Coffee ... Must find coffee ...
You must excuse me, folks, if I come across as a bit more bleary eyed than usual this morning. But I've been burning the candle at both ends lately. Not to mention occasionally holding a flame under the middle of the candle as well, just to see what happens.
To explain: These past few weeks, I've been charging around -- writing stories for the site as well as doing all the research necessary for future articles for JHM.
Take -- for example -- last night. When -- on just 15 minutes notice -- Nancy & I climbed into the car late yesterday afternoon. And then -- driving like a bat out of hell -- we covered the 124 miles between New Boston, N.H. to New Bedford, MA. Where -- in spite of all the rush hour traffic -- we still managed to arrive in time to attend the final dress rehearsal of one of the first ever regional productions of the stage version of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."
And I have to say that Nancy & I had a thoroughly enjoyable time. Until 10:15 p.m. rolled around, that is. That was when the New Bedford Festival Theatre completed its performance of "B & B." And we had to climb back in the car and begin our 2 1/2 hour schlep back to our house in the woods of New Hampshire.
Mind you, if that doesn't already sound like a pretty crazy way to spend your day ... Wait 'til you hear what Nancy & I have planned for this evening. Which involves driving down to Beverly, MA. where we'll be attending yet another performance of the stage version of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." Only -- this time around -- the musical's being presented in the round at the North Shore Music Theater. Which -- I think you'll agree -- sounds like a pretty unique way to stage this Disney classic.
So that's Nancy & I attending two entirely different versions of Disney's stage musical, "Beauty and the Beast." All within the space of 24 hours. And did I mention that I didn't actually come up with the idea for this article until around 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon?
Yep. Such is the life of a Disneyana webmaster. Where -- in order to come up with fresh new material to put up on your website every day -- sometimes you really have to throw things together on the fly.
Anyway ... Look for these two roadtrips to provide the fodder for a brand new JHM article sometime early next week. A story that looks into what actually happens when a regional theater company takes on a show that's as well known but as difficult to stage as Disney's "Beauty & the Beast" is. [Based on what Nancy & I saw last night at New Bedford's lovely old Zeiterion Theatre, a talented & dedicated group of people can really rise to this difficult challenge. The version of "B & B" that we saw last night -- even though it was the show's final dress rehearsal, which meant that some things were still a bit rough around the edges -- was still more consistently entertaining than the professional version I saw in NYC at the Lunt Fontaine theatre just a year or so back. These folks really threw their hearts & souls into this production. They weren't phoning it in. And it showed ... ]
Anywho ... This is why I'm craving coffee this morning. You see, I'm operating on about 4 hours sleep as I type this. Which (I'm guessing) explains why this article is even more incoherent than the crud that I usually churn out around here.
Mind you, it's not really fair of me to make it sound like I'm the only one who works hard here at JHM. Our new webmaster, Tony has been laboring behind-the-scenes for weeks now in order to get the all-new version of this website ready for its official launch. Which -- provided that the Good Lord's willing, the creek don't rise and there ain't no meltdown -- should debut this coming Monday morning. So -- 72 hours from now -- look for a bold new look at JHM. A more user-friendly interface. Not to mention (hallelujeh!) a big new server that will finally allow us to regularly run articles that actually feature pictures. Lots & lots of pictures. (Paging Jeff Lange! Paging Jeff Lange! It's time to start pulling that truly amazing stuff you've got stored away out of your photo archives!)
However -- before JHM makes its big changeover -- I hope you'll forgive me if I take a moment to pay tribute to the folks who originally got this site off the ground back in August of 2002: My lovely ex-wife, Michelle Smith, and her good friend, Jon Nadelberg. They're the ones who decided that there might actually be an audience out there for a website with the less-than-humble sounding name of JimHillMedia.com.
And then -- when Michelle & Jon eventually stepped away from the site -- David Gasior & Roger Colton were nice enough to step in & pick up the slack. Making sure that JHM ran smoothly, that the site actually got updated every day.
I know, I know. I'm the idiot whose name is on the front door. So -- whether I deserve it or not -- I wind up getting the lion's share of the credit for whatever it is that happens around here. But it was actually Michelle & Jon, then David & Roger who did most of the heavy lifting.
Not to mention Chuck Oberleitner, Jim Korkis, Aaron Michael Gordon, Rick Gutierrez, Patrick Hurd, Jackson King, Seth Kubersky, Scott Liljenquest, Jean de Lutèce, Andrea Monti, Floyd Norman, Larry Pontius, Monique Pryor, Wade Sampson, Paul Schnebelen and Matt Springer. Who all have contributed a great number of interesting stories to the site. Not to mention nice folks like AliKzam, Alain Littaye, Arlen Miller, Michael Sweeney, Angela Ragno & Ian Westhoff. Who have also forked over a few nice features for JHM readers to enjoy.
I guess what I'm saying here is that JimHillMedia.com is NOT a one man show. That it takes the time & the talents of a large number of people to actually pull this site off. Which is why (you may have noticed) that we've begun calling this website by its abbreviation: JHM. So that we can start taking the emphasis off of yours truly and start letting some of the other people who work at this site get their turn in the spotlight.
Now don't worry, folks. Just because we're changing the look of JimHillMedia.com as well as abbreviating the site's name doesn't mean that you'll be getting any less Jim Hill. I promise that I'm not going anywhere. I'll still be here -- day in, day out -- hammering out my usual assortment of semi-amusing anecdotes. Which I hope you'll continue to enjoy for years yet to come.
You know ... It just occurred to me. It really is rather appropriate that Nancy & I are right smack dab in the middle of this "Beauty and the Beast" binge. Given that -- over the next couple of days -- JHM is about to undergo a magical transformation of its own. Changing over from the current version of the site (Which -- in spite of Michelle, Jon & David's best efforts -- is admittedly a bit of a beast) to the new snazzier version of JHM (Which -- thanks to all of Tony, Cory & Roger's hard work -- will hopefully be a real beauty. Or -- at the very least -- a distinct improvement over what we have right now).
Anyway ... It's still kind of early back here in the East. And -- given my five remaining brain cells are still craving caffeine -- I guess I'd better go off in search of some coffee.
So have a great weekend, everybody. And we'll see you here -- bright & early on Monday morning -- when the brand new version of JHM officially debuts.
Talk to you later,