When Sam got the part in the Addams Family, I spoke to Jeremy’s grandmother who is doing most of the guardian duties for Jeremy. She is a 72 year old wonderful woman named Sandy, who is a rabbi’s wife and retired software company owner. She said to me, (in a Jewish grandmother’s voice), “Allyson, we are going to see the country. If we are in a town with the world’s biggest ball of string, we are going to see it.”
And so, we are in Scranton, PA, which does not have the biggest ball of string, but did claim to have the best Houdini Museum in the world. So, we went yesterday. Craig had flown in to surprise Sam for the weekend. It took 2 flights from Phx and a 2.5 hour drive from Philly to get here, but the look on his face when he saw Craig was priceless. (see attached video) Also, Craig got to see the show for the first time and it was amazing for him to finally see it and meet everyone.
The Houdini Museum turned out to be an old house belonging to an elderly couple named Dick and Dorothy, who, basically, are horders obsessed with Houdini. They had 3 rooms of crap that sort of related to Houdini, like posters of movies that were made about him and some newspaper clippings they got online. It was like an SNL skit. I could totally picture Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig playing these people. Dick wore a suit and a magic hat and 75 year old Dorothy wore a sparkly outfit with a side ponytail and sparkly headband. They took us through the rooms and told us such interesting info as who the lawyer was who sued the people who took Houdini’s headstone (and also his hourly rate) and also about some leaks they had in their “museum” that we could help pay for if we put money in a jar. Then they did a magic show that reminded me of my 6 year old birthday party at McDonalds in which she magically ripped up a piece of paper and put it back together. They thought they were hilarious and Sam, Craig and I left an hour into the magic show.
As we left, Dorothy begged us to stay (we said we had an appointment), and she told us to take a card and tell our friends. So, here you go Dorothy.
We have been in 3 cities in one week (Utica, NY, University Park, PA and now Scranton) and it is so interesting to see how each city has a different sized theatre and stage and how the set and choreography needs to be adjusted in each town. The actors usually only have an hour to orient themselves with the changes and then go on. But every show is wonderful and the audience would never catch the changes. To me, this is the real magic. The ability to come to a new town and re-create the show each night and to keep the excitement and energy alive. The actors and crew have all been getting sick, and they keep plugging on.
Tomorrow, we take a 2 hour bus to the Philly airport, then a flight to Ft. Myers, FL airport and then a bus to the hotel. But it is a week of shows in Florida (which is called a “sit down”) followed by one night of fun in Orlando before we head back to the cold in Appelton, WI.
So, here’s to the cast and crew of this show. You may not be pulling a rabbit out of a hat or magically making a red scarf turn into a multi colored scarf, but you are creating an evening of magic for new people every night around the country. And that ain’t no ball of string.