Bonjour de Paris ...
Since returning to Paris from our trip to New York and Seattle we have done twenty performances in twenty-six days. This is why I didn’t write in October. Our trip to the U.S. was a nice opportunity for us to be able to spend time with friends and family but the trip also included six flights and cross country visits from New York to Seattle and so it wasn’t very relaxing. We always seem to work the night before we have a flight and this time was no different. We had a concert in Paris the night before we left for the U.S. and therefore didn’t sleep until the plane was in flight. Part of the reason for the trip was to attend the wedding of some of Leslie’s childhood friends. Once we arrived we went directly from the airport to a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in New Jersey called Patsy’s. I happen to love the whole Jersey culture so this was a blast for me. As an added bonus the last home game for Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter was on TV so we got to see that complete with the banter of the locals.
Leslie and her friend Diana at Patsy's in New Jersey.
This family (Leslie’s friends) has been working on Broadway (acting/singing, sound design, composing, etc.) for many years. Consequently they had a Broadway themed wedding complete with a playbill (with advertising, bios for the bride/groom, officiant, family members). The ceremony featured dialog from “Romeo and Juliet” as well as “The Merchant of Venice”, some great music, and a family painting.
After the ceremony there was an unbelievable cocktail hour with hors-d’oeuvres, (roast beef, lamb, charcuterie, lobster, shrimp, sushi) and of course an open bar. That was followed by a performance of broadway singers including Andrea McArdle who originated the role of “Annie” on Broadway, Terri Klausner who starred in A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, Evita, and Mark McVey who starred in Les Miserables in both N.Y. and London. Seth Rudestsky who has been a music directer for Pattie Lupone and Betty Buckley to name just a few, accompanied them as well acting as master of ceremonies for the show. Although we are without Broadway credits, Leslie and I performed as well. Hearing (and being a part of) the performance was a blast, but I really enjoyed hearing the crazy stories of Broadway mishaps and the way the they handled them.
Leslie with Diana, Andrea and Teri.
After the performance a four course dinner was served and an unbelievably great dance band “The Bronx Wanderers” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEPu3LK3DlM played. Leslie and I did something we’ve never done… dance all night. When it came time to cut the cake we were all escorted to the dessert room, I’m not kidding. Upon entering there were small boxes available so that guests could bring treats home. Once again it was amazing, cakes, pies, tiramisu, ice cream, gelato, chocolate covered strawberries, even cotton candy. Someone asked “where the pony rides were”.
Dinner table before the first of four courses.
The happy couple, Anne and Hy.
As always New York was great! We had a nice N.Y.C. hang with Allan Molnar my good friend and former college roommate. While in New Jersey we had a chance to spend some time with Leslie's brother and aunt. I got to see some of the neighborhood where Leslie grew up and go to some of the places she hung out as a child. On the other coast, we visited my family in Seattle. Since Seattle is now our U.S. address, we were able to tie up some loose ends there and ship some of our things that we have missed having in our lives to France.
No visit to Seattle is complete without seafood from the market.
My brother, me, my sister, nephew and sister-in-law.
Now for something completely different, we received some pretty startling news a few months ago that we will learn more about in December. We are in the beginning stage of applying to renew our residence (work) permits. The news from our attorney is that while it was very difficult for us to qualify for the three year permits we originally received, it is even more difficult to get them renewed!!! This is exactly the opposite of what I expected. So we once again are in a state of limbo until we get some sense of where we stand. We are trying to figure out a “Plan B” in case we have to leave the country next fall. As you can imagine we are more than a little nervous about having spent the past two years working very, very hard to get established here and just as things are really falling into place we may have to start all over somewhere else! This is why my meditation skills need to be developed to a much deeper level.
I don’t want to end on a sour note so I will share a conversation Leslie had on one of her recent gigs.
Leslie: "Is my French accent okay? "
Leslie: "How can I make it better."
Clement: "You don't sound angry enough.”
For those of you who live in France, this week we are at Monte Verdi in Paris on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm. http://www.lemonteverdi.com/en/welcome On Thursday Leslie works with Clément Blumen and Richard Razafindrakoto at Bistrot de Paris at 8:00 pm. http://www.lebistrotdepariscolombes.com Please check www.surfcovejazz.com for details.
We hope all is well for you and your families and please keep in touch. It is really good to hear from you.
Until next time,
Leslie and Gerard
Please if you have any comments feel free to contact me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I enjoy hearing your thoughts. This email also appears on our website where you may comment as well. http://www.surfcovejazz.com/blog/