Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This weeks has been a peak experience for me. last Sunday, we had a day off from rehearsals on the Norwegian JADE, one of our cruise ships stationed in the Mediterranean. Since we were on a 2-day overnight in Alexandria, Egypt, we decided to embark on an adventure to Cairo. Mindy McLemore, Stephen Kummer and I took a 3-hour ride of a lifetime (and at times we thought in might be the end of our "life time"!) to see the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. We've all studied the pyramids in history classes in school, but seeing them in person was far better than looking at photos in books. Standing at the foot of the pyramids was awe-inspiring. Standing next to the enormous stone blocks offered a sense of the scale of the thousands of stone blocks intricately cut and stacked to form the geometrically perfect tombs for ancient Egypt's Pharaohs. Unfortunately, the pyramids are not properly maintained, and their condition was disturbing. Hundreds of camel merchants, trinket dealers, and shady "tour guides" are more than willing to fleece unsuspecting tourists. It was a wonderful morning, in spite of those distractions.

Our tour of the pyramids was followed by a delicious traditional Egyptian lunch in one of Cairo's "American-friendly" restaurants. We were happy to see the menu was in English!. Later, we visited Cairo's ancient history museum. The museum houses the world's largest collection of precious antiquities from Egypt's ancient ruling dynasties. The collection includes the fabulous artifacts from the tomb of King Tutankhamen. In addition to Tut's iconic gold mask and sarcophagus, the exhibit includes thousands of priceless furnishings, jewelry, tools, statues, and household items placed in the tomb to insure the king's successful journey to the afterlife. It was simply breathtaking. This is a must-see if you have a chance to visit Egypt.

The incredible beauty of the museum was in stark contrast to Cairo's pervasive poverty. Abandoned apartment buildings and tiny roadside shacks were everywhere. The traffic on Cairo's crowded streets was oppressive - and scary! Thousands of taxi's, trucks, and private cars jockey for position with horse dawn carts and high-pitched motor scooters. We eventually found it was best not to think about our perilous situation - we trusted our driver, and he ultimately got us home safely. What a day!

Here are some shots taken during our journey. A huge thanks goes to JADE production manager Khaled Ali and his mother for making the arrangements for our day in Cairo!

This is the museum that houses the King Tut and ancient Egyptian antiquities exhibits. Fantastic!

The Great Pyramids overlook the city of Cairo. It was really interesting to hear the mosques broadcasting their services via loudspeakers across the city.

This is the view of the burial grounds around the pyramids.

This is the Pyramid of Khafre. The smooth stones seen at the top of the structure originally covered the entire monument. Many of these stones now lie as rubble at the base of the pyramid.

Its impossible to get a sense of the size of the structures until you stand at the base and look up.

Mindy McLemore and Stephen Kummer sitting at the base of one of the pyramids.

The Great Sphinx was a highlight of our trip.

Cairo is unlike any city I've ever seen. There were literally thousands of abandoned apartment buildings and homes all over the city. Most of these were inhabited by squatters.

The traffic in Cairo was frightening. If a highway had 3 official "lanes", the drivers found a way to make it 4 lanes. Meanwhile, the motor cycles and scooters would drive in between the cars. It was truly scary!

The most unique aspect of Egyptian traffic was the lack of crosswalks and traffic signals. As the locals told us, traffic signals, speed limits and other normal traffic controls are simply "suggestions". While traffic is moving at up to 50 miles an hour, pedestrians simply walk out into the moving traffic and weave through the cars to reach the other side. Even small children venture into the streets unsupervised to get to the other side. We were freaked out by the potential for killing someone. But no one seemed to mind. It is a way of life there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009


Several of our Gary Musick Productions team members are out on the Norwegian JADE this week installing a new cast in the production shows. I got to see the opening of SHOWDOWN a couple of nights ago - it was awesome! The crowd loved the show, and the audience was totally pumped through the entire performance. The energy was fantastic! tomorrow night we open "SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE". I am still on the ship, so I can't upload pictures, but I will try when I get home. We also had the day off yesterday in Alexandria, Egypt, and Mindy McLemore, Steve Kummer and I had a peak experience touring the pyramids and Sphinx in Cairo. It was amazing, and very inspiring. Again, pictures will be posted when we're on land.

Hey, how about that stock market coming back! Let's all pray this is the beginning of the end of this present craziness.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, March 10, 2009


Last night's “Club 501” Disco gathering at The Sommet Center Nashville was the 11th annual Predators Gala Foundation Event. The Foundation through its grant program supports kids and kids organizations all over Middle TN. Kudos to Foundation leaders Gerry Helper and Rebecca Ward and their efforts to raise money for these needy charities. Kudos also go to the players as they step up in unbelievable ways to help make this Foundation a success. This is the Gary Musick Company's 11th year producing the event for The Predators. GMC producer Curt Wallen and and our scenic team once again spearheaded efforts in designing and implementing the production. The evening included a silent auction, player introductions, special awards for outstanding Predators play over the past year, and dancing by our cast of red hot disco dancers. Thanks to everyone who made the evening a fantastic success!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8, 2009


As a wrote last week, we recently had a late season snow storm in the South that blanketed Nashville with 1-2" of snow. Here are a couple of shots of flowers in my yard that I took then, and then shot again today. No doubt, spring has sprung! And that's a good thing. 

Sunday, March 8, 2009


The new cast of the Celebrity "Infinity" just completed their first week of rehearsals here in Nashville. Yesterday, they did a run of their Broadway show for us. In spite of a difficult week of travel delays, bad weather, and late arrivals, the cast did a fantastic job! This cast represents a perfect blend of returning performers and new talent. They have solid technique and outstanding performance skills. The audiences will love this cast!

Here are some shots I took during the rehearsal. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the Infinity run-throughs when I return from the "Jade" in a couple of weeks. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Many of our Gary Musick team members just returned from Tampa where we helped the JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT organization with the production of the U.S. BUSINESS HALL OF FAME induction ceremonies. This is our second year to work with J.A. on this major event designed to honor the accomplishment of entrepreneurs and business leaders from every phase of American business. The show was produced by GMC staff producer Bert Hensley, with assistance from Jim Sheridan, Jonathan Yeaworth, Chris Lyle, Chris Arsenault, Don England, Greg Tipton, Gabe McCaully, Kelly Evans, Rebecca Shubart, Johnny Jones, and Jimmy Davis. Junior Achievement is a worldwide organization that teaches young people about business, personal financial responsibility, and entrepreneurship. This year's inductees included the founder of Publix supermarkets, the founding partners in Outback Steakhouse (and several other national restaurant chains), the founder of AOL, the first female member of the New York Stock exchange, and the visionary pioneer in cellular technology for AT&T. More than 800 leading executives, sponsors and members of the national business community gathered in Tampa to celebrate the accomplishments of these individuals. It was a great evening that also succeeding in raising substantial funds that will be used to support J.A's nationwide efforts to educate kids in all things business. 

The show was held at the Marriott Waterside Tampa Bay. This is a photo of the Tampa Bay Convention Center taken from the window of my hotel room.

The day began with a luncheon to honor J.A.'s Leadership Awards recipients.

One of the great things about the J.A. program is its nurturing of promising young leaders. This is a photo of 14 year old Ben Carpenter. Ben is confined to a wheelchair, but is one of the most dynamic and engaging young men I have met. He acted as the MC for the luncheon program - congrats to Ben for a fantastic job!

The featured speaker at the luncheon was Tiffany Bolden. She shared her inspiring story of accomplishment in spite of difficult economic times. Awesome job!

Several Leadership Award recipients were honored for their contributions to JA's activities across the country.

The stage was transformed to an elegant look for the evening awards dinner. The event theme was "Portraits of Achievement", so we designed elegant projection screen wraps that looked like portrait frames. 

Banners featured the five laureate organizations.

Here's a shot of the stage just before doors opened for dinner.

Special entertainment was provided by "ENTERTAINMENT REVUE", a musical group comprised of talented young women from the Tampa area. They were fantastic!

A shot of the orchestra just before the show began. In a time when so much music is pre-recorded, it was nice to have a live orchestra for background music and awards play-ons. It really made the show have an Academy Awards feel!

This was an inexpensive yet effective entryway created to compliment the "PORTRAITS OF ACHIEVEMENT" theme.

Our mistress of ceremonies was CNBC journalist Margaret Brennan.