By Seth Rudetsky
31 Mar 2014
Get yer tickets! Only seven left! That's right, only seven performances left of Disaster! because we're closing the Off-Broadway run April 11. So, now's the time to come see the show for all of the people like me who put off things 'til the time is right (I'm seriously still waiting for the perfect moment to watch the David Geffen special I have saved on my DVR since last year). Be a cheapskate and go to BroadwayOffers.com and use the discount code is DiApril.
I'm going to pretend this is last Monday because that's when my column was due. In reality I am a week late. Why? Because I've been relaxing on the luxurious Playbill Cruise to Tahiti... And by "relaxing" I mean hauling out three shows a day. Not since vaudeville.
Let me start from the top, Me, Juli, James and his mom first flew to L.A. to get our flight to Tahiti. There was a six-hour layover so James decided to get a Zipcar and do something in L.A. First we went to a place James loves that serves authentic Mexican food but I was only able to eat the nachos because everything else there either consists of an animal or was cooked in animal oil. After the meal, which began with me saying I'd try a few chips and ended with me eating enough carbs to prep for the NYC marathon, we still had a few hours to kill. We drove around and finally passed a day spa. James said that I should get a fun treatment and he'd drive around and explore the neighborhood. He texted me after 40 minutes to see how it went. I told him that the place had very few people working there and I was still in the 'prep' stage.
When James and I got to the room, there was a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. Hm… we thought that was strange but decided to open the door. Maybe it was left by mistake. Apparently, it wasn't because the door was bolted from the inside. We quickly shut it and were horrified that we tried to barge into to someone else's room. When we told Roger Bart, he immediately started imitating what he assumed was happening inside. I won't give too many details, but he implied that the Playbill guests were "turned on" by all the Broadway folk around them and he then assumed a certain position and started rhythmically grunting "Bri-an Stokes Mit-chell!" followed by "Si-ri-us X-M!"
Regardless, the hotel was stunning and so is all of Tahiti. That night, we had a welcome party, and I played for the lovely Liz Callaway and Stokes who both sang beautifully. Phil Birsh, who runs Playbill, introduced everyone who was there: Lewis Black, Tommy Tune, Roger Bart, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Howard McGillin, Judy Kuhn, Christine Pedi, Liz Callaway, Ana Gasteyer, Lillias White and Alice Ripley. Phil was telling everyone what an amazing line-up it was and as he began to list their impressive credits, he noted how cool it is to originate a role on Broadway. As soon as he said "originate", Ana muttered "I'm out!" She then formed a second row with Christine Pedi, which they claimed was the area for Broadway replacements. Brava on owning it!
The next day, we all got on the boat and thus began my daily ritual: rehearsal in the morning for a few hours, lunch, sound check, 5:45 show, dinner, sound check, 9:45 show and then an 11 PM show. It was really fun but exhausting. I "kept my strength up" by buffet eating and ordering quadruple appetizers (not joking). The first show featured Lillias White, who did a salute to Cy Coleman called My Guy, Cy. Of course, it featured her signature song from The Life "The Oldest Profession." Here she is, doing it on Broadway!