I had never been on any of the Playbill Travel cruises myself, so when I got the call I was immediately interested. And I got to bring my mother! From a performer’s point of view, it’s great because there’s a very, very small number of people on the boat, and we all have a night to perform and then do a few other things, like an interview and an autograph signing.
But what became the most interesting part for me was just being around the patrons and fans of Broadway and Playbill. Because you’re all traveling together and exploring countries and cities and towns, it really gives you a chance to mingle and meet people in a very intimate way, and that was really fun—to talk about Broadway and show biz and then also talk about tortes in Austria!
For my show, I’d been asked to prepare 70 minutes or so. Luckily, I’d done a couple of things prior so I just brushed that off and found some more music and crafted a little night for myself, including some songs from Waitress and then some Ben Folds and John Mayer. I did have to go first, so I was the guinea pig and that was a little nerve-wracking, but then I got it done and was able to enjoy myself and the other performers the rest of the time. But there was no pressure; it was such a warm audience, and Seth Rudetsky, who accompanied me, has been a friend of mine for 20 years, so it was really fun to mess around with him and come up with some stuff.
As for the rest of the trip, I have to say the best excursion had to have been the Belvedere Museum, which is a couple of palaces in Vienna. (Basically the whole boat went because it’s so interesting.) So there we are in this in Austrian palace, and we got a private viewing of a bunch of Klimt paintings that tourists usually wait hours to see, including “The Kiss.” Then we went into this amazing room with all these frescoes, and an orchestra came out and played Mozart and the Viennese Waltz, and they had some dancers followed by champagne—and then we all got back on the buses for more music and hilarity. And that was just the first night!
Everything about the cruise was so easy. We had the most delightful time getting to know the passengers on the boat—it truly was like The Love Boat: You create this little community as you travel together and it all just seamlessly worked. Can I go again?
To book your own Playbill Travel experience, visit PlaybillTravel.com.