Even the most intrepid traveler one day finds it's time to settle down. So it goes with the Off-Broadway revue, Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, which, after 933 performances, has decided to stow its suitcase and reach for the remote. The final performance at the Ibis Theatre will be Monday, Feb. 21.
Secrets, which opened Oct. 30, 1997 at the Triad and later moved to midtown's Ibis, covers the globe in 100 minutes with 20 original songs and sketches that take the audience to 40 different countries. Writers of the show's material include Douglas Bernstein, Francesca Blumenthal, Michael Brown, Barry Creyton, Lesley Davison, Stan Freeman, cast-member and bassist Jay Leonhart, and songwriters Dave Frishberg and Murray Grand.
Producer Scott Perrin's sister, Wendy Perrin, wrote the popular Fodor travel guide spoofed by the musical revue. Songs in the show include "Seeing America First," "Red Hot Lava," "Aging Planes" (which was excised after the recent Egypt Air crash) and the self explanatory, "Customs."
A 33-track CD of Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know was released by RCA Victor June 1, 1998.
Patrick Quinn, a veteran of another revue, Forbidden Broadway, directs the Off-Broadway production, with musical direction by Stan Freeman. The current cast includes Denise Nolin, David Skouson (piano), Jay Leonhart (bass), Ray DeMattis, Nick Santa Maria and Maribeth Graham. The show has enjoyed regional productions in Key West, FL, Rochester, NY, Braintree and Boston, MA.
(On the historical side, Secrets ended up lasting roughly half as long as Forever Plaid, another long-running revue. That show opened at Steve McGraw's Supper Club -- which was later renamed the Triad -- and racked up more than 1,800 performances.)
For tickets to Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know at the Ibis Theatre, 327 West 44th Street, call (212) 239-6200. No word yet on what will follow Smart Traveler into the 150-seat Ibis, though producer Perrin and the owners are actively seeking worthy projects for the space.
-- By David Lefkowitz