Location: From Lake Mahopac (originally born in Queens with a Brooklyn accent)
Occupation: Mom to four grown kids who found an escape to her one person CPA practice and never-ending tax deadlines by becoming a regular at The Cap and Garcia’s
How long I’ve worked at The Cap: Trained in January 2013 and volunteered for as much as possible to get on the roster for a few Furthur shows and other hard to get acts. Six years later, this is turning into a long, strange wonderful trip which expanded into a trip to Chicago for Fare Thee Well, working at Lockn’ Festival each year, and some annual pot-luck usher parties.
Best show I’ve ever seen at The Cap: Whichever one is coming next. Well, there have been a few exceptions (very few), but there have also been epic surprises. Like Skrillex, which is not my type of music, but who could ever forget the crowd or the sway of the balcony? Or Bob Weir playing from the Presidential Booth as the crowd straggled in before a RatDog show? Or having one of the Avett Brothers play a song while sitting at my feet on the steps to the VIP platform? The sounds of New Orleans and more came to the Cap for the Jam the Vote concert to get everyone to vote in 2016. String Cheese Incident brought hope as we rang in 2018. And there are many performers who seem to love The Cap as much as we do, like Phil Lesh, Eric Krasno, Jason Crosby, and Ross James. I give gold stars to every performer who recognizes the history in the theatre by playing a Dead cover song, or mentioning the framed article backstage with Jerry’s interview where he recognized the theatre’s great acoustics, or that Janis Joplin wrote Mercedes Benz at a bar around the corner in between playing an early and late show years back.
Why I love ushering at The Cap: The Cap is a family, connected through music, which can be a stronger bond than blood. The patrons, the bartenders, box office and admin workers, the ushers, management, the cleaning crew- at some point everyone grabs time to watch the artists, check out the visuals on the walls, and interact with everyone else. Even Peter Shapiro can be found video-taping the wall visuals with his phone or stopping in his tracks to turn around and catch a favorite song. There are regular patrons and those who have traveled from Canada or London or California to see a show. There are nights when you can hear a pin drop as everyone is listening intently and nights where you repeatedly have to remind chatty patrons that the acoustics carry their voices just as well as it does the performers. When the encore ends and the lights come up, there is always something to talk and laugh about over a post-shift drink in Garcia’s.
What makes The Cap different from other venues: Your vibe attracts your tribe. Management gets that. Just as musicians have mentors and develop their craft from listening to music of the past and present, The Cap celebrates and flaunts its history, while also incorporating state of the art technology so that the visual and audio experience is like no other. Garcia’s is filled with memorabilia from Jerry as well as a variety of art forms of his likeness, including one made of legos. There is preserved ornate carved molding from the original theatre which was built in 1926 and custom wallpaper featuring rock icons who played in the theatre in the 1970’s. The light shows are customized to the architecture, fitting designs into the domes and arches. Many of the bands have followers who travel to see shows. The Cap is welcoming and provides the extra touches to make them want to come back. Every once in awhile you get to give a tour to some patrons on their first night at The Cap, while they walk around with stars in their eyes, delighted that they finally made the trek to check out this place they heard so much about.
Words to live by: “What I like best about music is when time goes away” – Bob Weir