Monday, August 13, 2007:
7:00am: I leave the Galtier apartments and begin the schlep with all my bags and cat in tow to the Hilton three blocks away where the bus awaits to take us to the airport. I inadvertently lock suitcase #2 and said cat in the apartment building lobby while taking suitcase #1 out to the street (I had left my keys in the apartment, as we were leaving forever). After panicking for thirty seconds, a nice maintenance man enters the building allowing me to rescue the rest of my belongings, and … the cat.
7:00am: I wave goodbye to our associate conductor, Adam Souza, who is driving the 425 miles to Kansas City. I wonder why we are not taking a bus instead of flying.
8:00am: Bus arrives at airport. We all realize it is a big airport, meaning long trek to gate, including subway ride. With cat. Great.
8:15am: All in line at United ticketing. For some reason the group reservations show we are all traveling with cats. There are twelve of us on the flight from Spamalot, mostly wardrobe, stage management and a couple of actors. And twelve cats? We are shuffled around into multiple lines and bitched at for all having overweight baggage.
8:45am: After paying $100 for overweight baggage and $85 for the cat, I follow Jovon into the security line. We go through amazingly quickly and the cat is on excellent behavior, even as she is pulled from her bag and walked through. It is only when I see Esther, our Lady of the Lake, directed to a much longer line, that I realize I have gotten through the security for first class customers without any objections. Must have been the cat.
9:15am: With Starbucks and Egg McMuffin in hand, I wait at the gate for our 10:00am flight.
9:45am: We are told our flight is an hour late because of mechanical reasons at O’Hare.
10:45am: Spamalot actors who are catching the noon flight start trickling by our gate with sympathetic looks on their faces.
11:15am: We finally get on our plane, and are all moved to the front to facilitate running like hell to our 12:10pm connection once we hit Chicago. The woman at the United gate tells us that they will try and hold the connecting flight for us.
11:30am: Pilot tells us that the plane is late not because of mechanical reasons at O’Hare, but because of construction on the Minneapolis runway. They are only letting 28 planes land an hour.
11:45am: 30,000 feet. Stewardess cannot retrieve our connecting flight info as it is a United Express flight. She is not helpful.
12:30pm: Reach Chicago O’Hare. Connecting flight gone.
1:00pm: Find gate of next flight to Kansas City, due to leave 3:30pm. Are told we are all wait-listed on the flight but that the flight is sold out so it doesn’t look good that all twelve of us will make it on. Woman at that United gate doesn’t seem very interested in helping us find alternative flights (even though it is United’s fault we missed the connection). She suggests the 6am flight the next day. Fran, Roy and Wayne have to be at load-in tonight at 6pm. Make a plan to meet back at that gate at 2:30pm.
Also 1:00pm: Original scheduled time of arrival in Kansas City had flight not gotten delayed.
Also 1:00pm: Crew starts loading in scenery at theater in KC. The only way to get scenery to the stage is up three floors in a freight elevator.
1:30pm: I think about taking Tallulah outside to pee and realize that without a ticket for a flight, I cannot leave the gate area.
2:00pm: Adam Souza arrives at the hotel in Kansas City after a leisurely 6 1/2 hour drive and a stop for lunch.
2:30pm: Meet back at gate. Find out that company management has booked the musicians on a 7pm flight, wardrobe on the cast flight at 3pm on American Airlines, Esther on a 4pm flight. Am told that the rest of us will attempt standby on the 3:30pm flight. I decide that if I do not get on the 3:30pm flight I am renting a car and driving to Kansas City.
3:00pm: Fran, Roy and Wayne take off for KC on the cast flight.
3:30pm: Successfully get onto the flight to KC with Suzanne, Jovon and Ben!
4:00pm: Jeff, Esther, Lynn and the musicians all make it onto the 4pm flight to KC. Lynn will not make it to the KC Chiefs/Toronto Blue Jays game that night, where she was supposed to sing the national anthem.
4:45pm: Fran, Roy and Wayne arrive at KC airport with no bags in sight. They cab to the hotel to check in.
5:00pm: I arrive in KC. Go to look for baggage.
5:15pm: Meet up with Karl (our company manager) who has just arrived with the rest of the cast, who are outside on a bus. Attempt again to look for luggage.
5:45pm: Recover some of the luggage from our group.. Realize my bags are not among them. Fill out lost baggage paperwork.
5:50pm: Suzanne asks the nice people at United for a toiletry bag since her suitcase has not arrived. They assure her that our bags will be at the hotel at 9:00pm that night so she need not worry (and will not need a toiletry bag).
5:50pm: Take bus to Hotel Phillips in Kansas City.
6:00pm: Fran and Roy go to load-in. The washing machines (which are in our rider) are not at the theater. Fran takes all the show laundry to a local laundromat to wash.
also 6:00pm: Wayne (our wardrobe supervisor) is taken to the hospital with an infection.
also 6:00pm: Ken goes back to the hotel. His air conditioning does not work. It is 103 degrees outside.
also 6:00pm: I make it to CVS just before they close and buy a litter box, litter, and a can of food for Tallulah.
6:15pm: Tallulah looks at me as if to say “If you think I am going to eat this crappy CVS food, you are out of your mind”. She ignores the food. I cut a “to go” coffee cup down and fill it with water to make her a water bowl.
7:00pm: I go to dinner, hoping the bags will arrive soon.
also 7:00pm: Jeff, Lynn, Esther and musicians arrive at the hotel.
8:00pm: I try contacting our company managers to see if my baggage arrived with the 4pm flight. I find out no information.
10:00pm: Ken mops the floors of all the dressing rooms at the theater as they are filthy and there is no production manager for the theater who would otherwise be mopping the floors or instructing someone else to do so.
10:00pm: Baggage still has not arrived. I call United and find out that our lost baggage reports were never filed. I file another report and am told my bags are still in Chicago. I am told to call back in two hours for updated status report. I call Fran at the laundromat and tell her she had better call United and file another report.
11:30pm: I fall asleep.
12:00 midnight: Fran goes back to hotel. Her toilet explodes and floods her room. She has to change rooms.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007:
4:00am: I wake up and check my bag status online. They are lost. United has no idea where they are. I call United. They think my bags may be on a 6am flight to Kansas City.
I lie awake until 6am.
6:00am: I check my bag status online again. My bags are still lost.
7:00am: I go to CVS and buy some deoderant and make-up. Tallulah still hasn’t eaten. She has now not had food since Sunday.
8:00am: Jovon and I arrive at the theater and immediately go to our trunks to find other shoes and cat food (me) and another shirt (Jovon). We find our office, which is located in a closet on stage level.
8:30am: I run home to feed Tallulah. She finally eats.
8:30am: All of the water at the Radisson hotel has been turned off due to the toilet explosion in Fran’s room.
9:00am: Company management arrives at the theater. They start calling our travel agent to figure out where our baggage is.
also 9:00am: I check bag status online again. Still lost.
also 9:00am: A large water leak is discovered in the hallway at the theater.
10:00am: Roy and Fran arrive at the theater. Wayne, their supervisor, is out sick, heavily medicated to help remedy his infection.
11:00am: Suzanne calls United and is told her bag was put on a flight that morning to KC along with eight other bags.
12:00 noon: Jeff goes to the airport to pick up Fran, Roy and Wayne’s suitcases. United will not transport them to the hotel as they flew on an American flight to KC (even though it was United’s fault they didn’t make their connecting flight in Chicago).
also 12:00 noon: A group of suitcases arrive at the Hotel Phillips.
1:30pm: I go to the hotel and retrieve my bags! I change my clothes!
2:00pm: Matt Allen, one of our chorus boys, calls out sick due to a recurring staph infection.
3:30pm: Patrick Heusinger, our Lancelot, calls and says he has missed his connecting flight in Chicago. He will get on a 4:45pm flight arriving KC at 6:15pm. He will not make sound check.
4:00pm: Our drummer and the local bass player argue in the pit over space.
4:30pm: Patrick calls to tell us he is on a plane on its way to KC.
4:30pm: Ken and Jovon go back to the hotel to take a shower.
5:15pm: I head to Starbucks to get some food. I run into Ken and Jovon. Patrick has just called. He is still on the runway in Chicago.
5:30pm: Back at the theater. Patrick still has not taken off.
5:55pm: Jonathan Brody, the Lancelot understudy (who has never performed the role, and who thinks he is playing Bedevere that night), enters the theater. Ken tells Jonathan he is playing Lancelot tonight. Because of other various vacations/sicknesses, we now have understudies on for the King, Bedevere, Lancelot, and three ensemble male tracks. I call Wardrobe and Jovon calls Hair. They are not happy.
6:00pm: We start sound check and mini put-in for Jonathan.
7:15pm: Wardrobe begins wrestling with the Knight of Ni stilts to adjust them for Jonathan, who is two inches shorter than Patrick. They have success.
7:40pm: Patrick arrives at the theater. We tell him to stay out of the way.
8:00pm: The mayor of KC makes a curtain speech. His name is Mayor Funkhouser.
8:05pm: Show starts.
8:40pm: The mountain hangar and the rabbit mound get entwined stage left and start swinging around like mad. They knock a fluorescent light off the fly rail.
8:42pm: Andrew Fitch, one of the swings, rolls his ankle. There are no more men available to go on. He has to continue. I get him an ice pack.
8:45pm: Eric Hayden, also in the male ensemble, rolls his ankle. I get him ice.
8:57pm: The ensemble girls want masking on the roof of their quick change booth. They say the guys on the fly rail can see inside.
9:00pm: Intermission. Our prop head gets into a screaming match with the local sound guy out on the loading dock.
9:15pm: Act Two starts.
10:20pm: Show finally ends. Jonathan is great as Lancelot. Wardrobe are champs.
10:30pm: Company management opens a tab at the hotel bar. We all drink heavily.
1:30am: Finally, bed.