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Ramblings From The Road

June, 2000

Hello Dolls... from the LayZLay,

We've planted, we've watered, we've opened the Andrew Loyd Weber Memorial Pool. (Yes, I know - I love misspelling his name). It's very beautiful right now in the country. So, what am I doing at the computer? To tell you how thrilling the Sweeney Todd experience was. To tell you how much I LOVE George Hearn and how he saved the day. To tell you how much I love the director Lonny Price, Welz Kauffman and the entire cast Welz assembled, not to mention the New York Philharmonic. This was a blessed experience, so rare, so treasured, in the theatre. Opera singers, classical musicians, and Broadway actors supporting each other, respecting each other and our common denominator was the genius of Stephen Sondheim. I had so much fun spending time with him, and taking notes from him and I pray to God this is the beginning of a working relationship with him. It was over so fast and none of us could believe that it was over or that we actually pulled it off. On the heels of Sweeney I performed "Matters of the Heart" twice and collapsed on a plane Arizona bound. And now.... more news from the road!

Years ago on my way to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, I saw a billboard above a dry wash that proclaimed Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. I thought, "that's where I'd rather go." Well many years later I took the family on that 'Dude Ranch' vacation. Tanque Verde Ranch is a place I cannot recommend highly enough. The food is questionable, but the surroundings, the Saguarro National Forest, and the ranch itself with a full moon rising over the crest of the Rincon Mountains reminded me of what a colosssal country we live in. The beauty of the Southwest is simply awesome! The Ranch is elegantly funky. No TV's, no radios in the rooms. Who needs it? The thrust of this ranch is Western riding. There is also a kid's program that my son, who'd never been in a kid's program, fell in love with. This is a place that can clear your head and remind you of what those Hollywood Westerns romanticized. Horses, chuck wagon breakfasts, barbeques, and singing cowboy poets (with spurs). I'm back there the next chance I get.

One food tip: El Charro Cafe', 310 North Court Ave., Tuscon, AZ. There are two in Tucson, but this is the original building. It's Mexican food so divine and the restuarant's been in the family since 1922. They even dry their own meat on the roof. I thought they were attracting UFO's. We went to Tucson for my accountant Nick's wedding to his beautiful Lisa. It was great with a very funny band called Crawdaddy-o. It's a brass band, and if there's a CD out there get it.

Our next stop was Phoenix for a benefit performance for Shakespeare Sedona. I was put up at the Arizona Biltmore, I might as well have been put up at a Motel 6... no, I take that back, they leave the light on. This hotel is Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, very, very beautiful and as I understand it, has changed hands and the people at the front desk, including one asshole manager could not have been ruder, and I wasn't the only one that had this experience. So, until they sell again, stay away from the Arizona Biltmore. Frank Lloyd Wright and Martha Raye (her picture hangs in an elevator) must be rolling over in their graves.

On to Sedona... never got to a vortex, but we did stay at the Enchantment Resort. Now here's a hotel I CAN recommend. They care so much for people that the laundry and dryers plus soap, bleach and Bounce ARE FREE!! Have you ever been in a hotel where the laundry is free? Everybody at this resort was gracious and accommodating and the setting is on the canyon floor of one of those awe inspiring red rock formations. Sedona is indescribable. We took a Pink Jeep ride into the National Forest. I have such mixed emotions right now. In many ways I deplore the politics of this country and want to move and then I visit places like this and feel so fortunate. Earth is a beautiful place. No one country is more beautiful than the next, but we as Americans have been given so much in spiritual and natural beauty. Why are we such a selfish, arrogant and ignorant lot? I'm rambling, I'm depressed, I gotta go outside.

Love, Patti


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