Another Opening, Another Show
The Royal Poinciana Playhouse Where the Elite Meet and Greet
"Another job that you hope will last
Will make your future forget your past.
Just another opening of another show."
February 5, Thursday 5th DAY OF OUT OF TOWN TOUR ENDANGERED SPECIES
Still in Atlanta
Read till 4am. World Without End, Jimmy Breslin. Up at 1:30. Had breakfast and read reviews. I was not mentioned. Oh well.
Met Dallas in lobby. He is still sick and very weak, but seems a lot better thank God. I took him for a little walk. Took a walk, looked through old antique shop. Tried to call Dennis, (the playwright) he was not in. Got my dry cleaning and spent the rest of day reading. Wrote a letter to Marcy. There's not much to do here. As a matter of fact, there's nothing to do here. I think I'm going to read a lot.
Show tonight went terrible for me. I felt off. Dennis said it was good. I really dislike doing this part, the part of a jerk. Oh Well. Only 2 ½ weeks to go and I'm home free.
February 6 Friday 6th DAY OF TOUR PAYDAY
Marcy called this morning at 8 about going to meet Eileen Ford. She was really worried and nervous. I'm afraid I wasn't much help. I was so tired. We talked a little, than I went back to sleep. Marcy called again at 12:30. Sounded really depressed. After she told me what Eileen said, I told her Eileen was all criticism and no real help. Anyway, she will call me tonight.
Well, I am elated. Both shows went very well today. I think I'm a lot more relaxed and not killing myself over doing this part, and I've gotten over my self-consciousness, which makes a big difference. I'm actually enjoying doing the show. It has occurred to me that maybe I was preparing far too much before going on stage. I was rehearsing for at least an hour during the first act. Maybe I had a severe case of overkill. Anyway, all I can say is I'm doing well, and I hope it continues.
After the show I met Bob Burgos in the Bongo room in the lobby. What weird place, a real downer. I have to talk to Lloyd about commissions when I’m out of town. 15% is too much.
February 7 Saturday 7th DAY OUT OF TOWN TOUR
Pick up time for show is 5 pm. Dennis Brite gave me a mountain of notes before show. First show went fast and well. I got into a hassle as Equity Deputy with theater over the god damn rotten food they give us between shows. Some of the cast wanted money instead of the greasy chicken. The theater offered $1.79, an insult. I'll take the matter up with Equity. Second show went well. I read most of the time.
February 8 Sunday 8th DAY OUT OF TOWN TOUR
Show went quickly and well, except that the door bell for our entrance on stage didn't work right. Richard Green made up a line. "I wonder where the Champagne is. I’ll check the hall." Well it worked, sort of.
We all went to dinner at a place called ??? , nice, no liquor in Atlanta on Sunday, but they gave us white wine in water glasses. It was an enjoyable meal. Bill came to $16.00 a person. Extravagant for me, but I needed a good meal. I'm really working for next to nothing in this show.
February 9, Monday 9th DAY OF OUT OF TOWN TOUR
Day off. Thank god. Had breakfast and called Dennis Brite. I went over to Stouffer's where he's staying to get my notes. Instead, he starts me into a full scale rehearsal, 3-4 hours. I finally told him it was my day off and I had things to do. He seemed crushed that I didn't want to spend the day with him rehearsing. He lives in a building 25 stories tall on the 20ieth floor. Everything else around the hotel is 2 stories high. He's getting a Hitler Berchtesgaden Complex. Thinks he's an Eagle or something. Height can be heady.
Tried to call Marcy at 12. No answer. She called me at 1 am, told me she had been to dinner with some guy she met on a commercial. God was I pissed. Could not sleep. I really felt shitty. Did not fall asleep till 5:30 am. Read "Dreadful Lemon Sky" John D. MacDonald.
February 10 Tuesday 10th DAY OF TOUR
Up at 10 am. I'm exhausted. Did not fall asleep till 5:30 am. Had breakfast in hotel then off to rehearsal. It is a bright cool springlike day, a glorious day. Arrived theater at 2pm.
Rehearsal did nothing but confuse people. We all arrived enthusiastic, because Dennis had told us he had a lot of changes and rewrites, but all he did was put back in a lot of bad jokes that never did work and change the blocking, totally confusing matters. We rehearsed 4 hours without a break. I told him of Equity rule, he ignored it. Stopped rehearsal at 6 pm.
I had to have dinner across the street. No time to go back to the hotel. Had dinner in another lousy Italian restaurant, cost a lot.
Show went lousy thanks to Dennis's brilliant blocking and line changes. We lost a lot of the laughs and nice moments.
I am totally exhausted, even as I write this. I tried to call Marcy at 5:30, 6:00 and 6:30. I want to apologize for last night. I don't like the idea of her flying and my last words to her being angry stupid ones. I love her so much. I was just exhausted and irritable and stupid last night. And I'm lonely and miss her so. Back at hotel at 11:15. No message from Marcy. Called Florida about housing. Finished "Killer Angels".
February 11 Wednesday 11th DAY OF TOUR
Up at 1 pm. I was really exhausted. Had another difficult night. Had breakfast in hotel coffee shop. Then picked up my dry cleaning and went on a long walk to the laundromat. Thought I could save some money doing my own laundry. Took a long walk while the laundry went around. There are such beautiful large houses here that are in disrepair and could probably be bought at a reasonable price and redone magnificently. Well, I'm off to get a bite to eat before the show.
I arrived at the theater to find the local underground newspaper on my dressing table and guess what? I got a GREAT REVIEW! God, I'm so happy.
The show went really well. After the show, we all went to the Pleasant Peasant for dinner, and I had the first good meal of this tour "Poulet Marengo" and salad. A little expensive, but what the hell. Back at hotel 1:15 am. Left wake-up call 9 am. Tomorrow I talk to Marcy. I can hardly wait to hear her voice.
February 12 Thursday 12th DAY OF TOUR
Up at 1pm. Had another terrible night sleep.
Off to theater at 6:45, dressed in my grey suit. Show went so so.
After show Barbara Rush took us all to a really fantastic restaurant for dinner. A place in a new hotel called Mimi's. I had Steak Tartare and fried mushrooms and broccoli with Hollandaise sauce. Was great. Two Bloody Mary's, an Amaretto and Irish Coffee. A good time was had by all. She must have spent a couple of hundred dollars, easy. Got home at 2 am and collapsed.
February 13 Friday 13th DAY OF TOUR
Up at 1 pm. Had breakfast with Richard Green. Walked around downtown. Bought another Trav McGee book.
Got to the theater at 5pm. Sat around and read. The show went well. I was really good in second show. I was really rolling. Got back to hotel at 11:50. Today was Payday, thank god. Although I owe the hotel $97. God where does the money go?
February 14 Saturday 14th DAY OUT OF TOWN TOUR
Slept fairly well. No nightmares for a change. I seem to be suffering from terrible anxiety.
The show went really fast. One more performance to go here. I’m glad.
There was a terrible shooting at 4 am this morning in the place next to the hotel, the Electric Light bulb or something like that. And another one the parking lot at 5 am or so. I slept right through it, it seems. They say there were police cars everywhere.
Read Royal Flash
February 15 Sunday 15TH DAY OUT OF TOWN TOUR
I'll be really glad to get out of here. Show went well. Everybody (crew) was sad we were leaving. Couldn't say the same for the cast. I am a new man. I feel refreshed.
On to Marcy my baby and Palm Beach.
The money situation is becoming critical and a pain in the ass. I'm really tired of worrying about money. Time to make a lot and buy Marcy and me a house.
Well, like I said, I'm really elated over getting out of here. I'm almost finished packing and we're off to the airport.
Plane left on time. Arrived Palm Beach after an hour and half flight. Boy, is it great here! They drove me to my apartment on Royal Poinciana Way. It's beautiful, large kitchen and bedroom, TV, living room and beautiful furniture. Boy, this is really living.
Met Richard Green for dinner. We had frog's legs. Then we walked down to the beach and watched the breakers roll in. We were both giddy with joy. The sea, ah the sea, and Marcy arrives tomorrow.
February 16 Monday 16th DAY OF TOUR TODAY I SEE MY BABY YAH
Palm Beach is absolutely fantastic, expensive, but fantastic and pretty. All the rich folk are here and the sun always shines.
Started rehearsal at 1 pm till 4:30. My dressing room is terrific, and the theater itself is magnificent. Asked about a ticket for opening night, cost $15.
Marcy's cab arrived in front of theater at 5:40. God, I was nervous. She looks so young and is so beautiful. We were like a couple of kids giggling every time we looked at one another.
She loved the apartment. Marcy stayed home while I did the show, then I picked her up for party at Royal Poinciana Club next door. She looked great in a low cut, full length skin tight dress of turquoise. We left the party at around 1am and walked back with Richard and Lynn.
The show went terrible. Actually it wasn't the show but the people. They all sat there in their tuxedoes and minks and diamonds and never laughed or anything. God, what bunch of stiffs. I never worked so hard on a stage in my life. The worst audience I ever worked in front of.
It's so good to be with Marcy again.
February 17 Tuesday 17th DAY OF TOUR ENDANGERED SPECIES PALM BEACH
Woke up to the maid knocking on the door. Marcy was thrilled to discover that we have a maid every day. I'm so glad I can treat her to this trip. It makes doing this show worthwhile.
Today we explored Palm Beach. Went to the beach than back home, than to Henry Dinkels for drinks, Pina Coladas. Then off to Worth Street and saw all the fancy shops, Cartier's, Bonwit Teller, Saks, Gucci, etc, real lush, real Spanish, real money, all you could see were Cadillac's, Rolls Royce's. Lots of rich folk down here, but they make a terrible audience.
After the show, we had a lovely dinner at Testas. Spaghetti with white clam sauce, Heineken beer and Artichoke with lots of butter. Then we joined Barbara Rush and Dennis the playwright and the rest of cast in the garden for a drink.
Last night, opening night, was a disaster. They told us to really yell on stage so we could be heard because a lot of the old people are deaf. Well it turned out to be Bullshit, and we all looked like we were greatly overacting. Shit, the reviews creamed us.
I jumped all over Marcy today about money and demanding what she is worth and what is fair. Fords has her booked in Miami for 2 hours for $150 plus travel. That’s $100 for 4 hours travel time. I told her to demand her day rate, $500. She did and got it. She was amazed and thrilled. Well, hell, she deserves it. She has been sold short for too long.
February 18 Wednesday 18th DAY OF TOUR
Marcy made us a delicious breakfast. Sort of a lazy day. I have to do the matinee at 2:30, half an hour is at 2. Show was alright. Marcy saw it for the first time. Said it really stinks. It's just not a good play. Second show went better. I played it a lot looser, enjoyed myself more. Walked home with Richard. Marcy and Lynn were waiting, drinking wine. We had a chat and I read a castigating review of the show in the Miami Herald, the first bad review of my career, but the review was right.
Dennis Brite stopped by my dressing room to say goodbye. He was crushed by the review. I felt so bad, my heart went out to him. He had such great hopes for this play. So he is going back to NYC tonight defeated and rejected. I hope he bounces back. There's a good play in him somewhere.
February 19 Thursday 19th DAY OUT OF TOWN TOUR
Up at 10 am. Marcy left at 6 am for Miami and job. Had breakfast and let maid in. Then I bought some new Travis McGee books and off to a beach spot for 2 ½ hours. Then stopped by old bookstore on my way home. I can never resist a bookstore. Bought 3 books.
Have to take shower to get rid of oil and sand. Then out for lunch. Waited at home reading till 7:45 for Marcy to return. I was getting a little worried, but my gal showed up at the theater at 9 pm all smiles and giggly. I was glad to see her safe and sound.
Show went so so. I'll be glad when it’s over. 3 more performances to go. Home 11 pm. Had spaghetti, then to bed. Both of us were a little tired.
Today was PAYDAY.
February 20 Friday 20ieth DAY OF TOUR OF ENDANGERED SPECIES
Up at 10 am. Breakfast. Off to bank to cash my check, then to Palm Beach Towers pool to meet Richard, Lynn and Bob. Biff Liff and Barbara Rush were also there.
I went to theater early, 1:30 to do laundry, but all the machines were in use. Two shows today, 2:30 and 8:30. After today, only one to go.
Have to call director and Jonathan in NYC tonight to find out when I start rehearsing new show.
After the first show, Marcy and I had dinner. Enchiladas and tacos. Then to see the beautiful Spanish Gardens of the Bradley House for Pina Coladas.
My scenes went well. After show I walked home with Richard.
I called Jonathan in NYC about new show. He said it had been cancelled. Marshall Mason didn’t like it. I am crushed. I'm so disappointed, I can hardly believe it. I was so looking forward to it. Marcy was asleep in bed.
February 21 Saturday 21st DAY OUT OF TOWN IN SHOW ENDANGERED SPECIES
Today is the day of the last show. Marcy and I had breakfast around 11 am, then walked down to the beach and found a hidden place and sunned. I had to leave at 1:40 in order to be at the theater at 2 for half hour.
The show went well. I think we are all glad it is over. Marcy watched my scene from back stage and thought I did a lot better. At 4:30 the show came down. I feel a little sad. I'm the only cast member going back to NYC on the Sunday morning flight. Kendall is going to her parents in Fort Lauderdale. Richard Green and Lynn are going to his parents in Miami. Barbara Rush is going to LA, Bob Burgos is going to his mother in Miami.
After the show Marcy and I and walked to our apt. Richard and Lynn came over, and Richard got on the phone and gave his reservation to Marcy so she and I could fly home together tomorrow.
Had a nice dinner at Testas. I had frogs' legs, than we took a midnight stroll on the beach and talked and stopped for a drink. Home to bed at 1am.
Well, it is all over but the flight home.
February 22 Sunday
Leave for airport 7:20 am. Flight home really rough. Marcy was a nervous wreck. I felt terrible for her. Arrived LaGuardia at 10:30 am. Good to be home. Marcy had waxed the floors before she left. They look terrific. Went over and got Wister. She seemed thrilled to see us home again.
NOTE – Never again will I tour for that little money. I came home owing $150. That is for shit. I can't pay 25% commission when I tour. It's ridiculous. Thank God I was getting residual checks from my commercial.
MARCY'S MEMORIES OF PALM BEACH
I have three memories to add about our stay in Palm Beach. The first is that for one show, I waited in Tom's dressing room with him while the audience came in and took their seats. There were speakers in each dressing room so the actors could hear what was happening on stage and didn't miss their cues. The noise coming over that speaker was truly a ROAR from the audience. I felt so bad for poor Tom because he was about to be thrown to the lions in the Coliseum. Tom said he'd never heard an audience make that much noise in his entire career.
My second memory is of attending the show. I was given a seat in the front row next to two elderly people who were very nice and friendly and introduced themselves. Their name was a household name that I could not fail to recognize for an appliance that everyone uses. No wonder they were in the front row. They were fascinated to hear that my husband was a member of the cast. But, best of all, and it still makes me laugh today, the minute the curtain when up, down went the Mister's head onto his chest. He slept through the entire performance. His wife was very apologetic. I hope I was gracious in accepting it.
The last memory is of going grocery shopping near our apartment. As I browsed through the fabulous aisles of the gorgeous supermarket, a universe or two away from our 90ieth Street D'Agostinos, I slowly became of aware of the other shoppers around me and realized I was the only person not wearing a maid's or chauffeur's uniform.