Nestled in the mountains of New Mexico near the beautiful resort town of Riudoso, the Spencer Theatre is a 24million dollar complex built by the late Jackie Spencer, with monies left over from her Wall street inheritance. Bravo, lady! The story goes she put up the money and said, "I want the best of everything." And she got it. From a distance it looks like a giant white wedge or some bizarre weapon - a cannon to destroy the moon, according to Alan and Dan.
The lobby has two levels, one room with a chic bar, and is dotted with glass sculptures by Chilhuly, from Seattle. Quite remarkable stuff. I'm putting up a post of just pictures. Along with the decoration, the stage is one of the best we've seen. As the TD put it, "We think she's the only person who ever spent more money on the actual stage and equipment than on making the house look good." For instance, their lightboard is so new and sophisticated that it couldn't read our disk!
Needless to say - but I will say it - it was a wonderful day. They also fed us an incredible, nearly gourmet lunch and dinner. They have a wall o' fame where the countless shows that have gone through leave their show logo and cast signatures. We added ours (drawing compliments of Yours Truly) and went on.
Above you see the Pope Joy Hall's very red curtain! The space is wonderful and we expected a smooth easy day. So much for the plans of mice and men. The lightboard began having fits throughout load-in and then just as Alan was settling in to take a last look through cues and call it a day, the light board shut itself off and wouldn't turn back on. Scrambling ensued and Alan worked right up until house open to ensure that we would have good looking lights for the show. He programmed our cues into submasters on the local board so that each could be brought up by bringing up a slider (rather than just pushing a button, with a properly functioning board). We're lucky to have someone so quick on his toes.
It also just goes to prove my theory about worrying. If you haven't scrolled down that far I'll state it again. We worried about the Thespians load in, the drive to Billings, and countless other days we predicted would be rough and difficult but we got through relatively smoothly. They say that 97% of the things you worry about never happen. What does that mean? It means it's the things you never even thought of to worry about will be the ones to swim up and bite your leg off. (Bringing that to a logical conclusion means we should worry about everything in order to prevent it, right? But maybe I'll skip that and give my heart a few extra stress-free years...)
Meanwhile, we then enjoyed a day off! We lived in Albuquerque for several years of my childhood and so everything is vaguely familiar to me there. Unfortuntely I had been groaning my way through an uncomfortable stomach sickness so I spent much of the day in bed feeling sorry for myself before I went out for awhile.
'Old Town' is a fun part of town with several historical buildings (the old church!) and heaps of overpriced New Mexico trinkets and delicious local things to eat. I spent a little money on some souveniers for Mom, Dad, and Jenn since they have sentimental value. Then it was back to the hotel for a massage (oh yes), dinner, and some quality time with HBO.
...tour is rough, let me tell you.
Thank you, New Mexico. Onward to the Lone Star State!