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Figuera De Foz and Vila Real

March 11th, 2008

March 7th
Figuera De Foz
We travelled up the coast to this small industrial town, which was quite lovely as we finally got to see the wonderful atlantic, lapping on our shores, tingling our vagabond senses. We stayed in a beach front hotel and were well rested for the show…Before the show Jason and I went looking for a quick bite to eat, only to find a classic Portuguese joint which served our favorite yellow Portuguese food:
Um potatoes! Where are the veggies?! I know they are there, but not tonight…

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The show was off the hook, tons of fun….We had a tremendous time on stage as you can see by these lovely photos taken of the show…enjoy!

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March 8th
Vila Real
The last show!

We left early in the morning, due to a dumb mixup by yours truly with a rental car, and our grumpy and tired troupe wound their way to our last show in the scenic town of Vila Real.
We somehow managed to get in a good mood by the end of the trip, as Eric and I began channeling our alien counterparts in the van, putting everyone in a fantastic mood, let me tell you..

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Vila Real is smack in the middle of the douro valley, Portugal’s famous wine country. It was BEAUTIFUL!
We stayed at the best place yet, a 5 star Quinta, or winery, with gardens, walks and picturesque Sunset Magazine views…

We were treated to our last lunch of fish and meat

Here we are at the table, the whole crew..

The show was great, in a wonderful performing arts center with high balconies from which Eric sang the end of Russian Jazz Waltz to a crowd of standing and cheering fans.

Before the show shot of rockstar drums

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Even after five 100% successful shows we still were learning to interpret the Portuguese audiences. From day one, we were unsure how well our jokes and “witty reparte” would translate both across the language and cultural barrier. From the start, though people would laugh, and clap along, although not as riotously as some American audiences. After the show, we often will all have different interpretations of how well they “got it,” wondering if they did. Rita, a Portuguese gal who danced with us in Lisbon put it well
She said

“You guys are amazing and deseve that, and of course for you it must be
wonderful the sensation in coming to a little country like Portugal
and have that reception. Portuguese audience can be very warm. When they really like they are for sure, and I think is a question if the artist really gets to their
heart, it is not a question of being just good techically but having a
great soul doing it. We dont clap or dance us much as for example the
spanish, or italians do, we are more discrete and not so exterior but
we have the same sensible heart when it comes to art made with the
poetry of life.”

Well said Rita, and that is how it felt the whole way along. People were SO appreciative of what we brought…something new, fresh, and from the heart, that seemed to transcend most language barriers.

One funny way in which we played with the language thing, is we did a sketch were Eric said he would say a few things to the audience and Mark, our Brazillian drummer would translate. Eric would then wax endless in vastly adjective language in an over the top way, and Mark would follow, saying something unrelated and funny about Eric. The crowds loved it, and it did a lot to crack the ice.

In our last show, Leslie asked the audience if they wanted to hear a racy song she wrote called “Confessions of a young Girl” After the second show, we decided to pull it from the set as we were worried that it was to racy for these somewhere older catholic crowds. BUt on the last show, she asked them to decideif they wanted to hear this song about masturbation, by coughing uncomfortably if they would be offended. We had a few coughs and played it so well. Afterwards an older gentleman came up to her and said “I coughed the loudest” Ok, so we reached them…

After the show we spent time signing autographs (never signed so many in my life as here)

Skip being mobbed

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And then headed to a restaurant for our 1am dinner (they eat late here) where we sang songs at the table and Skip had his last glass of enormous beer

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The next day, our merry troupe took to their own ways, with some leaving for America, and others driving into the moors and Medevil backlands, where we found, at last a true connection and calling with our real purpose:

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Thank you Portugal!!! We Love you!

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