Monthly Archives: October 2011

Love is NO JOKE!

Here it is at last! People have been asking to see video of the wedding since I released the video of the blessed event in my last blog post. Well here it is! Just to be clear, the gag reel and the wedding were shot separately. But we inter-cut them to provide what we hope is the funniest wedding video you’ve seen! The wedding itself is only 2.5 minutes. The gags with our friends BJ, Peter and Cate last a lifetime!

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It’s Already Christmas!

I’m the world’s biggest Christmas nerd. I usually start celebrating on Thanksgiving, when I first start playing holiday tunes. This year I’m starting MUCH, MUCH earlier in Fernie, British Columbia.

The town’s entire Main Street is decorated like it’s Christmas Eve for the Disney production of the film Santa Pups.. With all the lights, decorations, Christmas trees and spirit of a town called Pineville U.S.A. I play Mr. Holman, the owner of the Christmas cookie store. I can’t reveal much more of the plot right now, but I’ve been shooting several scenes for a big musical number that involves the WHOLE TOWN! Including a marching band.

I hope to get some pictures up soon of Fernie in the daytime because this town is so picturesque. It’s surrounded on all sides by the Rocky Mountains. You could swing your camera around 360 degrees and get nothing but picture postcards in this kitschy little Alpine village. I’m just finding out that the term Alpine doesn’t neccessarily refer to the Alps, which makes sense. You know, it’s all in that same family if you add an “ine” onto something: feline, canine, strychnine.

I was a little confused at first because I thought we were shooting in Canada. But it turns out it’s “British Columbia.” I’m a bit disappointed that you can’t find a better cup of coffee in British Columbia. I like the Mexican Columbia a lot better. Although I understand that Vancouver is very similar to the Mexican Columbia in many ways.

I can’t receive phone calls or texts here because Sprint informed me that it would cost something like 59 cents a minute if my data plan is activated. They couldn’t promise that it would stay off even if they “shut it off remotely.” The operator suggested I just shut my phone off all the time to avoid outrageous fees.  I’m having the working vacation of a lifetime! I only wish Sammy were here with me.

Speaking of Sammy, I’ll have video of the wedding posted sometime before the weekend. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. In the meantime I’ve included a few pics you might enjoy, above.

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Opened! Wiiiide Open!

It has been a whirlwind of energy and excitement this last weekend with the opening of I Love Lucy Live on Stage. Opening Night was fantastic and we’ve already had several standing ovations. I’m not going to brag about the show, because that would be immodest…so I’ll let some critics brag for us!

“Most entertaining stage production I’ve seen in years – including Broadway!!!”
– William Keck, TV Guide Magazine 

“an absolutely brilliant and utterly engaging tribute to that iconic television show.” – The Examiner (READ MORE)

“…more than just another rerun.” – LA Times (READ MORE)

“it is Rick Sparks‘ vision that makes the show work on such a high level.”  – Broadway World (READ MORE)

“A real first class production ”  – Performing Arts Live

“This show is fun stacked on top of fun stacked on top of fun.”- Hey Melpomene  (READ MORE)

“zany fun, an old-fashioned entertainment vehicle where everyone knows their parts (including the audience)”  – The Imitated Life (READ MORE)

“when humor is solidly developed, a 1950 joke can float just as well in 2011 if the delivery is good.  And this show delivers – real GOOD, as Ricky would say.”  – Review Plays.com (READ MORE)

“My smile stretched from ear to ear throughout. I didn’t want this blithe sensory feast to ease.” The Examiner (READ MORE)

I’ve been warned not to listen to what the critics say, so I take it all with a grain of salt…Okay, a couple of grains of salt. I’ve been called a lot of things before, but never “credible”. I know it’s a good thing, but it almost sounds like a booby prize. So, you should read the reviews and see what I mean. If you’d be so nice, please return to the blog to see what else I was going to spout off about.

So I’ll spout! Let me tell you that if you ever need to get a passport, go to a Federal Building. I’ve been running around like a chicken with his head cut off because I listened to a librarian who claimed to know what she was talking about. She told me that an expedited passport (12 business days) was the quickest you could get a passport.

Why do I need a passport you ask? I’ll be travelling to Vancouver to film a holiday movie called Santa Pups. I play a baker in a town that “loses it’s Christmas Spirit“….that is, if I can get my passport tomorrow at 11am. Santa…save me now!

Turns out that you CAN get a passport the next day at the Federal Building. I had gotten one rather quickly in the past, but I assumed that 9-11 security had made it more difficult since the librarian at the Pasadena Public Library told me that there was no faster way. Turns out, librarians often conveniently neglect to mention that you can get one for an extra charge at a Federal Building so that they can collect the $25 fee. Which just gives us another reason why I hope Fahrenheit 451 comes true. BURN THE LIBRARIES!!!! Now I know why the thing I’ve been doing most of my reading done on is called a KINDLE!

Libraries shouldn’t use the Dewey Decimal system, they should use the Don’t-ey system. If you’re John Coleman, please leave a comment.

So I spent the day online with the State Department getting to the bottom of the matter and I had to drive from Pasadena to Westwood by 7:30am. If you’re from LA, you know that means waking up at 5:00am.

I made it through the oddest security in the world. It started with a check-in outside and then a long line that took even longer than most TSA  airport security lines. It took so long because the lone security guard was playing detective,  AND most of the people in line to get a passport seemed to never have gone through security ANYWHERE, EVER. They were surprised to be asked to take their belt off, and all of them seemed to empty their pockets at the very last moment instead of emptying pocket contents into breifcases, bookbags or purses. Well, they’ll have their come-uppance. Soon they’ll be dealing with security at Heathrow airport or maybe El Al. God I hope none of them are travelling to Vancouver.

There was an older asian couple in front of me. Very sweet and not very threatening looking. The security guy (who appeared to have gang tattoos) pulled out the asian woman’s make-up kit and said, “Do you put this on your face? This is very heavy. This makeup. You put this on your face?” She spoke English, she just didn’t know how to respond to this very odd line of questioning, so she didn’t. I had heard hear and her husband talking English. But she used the old “I don’t speak English” approach to avoid answering a very forward and very bizarre question.

“Maybe the make-up case was heavier and seemed somehow suspect. Maybe the guard wasn’t so odd.” I thought to myself for about five seconds.

But when I stepped up to security with my back pack full of safe and acceptable belongings, he started in with the weird questions. As he looked through my bag (which contained no metal and mostly paperwork) he started asking, “What kind of bag is this? Is this a back-pack or a combination bag?”

If you’re like me you have no idea what a “combination bag” is, but I answered quickly. “It’s a backpack.” Then he let me go on my way.  You don’t know how bad I wanted to start muttering in Korean instead of answering such an obvious question.

So with fingers crossed I’ll be heading back to Westwood to the Federal Building at 11am to pick up my new passport…speaking of passports, Sam and I are going to celebrate the solution to the passport debacle with another trip to Disneyland with our new annual pass. This time, California Adventure. We may also stop off in Disneyland too to ride Pirates of the Carribean (my favorite ride) which was not in operation the day of our honeymoon.

Dead Men Tell no Tales…….

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Almost Opening!

It’s Almost Opening Night for I Love Lucy Live, which is this Saturday, October 1st. I’ve got opening night jitters!!! Or maybe it’s the coffee from Stir Crazy, where I’m writing this.  In any case, my knee is bouncing and my stomach is tying in knots. I know, I know….it’s another opening.  I’ve done a bunch of shows before. But there is so much excitement about this show from the cast, the producers and all the audiences who have seen it so far. So much excitement that it’s going to burst! I think this movie is going to be a hit with audiences, because we’ve been wowing them in previews.

We got a standing ovation Sunday night and everybody who’s seen it has been very enthusiasitc about how well it will play to musical theater audiences, fans of Lucy and even optimistic about it’s success in LA…not known much as a theater town. I can’t wait to pop the cork on October 1st, Hope you’ll be thinking of me this Saturday night!

Let me know what you’d expect from a stage musical of I Love Lucy.  I’m interested in hearing your opinion as an outsider. Unless you’re a fellow cast member or director/producer. In that case, I’m interested in hearing your opinion as an insider.

I’ve added some pics so you can imagine yourself with us onstage opening night. Or in the audience…or wherever you’d rather be on Saturday night.

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