Thursday, November 12, 2009
Prince Rupert, BC, The Tom Rooney Playhouse
Early, but not too early. We've had a decent sleep in our cabin, watched the sun rise— or the light come up at least— as the ship makes her way up the passage to Prince Rupert. And now we're here! The lower decks where the vehicles are parked give some idea of the size of the ship. It's been very smooth. We had only a couple of choppy hours, and I got through them. Dave says he was fine, but for a few minutes I certainly considered the possibility of using the brown bags provided! Let's get on shore and check this place out!
The town is pretty interesting. It hugs the hills overlooking the ocean. Apparently it has been in a bit of a recession of late, but great hopes are placed on the new rail terminal here— expected to bring in a huge amount of ocean traffic, infrastructure, and jobs. We gather from the shops that there is a pretty nice tourist season here in summer— but here we are between seasons. It is grey and cold and wet. But the boats are busy. As we make our way to our B&B we take in the harbour— big splashes of colour against the sea and the mountains. It's going to be a seafood dinner for me— of that, I am sure! We are in town quite early, but I guess with the ferry schedules people are used to that. Dave and I GPS our way to the Eagle Bluff without any trouble, and are quickly made welcome. This is great!
Yes, indeed. This is a free promo for the Eagle. If you visit Prince Rupert you should try to stay here! After a nap, a warm-up, lunch, we head out to drive around town. We don't have any luck at the Thrift Store, but as we are walking a young gent pops out of a diner and introduces himself as Ken Shaw, our promoter. We've drawn some advance press, so everyone is hopeful that there will be a good turnout this evening.
The Tom Rooney Playhouse is a pretty good sized venue with a nice stage, excellent sound and lighting. Load in and sound check go off very smoothly. We are looking forward to being on stage again after two days of travel!
By showtime it has started to snow heavily. This is the first snow of the year for Prince Rupert, so people are standing about, looking at it in that resigned sort of Canadian way. You know, it's a good night to stay home, nurse a scotch, and look out the window saying, "well, early start tomorrow, looks like three or four inches..." Of course, this is a bad sort of night to be hoping for a sold out house, but we're always determined to deliver to whoever we have. It's a lesson that John Hammond taught to both Dave and myself— individually— over thirty years ago when we were opening shows for him. So tonight, I'm at the bar with a glass of red wine, waiting. We are not disappointed, and we have got a pretty good house by the time we hit the stage.
Here's our tour jacket winner tonight! Apparently this fellow is a blues playing lawyer who can— variously— get you into a good jam, or out of a bad jam. I'm sorry there was not a local act on the bill, as it is always great to meet and hear the local players.
The night goes very well, and it is late by the time we load out into the snow and cautiously make our way back to the Eagle. It's a nice theatre here in Prince Rupert, and a good bunch running it. I hope we'll meet again.