Stage actors aren't always fond of touring, but the show must go on

July 09, 1992|By Barbara Isenberg | Barbara Isenberg,Los Angeles Times

It helps sell tickets if a Broadway show on tour is packed with celebrities, but few major stars are eager to hit 30 cities a year.

Ask Gary Beach, an actor who has traveled with such shows as "Annie," "Legends!" and "Les Miserables." "When you're in New York," says Mr. Beach, "you go and do the show. It's over at 10:15, and you're out of the theater at 10:30. By 11, you're sitting in your apartment watching 'The Tonight Show.' "

Life on the road is a little less comfortable. "You're in a different hotel every other week, and you get very tired of restaurant food very quickly," says Cathy Rigby, who played 60 cities in two years as "Peter Pan" and this week begins a national tour in "Annie Get Your Gun." "I enjoy it, but it's not for everybody."

Besides the ordeal of it, says Scott Zeiger, president of Pace Theatrical Group, a producing and presenting company involved in about 30 percent of the country's touring productions, many stars and their agents don't want to risk eight months or a year away from Los Angeles or New York with their TV and movie markets. Keith Carradine will re-create his Broadway role as "Will Rogers" on the road, but such performances are relatively rare.

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