September 3, 2005

Last week was the last that my family and I would spend with the Chase family. The three-month stay that we'd agreed upon was up and another family, that of Branch the opera singer, was moving in. Fortunately for us, we found another house around the corner, about a mile from the Chases. Another performing couple, Chris and Kristi, are on tour with the Broadway smash "Wicked" for the next six months, and agreed to sublet their home to us. We couldn't have asked for a better arrangement. Sasha enjoys the calm suburban atmosphere of Bloomfield (though I prefer the energy and romance of Manhattan), and the rent is reasonable compared with skyrocketing New York rates. So on Monday we moved into a charming house that suits us perfectly.

If only I had time to enjoy it. Since the show opened, our lives have been hanging in suspense. Although the show is well received by audiences, the numbers have been low, and the future is shaky since we're entering the notoriously lean month of September. At the same time, we're trying to rent out our own home in Austin to absorb the cost of living here, but we may have to live there ourselves if the unthinkable should happen. All we can do for now is keep a roof over our heads and take it one week at a time. It's nerve wracking, to say the least. The news from New Orleans, however, serves as a daily reminder of how good I actually have it. No matter what happens here in New York, we at least have a home.

But tonight I forgot about all my dilemnas. Saturday night at the Broadhurst was not only the biggest crowd we've played to since opening night, but arguably the liveliest and most appreciative in our history. They got every joke, loved every number, let the emotions fly at the end and sprang to their feet before the bows even began. It was explosive. The excitement continued outside the theatre, when a large crowd of new fans gathered at the stage door and poured on the applause for each castmember who stepped through it. I see this sort of thing happen occasionally here, but never at this level. Could it be the start of a new trend? Tomorrow never knows. One thing is certain: we know it can be done.

Me, I missed most of the show. I was in my dressing room with Rona and a couple of guitars. She and I were rehearsing a song of mine we plan to record together next week for a Christmas CD. I was hastily elected by the cast to lead the project, and I happened to have a song in my back pocket, on my iPod, actually. Should be fun. Our voices sound good together.

Also this week, Lennon established a huge presence in Times Square with a giant blue billboard, one that hangs at the intersection of 46th and 7th Ave, towering over all others in the square. As you head north, you can't miss it. From high above the Great White Way, John looks wisely down at you, welcoming you to his town, the place where he always felt at home, and always felt safe. And so do I.


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