Ramblings From The Road
So, I went through the rehearsal period, the previews, the Opening, the Tony voters, and the Tony Awards, not to mention the Drama Desk, The Drama League, and The Outer Critics Award parties. It was only after it was all over that I thought I would die a grizzly death from sheer exhaustion. It's as if we continually opened "Gypsy" for four months. But, thank God the theatre gods and muses smiled upon me. The show is going extremely well, we are still a loving, supportive, and happy company and the thing that absolutely blows my mind is that nobody in the company misses a performance. It is the best company I have ever had the privilege of working with. There's a rather sickening trend on Broadway that I guess isn't a trend any more, but a bad habit, a really unprofessional, disrespectful, unethical habit and that habit is company members calling in and missing shows whenever they feel like it. I remember in "Evita" when I actually saw a dancer go up to the stage manager and say, "Well, I'll do "Art of the Possible", but I won't dance "A New Argentina", and maybe I'll show up for something else in the first act but I'll be going home in the second. Our ineffectual stage manager accepted this and I asked him, "How come they're getting a full paycheck for half a performance? I'm not allowed to do that." He just looked at me and ignored me. Well, it continues to this day. However, the "Gypsy" company is the exception and I am so grateful to them for their work ethic and their desire to be on stage and perform this musical. It's hard, eight shows a week, it's extremely hard. But that's Broadway and it takes muscle to perform on Broadway, eight shows a week. When all is said and done, it's an accomplishment one can be proud of. Whether you stunk in the part or not, you honored your contract and showed up every day. As they say, "Broadway ain't for sissies." So, if any of you reading this are considering a career on the Broadway stage, it is not glamorous and personal fame is rarely achieved. What it is, is eight shows a week. Oh, the other thing I choose to bitch about is the arrogant and disrespectful actor who thinks half hour doesn't apply to them. Half hour means half hour before the show. This again does not apply to my company. I cannot believe how fortunate I am. I would work with each and every one of these actors again and for the rest of my career. Speaking of the rest of my career, how do I follow Madame Rose?
I've got six months and six weeks left on my contract. I have a fire door in my dressing room that has a prison countdown on it. It's quite colorful and fun to look at. The reason I know how many days I have left is because I am reeling from unbelievable exhaustion. I know that if I get to the top of the summit, which is the six month mark, then I'm home free. I can start coming back down off the mountain. But, what do I do after Madame Rose?
My son Joshua played in The Broadway Show League for the "Gypsy" team. I had the quintessential summer day. I was watching "Gypsy" play "The Little Mermaid" in a softball game on Field One in Hechsher Field in Central Park. Field One is right next to the carousel. As I sat in the bleachers watching the game I was listening to the calliope of the carousel. It was turn of the century America. It was pure American. Don't we wish life was that simple again? Maybe it wasn't that simple then, but it had to be a hell of a lot simpler than it is today. Can we talk about Times Square and the Pedi-cabs? Can we talk about the amount of people in Times Square? Sometimes I feel like I'm in Bangkok. Don't get me wrong, I love Bangkok, but what the hell are they doing to Times Square? Who are all those people?
It's beautiful up here in Connecticut... late July and no humidity... must be the end of the world.