first notes I want to hear at the start of a Rockapella Holiday concert are the ones from the lead's voice, you know? The one that I last heard, at least. I actually still miss Kevin's voice on this song because it's the one on the CD.
BTW, Steve is now listed as "Guests" on the official site. That's just a whole other blog post and I need to hash that all out in my head first, so....yeah.
Scott introduced himself as Hermie the Dentist.
Hope We Hold
The harmonies were a little off. Oh, Hi, Mitch! Nice to see him smile over at me. Maybe. Well, at least in my general direction.
Scott loves California. We love you, too!
Scott: How many are celebrating Hanukkah this year?
(Response from several people)
Scott: That's about ten times more than we had in Texas for three days.
Mitch was all crazy.
Scott (spontaneously after the song was done): HANUKKAH!
Bryant tried to get in on the action, and the tenors finally let him join. I don't think they ever let George join. Scott stopped the music with some hip action.
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
There's my whistle!
Jeff tapped Scott's butt during his face drumming solo.
Scott: Thank you, Jeff, for your sound effects. It's a good thing you have a beard. Of course, when you have a beard, it gets hard on those hands.
Walkin' in A Winter Wonderland
I love that when the guys copy Scott's steps at the end, they also slapped their own butts then walked funny.
Scott: We have a brand new group of guys. Mitch was filling in for us in Branson and Laguna. He was subbing then, but then we said, "you be sounding good, you look so fine, will you join the group?"
Scott then introduced the next song as a mix of McCartney and Tchaikovsky.
Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time
Nice. The next time I'm in this theater, I'll be hearing Tchaikovsky again, watching the niece in "The Nutcracker"!
Scott started to talk about growing up watching "Rudolph" on TV. Somebody cheered.
Scott: You grew up, too, I love it. We all grew up.
Scott: If you missed that thing, you missed it. I would sit there and wait from 3:00, no bathroom break, that's it....I now have Rudolph.com. Nothing's been happening for about 40 years. (Talks about the scientific possibility of a red-nosed reindeer). So there, all you naysayers, all you haters. Don't throw that at me, I'll take you down.
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Mitch showed off his stanky leg. Bryant was getting down during the V formation.
Calvin: (Yes, Calvin talked!!!) I came from a really large family. Christmas would be like American Idol. We'd all sing, and my uncle would be like Simon Cowell (thumbs down).
Cal dedicated the next song to his wife.
Merry Christmas, Darling
Scott introduced their new bass, Bryant: That truly basso profundo voice doesn't come every day. He's in high demand, singing with Vocalosity and VocaPeople, but we snagged him for California.
Scott, about Jeff doing everything that requires intelligence: He holds all the money. We're always short. What's the deal?
JT: Your shortness is not my problem.
Scott: Ouch. I've let you abuse my bottom, and now to my face. We'll see where it goes from there.
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
I like this song, but I miss my favorite original Rockapella song that they used to do in this part of the show.
Christmas, Don't Be Late
Calvin did the hula hoop motion for Bryant.
Scott: Me, I want a recount, please. (Big laughs and cheers from the audience)
Bro asked me if the sound was bass-heavy or was it due to his being near the speakers. I didn't think it sounded like that from my seat. He also asked me if Mitch was looking at me or him, but I only paid attention when MR looked at me, so I don't know.
Jingle Bell Rock
HO! Bryant: "Get your ding dong". Did they always sing that?
Scott: Oh my goodness. That was a little...a little stupid.
Calvin really knows his steps now (I'm thinking of when he first joined the group and was concentrating on the notes so much that he hardly danced).
Please Come Home For Christmas
Nice catch, Scott!
Scott: Malibu is ready for Kwanzaa.
Matunda Ya Kwanzaa
Nice bass performance, Bryant!
Scott said to a woman in the front row, Samantha: You are tickled by me. I hate it when we get a shy one.
Samantha said that she's from California.
Scott: I could tell. What do you do?
Samantha: I rock and roll.
Samantha said that she doesn't sing, but she does dance. Oh, boy, and she did. So much so that Mitch clearly didn't know what to do. Calvin motioned for him to go over and sing to her, but as soon as he sang his line, he went back downstage. They looked frightened. I was frightened. Jeff did some hip checks with her. There was a lot of confusion, especially from me because I'm not used to JT dancing with the girl on stage during this part. Or perhaps because I thought to myself, "Should have picked my niece. WHAT was he thinking?"
Bryant: My favorite part of singing with these gentlemen is looking out and seeing all of the smiling faces.
Scott: I didn't know you had that much aggression in you, Bryant.
Auld Lang Syne
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Go, Mitch! That was nice.
Scott and Cal pointed to each other during the slide show.
Angels We Have Heard On High
Bryant needs to conduct the audience more for the participation portion.
Scott said that they were going to Tracy, and we cheered: Road trip to Tracy!
All I Want for Christmas Is You
Samantha stood up and danced. Girl, there are people behind you that would like to watch the show. Did she not think we had watched enough of her before?
Rockapella sang on the Carmen show for 59 years, according to Scott.
Carmen / Billie Jean
Go, Mitch, with your MJ kick!
Hold Out for Christmas (off mic)
Meet and Greet
Jeff walked through the lobby door, came up to me, hugged me, and said, "I could hear you cackling out there."
Sher: Somewhere out there. Sorry I'm so loud.
JT: No, You're perfect, you're perfect! It kept me going!
Aw, thanks, JT. When did this become a thing? I didn't have to hunt him down to greet him. He found me. What?!
|With the newbie|
Calvin told JeffEvs that they went to Wahoo's for lunch. JeffEvs informed him that it is a local chain. I love getting hugs from all of the guys, but Cal's seem to be the tightest. He's such a sweetie.
|His hugs make me smile this way|
Mitch gave me a bunch of hugs and I told him I was glad to see him (last time I saw him I wondered if I'd ever see him again, and he hopefully said, "I'm going to say yes. Yes. I WILL see you again"). I introduced him to Rudy and Rudy mentioned Steve. I said that Mitch and I have already talked about that, he knows I love seeing him, and we're good. Mitch nodded in agreement. Rudy asked if I went to Disneyland with Mitch and MR gave Cal a hard time again, especially about Tower of Terror. Cal: Why did you have to mention that again? They're so darn funny.
|Mitch and Sher|
|Yay! She took a picture with the guys!|
I said hi to Bryant, and he said, "I saw the writing on the bag and said, 'Dammit! I know who that's from! And I bet there are 90 cookies in that bag. DAMMIT!" You're welcome, BV. Bryant said that he had three weeks to learn the music. Yeah, but you're a pro!
I waved to Scott as he talked to other people. KP said that once Fred arrived and started talking to her, Scott looked at the two of them and said, "I'm going to go say hi to Sherry." Aw, sweet. His first words to me as he hugged me: "Thank you for the cookies." I told him that their videos have been getting me through the last couple of months. "Because I don't love you enough already, you go and make those videos and make me love you more. Because (I mouthed the actual words) WTF?!?" He laughed and said, "Yeah, I knew it would go over well in California, but didn't know about Texas. They were OK with it, but probably only because he won. If he had lost, they probably wouldn't have liked it at all." I told him that I got a promotion and he congratulated me. He kept yawning and I asked if he was tired. He said it was 2 AM for him. I told him I"m not used to them coming over the day before the show, but maybe they just wanted to get adjusted to the time. Or leave Texas. He smiled. Gordon came over to talk to us and I told Scott that Gordon was my first friend in line at a Rockapella show, 19 years ago. Wow. That was a long time ago.
|I love the color of his shirt|
As we were saying our good nights, JT asked, "Are you coming to the San Francisco show?" Um, yeah, if he means "Tracy". We told them all to travel safely and would see them on Friday.
We took a different route home than we did on our way there because I don't like driving winding roads at night. On the way, Rudy learned that Rockapella had made a third Christmas CD. I told him I'd get one for him in Tracy. But I forgot. Sorry, Rudy.
You know what I don't like? Having to go to work the day after a Rockapella show. Because, like, I'm tired, and I can't blog before I go to bed, and this had to wait several days. Sorry for the delay, Posse.
Next up: Pella at Tracy, CA