Happy Monday! It’s been a funny thing, writing all of these SMASH blogs and other things, getting more traffic, all that good stuff, but I do find that I look forward to getting back to a good old fashioned cliff-hanging blogisode. At this point it almost feels retro. My goal is to do one of these a week, so that those of you strongholds who have been reading this from the beginning will have a little something, but the rest of the week will probably be loaded with SMASH and more of our new series, Let Me Tell You What I Liked About….
For now let’s do a quick catch up on what is happening in my life. First of all, my apartment looks like a bomb went off in it. In fact, as I type, I am surrounded by piles of pastel tulle and rhinestones. Before you think I’m in the wardrobe room of Priscilla Queen of the Desert or on the set of Toddlers and Tiaras I will explain that I am sort of on the set of T & T, because I am in Beatrix’s bed waiting for her to go to sleep. She saw the run through of Avenue Zoo today (the show I am putting together for The Bronx Zoo) and she has many questions about it and keeps telling knock knock jokes (there are a few in the show, but she is also on a knock knock joke kick, taught to her by her cousin Daphne). Here was hers.
Ghost and (looking around her room) an Easter Basket.
(The above joke is copywritten and all rights are reserved by one, Beatrix Jane Meffe. All interested parties must contact her lawyer, Jonathan Moskin.)
I mean, this is comic gold.
I never explained the tulle, did I?
So, the kids have been at Rob’s parents’ house all week and we missed them like crazy and (sort of) enjoyed how clean the apartment stayed, and then as soon as Beatrix the tornado re-entered our lives, she dumped ALL of her dress up clothes. This is saying a lot because she has hand-me-downs from several sources. To get a full appreciation, go and empty all of your drawers and the contents of your closet in the middle of your bedroom and then sprinkle glitter on top of the pile. I’ll wait.
Are you back?
That’s what Beatrix’s room looks like right now.
Part of the reason I feel like writing about Vegas right now is because I am
knee deep waist deep eyeball deep in Avenue Zoo right now, and it reminds me of being in rehearsals for Q Vegas. I have two casts, they are almost all new to puppetry, and it stars Kate Monster. Once we get to the zoo it will be hot, so if you just threw in some slot machines, it’s almost the same thing.
Okay, let’s hop back on the monorail and head back to Vegas in 2005. It’s August. It’s hot. Let’s do this.
To give you an idea of exactly how hot it was in Vegas, Rob and Charlotte tried to fry an egg on the pavement outside of our apartment (they did a lot of things while I was in long rehearsal, but this was one of my favorites. They took pictures to show me, and they are still on my computer, so I will show you. Ready?
Rob and Charlotte had some scientific hypothesis for why it didn’t wok that had to do with the porous nature of the pavement, and that they needed to use a flat surface that conducts heat….and then I dozed off…and thought about how if I said, “Hey Charlotte, I’ll bet it’s so hot outside that you could fry an egg on the pavement, I’d probably just then make the apartment a little cooler and head to the pool. Only Rob could make it a science lesson. I can’t even spell porous without spell check.
This is a very fair representation of our early days in Vegas. While the “press” cast was off filming Regis and Kathie…Katie…her name has totally escaped me…KELLI (I’m getting old) in New York, we (the “yellow bear” cast) were in a bottom floor of The Wynn Casino in Las Vegas doing tech rehearsals. That might sound like I am bitter, and maybe at the time I was. Maybe we all were. But–I should explain–one of the hard things about it was the money they were all being paid to do it, not just the fun of getting to call Grandma and saying they were going to be on National TV. This is the sometimes unfair thing about theater–and well–probably all jobs. Sometimes you don’t get picked to do the big fun projects. You can lose your mind about it and bitch and moan and whine, but at the end of the day it is kind of like eating a giant bag of potato chips. It might feel good at the time, but the next day you are going to wake up puffy and regretful. (I’m tired. That’s the best metaphor I’ve got right now. Please fill in with a better one in your brain. Thank you). I think somehow my cast learned really early on to bond together and laugh it all off. It was a great thing to learn. A few drinks helped, too (always readily available in Las Vegas.)
The main question I am asked about this time in my life is–“What was it like to live in Las Vegas?” Let me try to hit the main points. Feel free to jump in if I miss something.
1) Is there more to Las Vegas than the strip? The outlying areas of Vegas are mouth droppingly beautiful. No one quite knows that because (as we learned during our orientation at The Wynn) the average trip to Las Vegas is 2 1/2 days. A weekend. People arrive, check into their hotel on the strip, drink and gamble at their casino, walk two doors down and drink and gamble at that casino, and so on. They might go see a show, they probably will go to a buffet, and they will leave. It is rare to leave the strip, and I must tell you that is a shame. If you need a guide to the mountain ranges and National Parks in that part of the country, please contact Rob Meffe who (I think) saw everything. That man was constantly hiking. I’m not exaggerating. My cast can back me up on this, because half the time he was playing park ranger to a bunch of cranky and hung over actors who’d said, “Hey, I’ll go hiking with you!” on their day off, and then had to actually follow through post cocktails.
2) Is there a lot of drinking in Las Vegas?
3) Are there really whore houses?
Yes. I think they are legal? I think? I’ll have my fact checking team check that and get back to you. I can tell you that
there is not a billboard in Vegas that doesn’t flaunt fake boobs and pasties. (This just in, my husband Rob Meffe told me they are not legal in Vegas, but they are legal in Pahrump, Nevada. I asked him why exactly he knew this information, and he said “There is a great hike there.” Of course there is.)
4) Are their kids in Vegas? Yes. Charlotte will tell you all the girls are blonde. I will tell you that their mothers show up at school drop off (at 8am) perfectly coiffed and wearing heels. It’s intimidating to a New Yorker.
5) Are the buffets any good? Are they really only $5.
They are really expensive (for the most part) and they are good at certain casinos. The biggest thing is, they are easy and quick. I think I ate at a buffet once the entire time I was in Vegas.
(To read the next post in this series, go here)