Leave extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
In a restaurant, never order any meat dish that hasn't been thoroughly explained.
Carry the phone number and address of the local U.S. Embassy.
These are some "Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know," and there are dozens more to be had at the new musical revue of the same title, which began previews Oct. 23 at New York's Triad Theatre on West 72nd St. The show officially opens Oct. 30 for an Equity contract open run.
Directed by Forbidden Broadway performing veteran Patrick Quinn, Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know shows why people have wanderlust, even though visitors "suffer through every mishap, fiasco and cultural embarrassment imaginable." Two dozen songs and comic sketches comprise the evening, which not only poke fun at tourism but offer arcane travel tips and trivia.
Four performers star in Secrets, two of whom have traveled at least once to Broadway. Two years ago, Michael McGrath went from Off Broadway's The Cocoanuts to Swinging On A Star. His Star co-star, Tony nominee Kathy Fitzgerald, will also be in Secrets as will James Darrah (a former Ringling Brothers clown, and Ambrose in the recent revival of Hello, Dolly!) and newcomer Liz McConahay.
Music director and pianist Stan Freeman, and bassist Jay Leonhart, will also take part in the performance, especially since they've contributed material to the revue. Other writers include Douglas Bernstein, Francesca Blumenthal, Michele Brourman, Michael Brown, Barry Creyton, Lesley Davison, Karen Gottlieb, Murray Grand, Glen Kelly and Denis Markell. Musical director Stan Freeman won an L.A. Drama-Logue Award for his solo as Oscar Levant, At Wit's End. Designing Secrets are Rui Rita (set & lighting) and David Brooks (costumes).
Produced by Scott Perrin, Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know sprang from sister Wendy Perrin's travel book of the same title, now in its third mass-market printing. Perrin then went to the above mentioned cabaret songwriters and asked them to contribute original songs. The show received a workshop at Westport CT's White Barn Theatre this summer.
Side-note: It was Perrin who gave Walter Bobbie his first musical direction gig: A Grand Night For Singing, which moved from Rainbow & Stars to Broadway.
For tickets ($40) and information on Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know at the Triad call (212) 799-4599.
--By David Lefkowitz