Gavin Creel of Broadway’s ‘Hair’ details whirlwind trip to L.A.

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As Culture Monster reported earlier this month, the Tony Award-winning cast of ‘Hair’ will be appearing today on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Conan O’Brien. The cast completed the Sunday matinee performance, then the tribe -- 50 members strong -- hopped on a bus to catch a chartered plane from Teterboro Airport to L.A. Today they’ll rehearse in the morning, perform on the show, then hop back onto the plane, returning to New York in time for their Tuesday night performance.

Tony nominee Gavin Creel (best actor in a musical) agreed to share with Culture Monster some behind-the-scenes details of the Hair tribe’s whirlwind journey to the City of Angels. Here’s his diary:


11:25 a.m. (EST): Today¹s the day. The ‘HAIRplane’ will take to the skies to whisk 50 hippies to the West Coast. ‘Tonight Show,’ here we come! I’m at my apartment doing some last-minute packing and truly starting to contemplate what we are about to do. This is insane!!

2:25 p.m.: Nancy Harrington (our stage manager) and Penny Daulton (our company manager) just had a meeting with us about the ambitious travel plans. The ‘tribe,’ as usual, talked though the entire thing. We¹ll be lucky if we make it onto the plane! Now let’s do a matinee!

5:45 p.m.: Steel Burkhardt and I are hangin’ with Anthony Hollock (Mr. Broadway!) while we wait for the bus. ‘I wanna get outta heeeeere,’ Anthony says.

6:25 p.m.: Boarding the bus. We maaaaaay have taken a trip to the liquor store. No security on a private plane baby! We can make our own drinks!!!!

6:58 p.m.: Just left the Lincoln Tunnel. I don’t understand how Megan Reinking can read in a moving car. I wanna barf just making this little note. Brrrdfff

7:52 p.m.: Arrived at Teterboro about 30 minutes ago, and we’ve been raiding the snack machines. ‘Air Force One’ is playing on the TV in the airport. Ironic, no?

8:07 p.m.: Boarding. Dusk. I think everyone is in various states of intoxication. This may be interesting!

9:36 p.m.: Allison Case and I (with Conifer’s help of course -- Conifer is our kick-ass flight attendant/baby sitter) arranged a smorgasbord of carb delights for us to pass out in the plane.

10:03 p.m.: Steel is serving drinks with his pants off. Kacie Sheik is watching ‘The West Wing’ and rewinding because they talk too fast. Theo Stockman is contemplating climbing out on the wing to reprise his Tony night debacle at Tavern on the Green when he climbed a tree in Central Park.

10:17 p.m.: Kaitlin Kiyan [the youngest member of the cast at 19] is slaying me with recordings of her original songs. I’m in Hawaii right now with our Polynesian pop princess 33,000 feet in the air over the Midwest. How lucky am I to meet new spirits with hidden talents and passion in their hearts. This girl is talented.

10:36 p.m.: Chasten Harmon and Steel are wearing each others’ pants. Gloria Burke (our wig mistress) has a purse full of vodka bottles. Nicole Lewis is reading Barbara Walter¹s ‘Audition.’

11:45 p.m.: Back in the air; lightning over the left wing. Beautiful. Paris is filming it. So...I’m pretty sure he made it back on the plane.

?????: OK now I don’t know what time it is. I don’t know what time zone we are in. I guess I slept, although my neck disagrees -- it kills. At one point I got up, and I looked at a plane full of people all trying to pretend that sleep is possible in this little tin box with wings. Tomorrow is going to happen, I believe that. I just have no idea how. Bless us all on our journey.

12.35 a.m.: We landed and are taxiing to the buses that are going to take us to beds at the Standard Downtown. Tommar Wilson watched ‘Marley and Me’ and cried like a baby. I’m scared of that movie. I have flip-flops on, and I am determined to get a tan tomorrow. Even if I only have 7 minutes free time.

1:10 a.m.: On the highway from LAX to the hotel. Why does driving on the highway for 10 minutes seem like an hour and riding on the subway for an hour seems like 10 minutes?

1.57 a.m.: Checked in to the Standard Downtown. Fancy joint. My room is huge. There is a giant foot in my bathroom. Seriously. I’m wearing a bathrobe, my bathing suit, beads and flip-flops. Hello LA. Room service chicken and waffles, blt, and crab cakes. oh yeahhhhh. i need sleeeeep.

-- Gavin Creel

To be continued ...

Related coverage: Gavin Creel and cast of ‘Hair’ get a taste of Hollywood

Gavin Creel and cast of ‘Hair’ wrap up their California adventure

Top photo: Gavin Creel performing a number from ‘Hair’ at the Tony Awards in June. Credit: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images. All other photos: Gavin Creel