Fort Lauderdale

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.

The view from our back door

The side yard at the beach house

The view from the balcony

Setting off fireworks on New Year's eve

MiG, Gibbs and Skibic enjoying the BBQ

Playing football on the beach

Rebecca enjoying a bomb pop

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.

Josh and Holly as Drew and Sherrie

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.

Grilling brats and peppers

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 🙂

Sean at Murphy's Law

Joey at Murphy's Law

Nick

Nick

 

Keith, Leigh and the Constantine look-alike

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 🙂

Travis boogie boarding

Lindsay

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!

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Alligators and Mansions

Well I’ve definitely been slacking a bit with my blogging since I’ve been in Fort Lauderdale, but it’s so hard to stay inside on the computer when it is so gorgeous outside! It really is a shame that we are only here two weeks because we’ve all had such a great time here…it hasn’t felt like work at all, but a fantastic vacation.

Last week Mary (old friend from high school) came to visit for a couple of days. We spent last Monday at the Everglades National Park, which was really amazing. I’ve been to quite a few national parks on the west coast, and have experienced the landscape of the east coast, but the Everglades were totally different – flat and swampy and humid. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. And there was so much wildlife.

The park is only about an hour and a half drive from Fort Lauderdale and encompasses the whole bottom part of Florida down to the keys. We drove into the park and got a map of different places to drive to and hike. We were determined to see some alligators, and we sure did!

At first the alligators are hard to see, but once you see one, you notice them everywhere! You are supposed to stay fifteen feet away from them in case they start snapping, but we didn’t see any of them even move, much less snap.

There were so many other animals too, mostly a lot of beautiful birds.

We also drove down to the southern end of the park to the start of the keys, which was really pretty and peaceful.

On the way back to Fort Lauderdale, we stopped in Miami and had dinner in South Beach.

The following day, Tuesday, we did a boat ride on the canals of Fort Lauderdale, which took us by all the houses of the rich folks here. It was so beautiful and relaxing (and they served margaritas on board!).

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Some of the houses (well, most of the houses) were ridiculously amazing. Like this one, with its own beach…
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We also saw lots of iguanas roaming around…
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We had the best couple of days! More time was also spent on the beach and roaming around Las Olas Boulevard, shopping and eating lots of good food.
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Mare left on Wednesday, hopefully rested and ready to go back to work.
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On the work front, the show has been going well. Peter Lawrence, the associate director, and Pam Remler, the associate choreographer, came out to Florida on Wednesday evening and saw the show and we rehearsed with them on Thursday. We’ve had a lot of new company members join the show over the last two months or so, so Peter and Pam just came to check in and make sure everything was coming together. The rehearsal was really productive and I think it re-energized the company.

Yesterday was my last Fort Lauderdale beach day. Sniff Sniff. I noticed a cruise company down by the beach yesterday offering day cruises to the Bahamas (which is only about 45 miles away from here). I’m so bummed we are leaving, because how awesome would it have been to do a day cruise to the Bahamas?!

We leave here on Monday for Tampa, which is about a four hour drive away. I hear Tampa is more urban and less beachy than here. The weather is also about 10 degrees cooler. Bummer! But we are planning a trip to Disneyworld from there which will be fun.

Well, I guess that’s all from Fort Lauderdale!

Fort Lauderdale!

Well, going from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale could not be a more surreal or welcomed change. The day we left Detroit it was 29 degrees and after we left, it snowed. Here in Florida it has been in the low 80’s. It doesn’t seem right that it is January.

Fort Lauderdale beach

Fort Lauderdale beach

Well, as Tallulah told you in the last entry, we did hit the beach on our second day here which was amazing. Tuesday was spent loading in the show all day with a performance that night and then yesterday we were at the theater all day doing a photo call and shooting b-roll before the show that night. You know what, though? When you come to work at a place like this…

Broward Center

Broward Center

…it hardly matters that you have to be at work all day rather than on the beach.

Seriously, when you walk out the front door of the theater, this is what you see:

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And we are getting paid to be here?

The interior of the theater is gorgeous as well – very modern, but classy.

We have tons of room backstage which made for a very smooth first performance, and all the dressing rooms and offices are on the same level as the stage, which is nice after Detroit, which was six levels (all those stairs!).

Also, outside the wardrobe room is this amazing courtyard where we can hang out:

And you can walk down the river from the theater to a number of great bars and restaurants with outdoor seating. It’s really nice. Fort Lauderdale is supposedly the U.S. equivalent of Venice in that it is built on all these waterways. I’ve driven by a number of “streets” which are actually not paved streets, but waterways, and houses are built along the waterways, and people dock their boats right outside their houses. Amazing!

There’s also lots of good shopping here – there’s a huge outlet  mall near our hotel which is enormous. I went there today and didn’t even make it around half of it.

The only drag here is that our hotel is a little on the dumpy side. It’s under construction so we are awakened by banging at 8 o’clock every morning. Oh well, I guess it’s a small price to pay for being here in such a beautiful place.

Mary (one of my oldest and dearest friends from high school) arrives on Saturday and stays through Wednesday. We are going to the Everglades National Park on Monday. I hope we see some alligators!

Cute cat picture of the day:

A Letter to Kristoff

Dear Kristoff,

Mom made me get up really early yesterday morning and drink some really yucky herbal drops and then get in my bag. We went in the car with her friend Rick to the Detroit airport which was really loud and scary. It was especially scary when Mom made me get out of the bag to so it could go through the x-ray machine. I didn’t like that, but we had had a talk before we left for the airport about staying calm, so I did. I just clung to Mom while she carried me through and then I got back in the bag.

Then we went on another airplane. It was a longer flight this time than the one from New York to Detroit. I had to stay under the seat for almost three hours! Mom did leave the zipper open a little though on the top of the bag so I could at least see her the whole flight. We flew past Cape Canaveral on the way down here and Mom wanted to lift me up and let me look out the window, but there was a big man in the middle seat so she couldn’t get my bag out from underneath without causing all kinds of trouble. So I stayed there until we landed. But here’s picture Mom took of Cape Canaveral so you can see what it looks like:

After we landed and the big man moved out of the way, Mom lifted my bag up onto the seat and let me look out. I met Keith Reese who is the production carpenter on Mom’s show. He was sitting behind us. The lady sitting next to him kept sneezing and giving me dirty looks. I think she might have been allergic to me.

Then we went to get the luggage. It took a long time to come out, so Mom let me out of the bag for a few minutes. A bunch of people came over to pet me and tell me how cute I was. It was so embarrassing. 

Then Mom got the rental car and we went for another ride. It was so nice out – 80 degrees! So different from Detroit! Mom rolled the windows down and I could see palm trees and blue sky! We went to a hotel called the Amerisuites last night, which was kind of a dump and smelled funny, but it was okay because it was only for one night. Me and Mom were real tired from getting up so early and traveling so we slept for like 10 hours!

Then today we had to move to another hotel. The only problem was that we had to be out of the Amerisuites by noon and couldn’t check into the other hotel, the Las Palmas, until 2! So, Mom took me to the beach.

At first I stayed in my bag.

But the beach looked so pretty….

I tried to peek out the best I could.

Mom was bugging me cuz she kept taking pictures of me cooped up in the bag while she got to enjoy the sun!

Finally she took pity on me and unzipped the bag so I could at least get some fresh air!

Kris! You will never believe how many seagulls there were! I thought there were a lot of birds to look at out the window of the Residence Inn in Michigan, but that was nothing compared to all the birds I saw on the beach!

There were also a lot of people on the beach in swimsuits! It’s weird because it’s January and I know in New York it’s usually cold in January, right? And it was really freezing when we left Detroit yesterday, but here it’s like summer! In fact, Mom says it is high season here. It actually gets too humid in the summer here for it to be any fun, so January is when people come and visit. Lucky for us, right?

Finally, right before we left, Mom let me all the way out of the bag for a few minutes.

Kris – it was the best ever! I love the beach!

Now we are at the Las Palmas hotel in Sunrise, Florida. It took a while to get checked in because the room ended up not being ready until 3:30p, but I got to meet some more of Mom’s friends while we waited. I had to pee so bad, though! But I was good and didn’t pee in the bag. I waited until we were in the room and Mom had the litter box set up. Now I’m exploring the new room and trying to find all my new hiding places. It’s a pretty nice hotel, and there’s some kind of soccer convention going on  and all the soccer players are staying here too, as well as all of Mom’s coworkers. Mom says the soccer players are cute. I don’t know what she’s talking about.

Mom has to go to work tomorrow so I will probably just nap and look out the big window. Mom’s friend Mary comes to visit on Friday. That will be fun – one more person to give me some loves when I want them.

I miss you Kris, I wish you were here to see the seagulls with me.

Meow, 

Love Tallu