[Once a month we have a company member report to us about life on the road. This month, it's Marc T. Engberg hilariously elaborating about life on tour to Ohio Northern University in Ada, OH.]
Last May, I wrote a travelogue for this space about our show in Findlay, OH. Here I am again, this time recounting our tour stop in Ada, OH. And it is thus that I make history. For nobody, I am fairly certain, has ever written about Ohio twice.
Upon landing in Columbus, we were summarily escorted to a limousine party bus the theatre had sent and were whisked away in style to Ada. We spent most of the ride singing along to 80s glam rock hits and updating our contract to include a rider demanding limousine party buses at every tour stop.
Before I go any further, let me be very clear about something. Make no mistake - there were a lot of cities in Ohio that wanted us. They wanted us in Bucyrus just like they wanted us in Van Wert and Trotwood. Perrysburg rang our agent’s phone off the hook. They were on their knees begging for us in Wapokoneta. Chillicothe still texts us nightly. But we said no. We said no, no, no. WE’RE GOING TO ADA!
Then we got to Ada, had a look around, and asked ourselves, ‘Why did we say no to Wapokoneta?’
How do I describe Ada, OH? How about this: Manchester by the Sea could have just as easily been called Ada by the Railroad Tracks. It is home to the Wilson football factory, where Tom Brady has been employee of the month a record five times. Ada is great because you can go to a restaurant called El Campo and order a behemoth plate of chilaquiles verdes smothered in human rights violating amounts of sour cream, two Modelo Especials, guac and chips, and leave an ostentatious tip worthy of an insecure Russian oligarch, all for $11.82. In Manhattan, that same meal would cost you $476.
Ada is also home to Ohio Northern University, which, in turn, is home to the lavish Freed Center for the Performing Arts. Our audience, which could not have been better, was mostly made up of students, both current and from the class of 1957. I don’t remember much from the show because improv is an evaporative art. But the wonderful people who poured out in the lobby after the show left a lasting impression. They are truly the reason we do this. That is why I always send my personal assistant out to meet them.
After the show, a few of us in the cast repaired to a local bar where we sampled delicious local Ohio beers and, as improv comics are liable to do after an improv show, did more improv with each other for our own entertainment. On the lameness-coolness continuum, this is so deep into lameness territory that you are actually poking back out into the cool zone. My referring to it as the cool zone, of course, hurls me right back where I belong into the land of lame. I’m going to go cry into a cylinder of Pringles now.
In the morning, Ohio’s limousine party bus collected us for the ride back to Columbus. Fortunately, our driver took us on the scenic route, right past the “nice Kohl’s”. At the airport, I bade a fond farewell to the Buckeye State over much-needed quintuple espresso and a bagel that tasted a little like a legal pad.
In conclusion, thank you Ohio. You have been so kind to us. Back to New York. Time to be a jerk again!