City: Atlanta, GA
Distance travelled: 882 miles
Total distance: 15,759 miles
Theatre: Fox Theater
It was a great week in Atlanta not least because I had my family come out to visit me from London. We were playing in one of the most beautiful, well known theatres in the country and it was warm! I had just flown in from Brazil and the last thing I needed was snow.
It was so good to have my family around. We got stuck right into the tourist attractions of Atlanta (don’t bother with the Coke world place, it was a waste of time) by going to the CNN studios. I was really surprised at how much we got to see. I had assumed that there would be a bunch of photos and things to look at and they may have shown some kind of mock up studio but it was so much better. It felt like they had just opened the door and said ‘come in and have a look around, don’t mind us if we carry on working’. We had a great tour guide who was very informative and took as in the studios and control rooms while they were broadcasting live and we got to go right through the middle of the newsroom. I never expected to get so close to the action. it was well worth it.
Another highlight for the week was visiting the Georgia Aquarium. It was spring break during our week in Atlanta so we made the right choice by going in at 9.30am before the crowds. We had a look around the exhibits and displays and saw some pretty amazing fish and wildlife. We were very lucky to have arranged, via the press office at the theatre, a private tour of the facility. Roger, our guide, took us to all the backstage areas that the regular public don’t get to normally see. We got to see the giant tank containing the ray and whale sharks and thousand of other fish from above and saw the baby penguins who entered the water that day for the first time!
He also took one of the best photos I have ever been in! We stood in front of the giant tank for a group photo and one of the whale sharks decided to swim by and pose for the picture!
Later in the week, my family and I were lucky enough to be given and another private tour, this time of the Fox Theatre. It is a magnificent building with an illustrious history. Everyone has played there from Madonna to Baryshnikov and now me! During the process of restoring the venue the management has taken care to preserve much of the historical parts of the building. We got to see the old fuse room with fuses as big as milk bottles and the original elevator motor room.
In a room just off the projection room, which houses the spotlights) way at the very back of the house, we saw the projector that was used to show the premier of Gone With The Wind in 1939. Although the premier actually took place at Loew’s Grand Theater, the projector was salvaged when the Loew’s burned down and now resides at the Fox.
There is even a wall in the basement which has a target painted on it, covered in bullet holes, where at one time they would practice shooting!
The Fox was built around the time they discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt and the fascination with ancient Egypt which existed then is reflected in every aspect of the design of the interiors of the theatre.
The corridor which leads through the back office displays photographs of the many stars who have performed there. We were in good company!
It was a pleasure to perform in Atlanta. The audiences were some of the most responsive we had experienced all tour and it was an honour to walk out on that stage and look at the beautiful house.