It seems like a hundred years ago that we loaded the show into Fort Lauderdale. We were all coming back from two weeks off for Christmas, and of course the storm of the century hit New York City. Which means everyone’s flights were canceled. I luckily was coming from California, and flying through Dallas, so my travel was uneventful. I arrived on Sunday night as planned. I was staying in a house on the beach with some other crew members, and even though I arrived fairly late in the evening on Sunday, I was still the first one to get in, because of all the bad weather.
The company had to pull some serious strings to get everyone to Florida for the Tuesday opening. There were only five crew members at the Monday night load-in call. The ones who were stuck on the east coast did everything they could to get to Fort Lauderdale, and we did end up with a full crew by half hour before the opening night performance. Our head sound guy and his girlfriend, who is on our props crew, literally walked into the theater at 7:30pm on Tuesday night, after sitting in airports since Sunday. Crazy. Ten of the cast and musicians were flown on a private jet owned by one of the producers from NYC to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday afternoon. A lot of people had to fly into West Palm Beach and drive the hour down to Lauderdale. One of the actors, who had gotten stuck in Toronto, had to fly to Tampa, and then drive four hours across Florida to get to us. It’s amazing that we even had a show Tuesday night! Two of our swings actually didn’t make it in until Wednesday.
Once all the drama of travel was over, though, and all of us were safely in Fort Lauderdale, the fun began. The beach house I was staying in was AWESOME. The location could not have been better. The ocean was literally steps from our back door. We had a large outdoor yard area, too, with two grills and a long dining table. Basically the entire two weeks we were there, my time was spent either on the beach, or grilling in the yard. It was so nice. Some of the cast came over most afternoons to lay on the beach, and we had a big party on Monday afternoon, grilling and hanging out. New Year’s eve was spent on the beach next to the firepit. A couple of the stagehands bought some fireworks and set those off on the beach. It was low-key and so much fun.
A flu bug did make its way through the company while we were there (its actually still making rounds). I stayed home Saturday night with a 102 fever, and Constantine missed a couple of shows. Josh, who is his understudy, made his debut in the role of Drew and did a great job. Rebecca, who plays Sherrie, was also out with a cold, so her understudy Holly went on opposite Josh. They have both played opposite each other in understudy rehearsals, so it was nice for them to get to perform onstage in front of an audience together, too.
The local Fort Lauderdale crew were a nice bunch of guys. We went with some of them to Southport Raw Bar on Thursday night for happy hour which featured very cheap pitchers of beer and seafood. The peel and eat shrimp were delicious! The locals also had a cookout between shows on our last Saturday in town – one of the local carpenters went and bought some german brats and cooked them up, and also some german potato salad. So good.
The Most Handsome Men in the World played a gig at an irish bar called Murphy’s Law at the Hard Rock Casino. It was their most crowded gig to date, and a great time, as usual. There was a guy there who was seriously Constantine’s doppelganger. It was almost creepy. Adam Hunter, our associate director, was in town with his family, so he came to the gig and was able to experience the Most Handsome Men for himself 🙂
It was a sad, sad day when we had to pack up our things and leave the beloved beach house. I have never stayed that close to the beach in my life. It was the best tour housing ever. I should just retire now 🙂
This week we are in Orlando, and it is Ken’s last week with the show. I’m really bummed, and a little in denial about it. The whole purpose for doing this tour was to do it together. It seems weird to be continuing without him. I’m feeling really unfocused about the whole thing, and starting to think about moving on as well. Probably not for a while yet, but I do feel that the end is in sight. We’ll see.
Its cold in Orlando (in the forties – crazy right?) and we have a number of rehearsals scheduled, so probably not too many extracurricular activities planned. We have another layoff coming up in two and a half weeks time, so I am in the midst of planning that, and looking very forward to getting to the west coast with the show in a couple of weeks.
Hope everyone on the east coast is keeping warm!