Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 31, 2008

We just returned from a week in New Orleans where we produced the International Association of Administrative Professionals Convention and Education Forum for the 15th straight year. This is a group of about 2000 administrative professionals who work hard...and play hard! These are shots taken at our opening night theme party. We worked with the local host committee to  stage the party in 5 separate rooms with each room themed according to something distinctly New Orleans. Jazz bands, street performers, DJ's, mardi gras decor, Voodoo artists, and Cajun swamp decor made for a great event. One of the highlights of the party was the alligator handler who had two live gators for guests to hold in a photo opp. Its hard not to have a great time in New Orleans...and this was definitely a great way to kick off a fun week in the Big Easy! More photos later this week!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday,July 23, 2008


Last night we got to see the first run of the Norwegian "SPIRIT" cast in their Broadway show. Its always exciting to see a cast in their first attempt at performing a show all the way through, but this cast really rose to the challenge and did an amazing job! It is hard to believe how good they were after one one week of rehearsals. A big "shout out" goes to Claire Williams and Brandon Thomas for their work with choreography and vocals. David Patton and I were extremely pleased with the quality of the talent and the maturity level the cast displayed in their approach to the material. GREAT JOB, CAST! You are off to a fantastic start!

The "SPIRIT" cast on break. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008


One of my favorite things is meeting each new cruise ship cast when they come to Nashville for rehearsals. Their excitement and eager anticipation of the adventures that lie ahead is really cool to see. This week, the cast of the Norwegian SPIRIT came in to begin 3 weeks of rehearsal before heading out to the ship. They are a terrific group and will do a great job with the shows. Tomorrow, we get to see their first run through. Here are some shots from their orientation session. Brandon Thomas will be acting as vocal director and production manager, and Claire Williams will be teaching the choreography. I am really looking forward to seeing the cast perform tomorrow. I will be going out to the SPIRIT in a couple of weeks to be with the cast during their opening cruise.

Here's the cast with Brandon and Claire. There are several cast member returning from previous contracts. 

Mindy McLemore, Brandon, Claire and Denise Hoey taking the cast through the orientation process.
Garris Wimmer explaining his "pet peeves".

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Monuments and Icons

This has been a week of monuments and icons for me. Let's start with the icon. Thursday night,  our producers were invited to an evening of music by Idina Menzel, the internationally acclaimed actress and singer who originated the Broadway role of Maureen Johnson in "RENT", and Elphaba in "WICKED". She certainly has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. her range is endless, and the power of her belt is overwhelming. The performance had a rough start when problems with her in-ear monitors forced her audio engineer to come on stage twice during the first two songs. She was obviously rattled and had trouble regaining focus (by her own admission). However, she eventually pulled it together and totally captured the audience's heart and admiration by the fifth song into the show. She performed a fun medley of songs from her early days as a singer with a wedding band in New Jersey. This was in contrast to most of the other soaring pop power ballads from her new album "I Stand". Her stage persona was endearing, although I was a little put off by her unnecessary use of profanity throughout the show (especially the f-"bomb"...and that was definitely the way it hit the audience when she used it for the first time!).  Her singing was amazing on nearly every song, but I found myself wishing for a higher level of production support from audio and lighting, especially during the encore performance of "Defying Gravity". Overall, it was a great night, though! It's not often that you get to see a true Broadway icon.

Now on to "monuments". I spent the last two days in Washington, DC, shooting a series of videos for the National Association of Electrical Distributors. While there, Jonathan Yeaworth and I spent a few hours hurriedly walking through the museums and monuments around the Mall. It was the first time I had visited the WWII Memorial. I had heard it was a moving experience, and it certainly lived up to its reputation. The majestic fountains and huge winged eagles seemed the perfect tribute to the countless men and women who served this nation and the world during the second world war. The monument is framed by the Washington Monument on one side, and the reflecting pool and Lincoln Memorial on the other. We were there just as the sun sat over the mall, and the lighting made the scene even more inspiring. This is a "must see" if you've not been there before.

The new cast of the Celebrity SUMMIT starts tomorrow. We will then have the JADE, SPIRIT, and SUMMIT rehearsing simultaneously with "Only Make Believe", a new musical tour about to mount September 1.  These next few weeks will be a challenge, but that's what we love best! Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Last night, Gaylord Opryland Hotel opened its new upscale nightclub called "FUSE". This is Nashville's only trendy, upscale dance club, and the celebrities turned out in force for the grand opening. Our company was contracted by Gaylord Opryland to provide the red carpet treatment for their guests (literally!). We designed and installed hundreds of running feet of red carpet and stanchions from the valet drop point outside the hotel leading into the new club. Kid Rock was the MC & guest DJ for the event. Other celebs in attendance included Nick Carter, members of country band "Lonestar", Kim Kardashian, Lady Antebellum, Ty Herndon, and a host of other music and television personalities.  GMC producer Bert Hensley handled the project for us. Congrats to the hotel on a great new addition to the Gaylord Opryland Resort entertainment  offerings! You can check out reviews and shots from the party at...

 I will post some of our shots from the party tomorrow (how's that for a tease!).

Monday, July 14, 2008


Last Friday, we had the opportunity to see the first rehearsal run of "And the World Goes Round", one of the featured productions on the newly re-flagged "NORWEGIAN JADE". The cast has been working incredibly hard all week, and it really showed. This production features a collection of delightful songs and musical vignettes by Kander and Ebb. While there are no glitzy costumes or showstopping production numbers, I found myself thoroughly entertained by our cast of talented musical theater pros. They are such great singers and actors! Here are some shots taken during the rehearsal. More to come!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

2008 "l'ete du Vin Grand Auction"

Last night, some of the world's greatest wine makers, connoisseurs, and collectors gathered in Nashville to attend the 2008 l'ete du Vin Grand Auction. This annual event is the oldest charitable wine auction in the country and is currently the second largest charitable wine auction in the United States. Proceeds from the event go to several cancer research and service organizations in the Nashville area, including Gilda's Club, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Camp Horizon, the Dan Rudy Cancer Center, and Make a Wish Foundation. We have produced the organization's major events for the past 10 years, and they are among my favorite clients. Each year, several internationally known wine makers are invited to be featured guests of the auction. In return, these wineries donate all of the wine served at the week-long series of tastings and dinners, culminating in the grand auction. They also contribute a significant number of valuable wines from their vineyards' collections to be auctioned at the event. Several hundred thousand dollars were raised during the dinner and auction. 

For the past few years, the Grand Auction has been held at the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel, a favorite destination for Nashville's leading social and charitable events. The Gary Musick Company handles all event design, decor, and audiovisual production for the auction. Centerpiece designs were created by Elle's Marche des Fleurs

Here are several photos taken from last night's event. Congratulations to the Nashville Wine Auction on another fantastic year of events! Special thanks to Executive Director Mike Haney and Director of Events Torrey Barnhill, our key contacts from the auction staff. Also, a big thanks goes to our entire GMC team, especially Brandon Thomas who helped me produce the event, and Jonathan Yeaworth who coordinated the technical aspects of the show.  
Sean Yeaworth on camera capturing all the bidding activity. The show was video directed by Jonathan Yeaworth, with Johnny Jones handling audio production. Bradfield Lighting provided stage and scenic lighting.

The theme of the auction was "From Vine to Glass". We portrayed the progression of wine making with giant banners featuring photos of workers in vineyards, traditional wine presses, French wine cellars, and of course, a glass of beautiful French wine. 

When UPS lost part of our backdrop in shipping from the printer, Eric Cardwell and Blair Binkley from our scenic department jumped into action the morning of the show to build a new backdrop of faux wine barrels for the stage. It looked awesome! Thanks, guys!

Here are representatives of the outstanding guest wineries for 2008, 
Chateau Palmer, Louis Jadot, Hulgel Fils, and Pol Roget. 
These are 4 of the top French wine makers.

These are the silent auction tables where guests perused wines, trips, jewelry, and other auction items up for bid.

The stage backdrop was painted by Dean Tomasek and our team of scenic painters. Graphic artist Keith Brogdan did a great job of designed posters that featured each of the guest wineries.

Floral centerpieces were created by our new friends at Elle's Marche des Fleurs.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


This is a scene from the current Norwegian Gem's cast's production of COLORZ, one of our original reviews produced for NCL's newest ship.

Erika is "Gem" Company Manager and Joe is Dance Captain. Great job you guys!

Here are a couple of shots I just snagged from the NCL "GEM" cast photos on Facebook. The cast is doing really well, in spite of some injuries that have created the need for a lot of reblocks. Congrats to the GEM cast for doing such a fantastic job of overcoming these obstacles!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The new cast of the Norwegian Jade arrived in Nashville yesterday for the beginning of rehearsals this morning. What a fun cast! I knew from the moment they introduced themselves at orientation that this would be a great group. Surprisingly, almost every cast member already had a connection with someone else in the cast, even though they were from all over the United States. Some had worked together in New York, or toured together in some regional or national tour. Others had "worked with someone who knew someone who had lived with someone else". It was like Six Degrees of Separation!

Several of them are first time cruisers, so the excitement level was especially high! The JADE spends the entire year in the Mediterranean and Europe, so the ports they'll be visiting are among the most amazing places for cruise ship performers. They have an aggressive 6 week rehearsal process ahead, so we jumped right in to vocal rehearsals this afternoon. I'll keep you posted on their progress!

The NCL SPIRIT cast arrives in about 2 weeks. And then the real craziness begins! 

I'm working on the "l'Ete du Vin" Grand Auction planning this week. This event is the oldest charitable Wine Auction in the United States and the second largest. We're designing the evening to play on the event theme "From Vine to Glass". Brandon Thomas is going to be assisting me this year since Jim Sheridan is going to be on vacation (you dog!). Jonathan Yeaworth will be handling the technical production of the show. Proceeds from the auction benefit several Nashville area cancer research and treatment organizations. More than a million dollars will be raised during the 3 hour dinner and auction. You can learn more about the auction by visiting

Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend coming up!