Gosh, I really do get distracted by shiny things. I always want to keep you up to date and then it seems a few days go by and we're already in another state and I realize I haven't told you where we've been. Well, this time I have an excuse. Laura came down to Ft. Lauderdale to spend the weekend and since we hadn't seen each other in about two months we spent some time together. That and doing four shows Sat and Sun. didn't leave much in the way of bloggin' time.
But let me tell you about Ft. Lauderdale! First time in Florida for me so Ft. Lauderdale was a nice introduction. We arrived at the same time as a cold front was moving thru the area so we had to deal with temps in the chilly 70-75 degree range! lol! Well, the locals were complaining about how cold it was! On Friday, Laura and I took in the sights downtown, went to the Museum of Art and had a bite to each at one of those hip, soup and sandwichy bistros. Then we decided it would be fun to go on one of those harbor cruises (river cruise actually, though it does go to the harbor ) since Ft. Lauderdale is touted as being the "Venice of America". I'm guessing it probably smells better than the real Venice, at the very least.
I was not prepared for the unbelievably dizzying display of wealth up and down these waterways. Mansion after mansion, yachts, yachts and.....SUPER-yachts! That's right, if you have way too much money on your hands, why not spend it on a multi-leveled, mediterranian-styled waterfront mansion with a gazebo covered with 24-carat gold-leaf (really), with your own deep water dock to park your $75-million dollar ( yes, true) super-yacht right next to your front lawn!!! Unbelievable!
The guide pointed out the many celebrities and business tycoons of yesterday and today who have set up shop here to play the super rich version of keeping up with the Joneses. Interesting to note that several of the older houses, rather conservative and unassuming in comparison to the newer big mansions, were owned by the likes of Kate Smith, Johnny Weismuller, Vivien Leigh and Sonny and Cher, to name a few. While the more extravagent mansions are owned by the likes of the ceo of Sunglass Hut or the owner of the Miami Dolphins.
The Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale is another one of those grand old places that so many stars of the stage have passed thru. There are placards hanging in the Green Room of every season dating back to the mid-sixties, with every show listed and the stars who performed in those shows. I don't know of you can pick them out from the pictures I put up but there are quite a dazzling array of stars there...Richard Kiley, Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones, Jerry Orbach to name just a few. And the theater itself is a beautiful showcase of statues, red velvet and artwork.
After a stop in West Palm Beach at a tiny theater where we used barely any of our stuff we headed up to Lakeland FL. to play the Lakeland Center Youkey Theater. Because it was a good size theater we were able to do a "full" show ( all of our sets, lights props) but that wasn't the unusual thing about this stop. I don't think anyone was prepared for the type of crowd we had there, they were so into it, so responsive. It was one of the best audiences we've had so far on the tour. There were about 2000 people there and damn if weren't going to have a good time going to the theater. Wow, it was so nice to have that, to be able to ride the crest of an audience like that, it's great. When you don't have that your tendency is to push a little more and that's not always a good idea.
But thank you Lakeland FL, you were great!
Now we leave sunny Florida for now and head up to North Carolina and Virginia.
Be back soon !