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PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: A Two-Show Day at How to Succeed With Rob Bartlett

Hi Diddlee Dee, an actorís life for me!  On Wednesdays, I get to sleep until 4... AM! In the first of two makeup chairs I will occupy this day, at Fox,  where we simulcast the TV portion of the "Imus In The Morning" radio program. Chris and Bismarck attempt to make me look like Gary Busey... ... which they do, brilliantly. In the Fox Green Room, Carley, our PA and on-air correspondent, gets advice from The Robio.  I like to help the young kids navigate their way through this soul-crushing business, while also letting them know itís the greatest business in the world. On set, getting into character. I tap into my "inner child."  CHILD = "Creative, Hamish Instinct, Lovingly Displayed." After the radio show is over at 10 AM, I walk the three blocks from the Fox Studios to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.  Iím almost always late for half hour.  I like to walk slowly. In  just a little while, these beautiful seats will be filled by the beautiful bums of our beautiful audience.  We have the greatest fans on Broadway, hands down. John Larroquette, one of the single funniest humans on the planet, is always backstage to welcome me.  We share a "moment" before every show... and usually, a couple of really filthy jokes. Shannon Hammons, Jim Athens, Pat Sosnow and The Great Michael Passaro, (Itís actually part of his legal name, I saw his driverís license) our crack Stage Management team, are always working... except for when theyíre enjoying some tasteful internet porn. Marty Lawson, one of the Olympic Athletes we call a Male Ensemble Member.  He has to shave before every performance. In the Wig Vault.  The show utilizes 3,756 wigs during every performance.  According to legend, Star Jones had names for all the wigs she used on "The View."  For some reason, all of our hairpieces, except mine, are named Paige Faure. Tanya Birl, one of the fiercest triple threats you will ever see on Broadway, getting "Wigged" by Carla Muniz, Follicle Artiste. My show husband, Michael Park, making looking cool look easy. I want to do an action comedy where weíre two mismatched detectives who, despite their differences, are partnered together & develop an abiding love and respect for each other. Never been done! Barry and Jeffrey, Mr. Larroquetteís and my dressers, respectively, show their incredible professionalism and attention to detail of their craft.  One of the main reasons why our show runs as smoothly as it does. Jeffrey holding Twimbleís apron. Cathy Zuberís design completes the character, and I would be naked without it.  Literally. There was an awkward moment during previews when, due to some very strong cough medication, I did "Company Way" completely nude. Trevor helping Twimble get into the apron, effectively saving our sold-out matinee crowd from nausea and traumatic hysterical blindness. David "Chris" Hull, one of our amazing male ensemble dancers, stretching before the first show.  I think I also saw this position in an old copy of The Kama Sutra. Joey Sorge helping Samantha Zack with her extension.  When you look up the word "Limber" in the dictionary, you will see this very same picture. The multi-talented Kevin Covert, one of the Twimble/Womper understudies.  Itís bad form for a replacement to be better than the original, but he refuses to adhere to that basic, theatrical tenet.  In the name of Eve Harrington, Iíd better not get sick. Our musical director David Chase providing Stephanie Rothenberg and Sam Zack with some of his observations and comments on headline issues of the day.  Okay, at this point, Sam is really just showing off. John with Penny Daulton, our company manager. John signs a new contract before every show.  Thatís what you call the dedication of a true professional. Matt Wall and Erica Mansfield, two of our incredible Swings, getting some notes from our dance captain, the brilliant Sarah OíGleby, my favorite British import (next to the Beatles). The chameleon-like Nick Mayo, as one of the 87 characters he plays in the show.  There is no funnier, more gifted and talented actor on Broadway.  I cannot wait for him to become a huge star and forget that he knows me. Joe Mooneyham, one of my most favorite people in the building.  This is our second show together, (met on <i>Chicago</i>).  We share a mutual love for the comic genius of Morty Gunty and the haute cuisine known as South Carolina Mustard Based BBQ. The Lovely and Talented Miss Cameron Adams. The "So Talented Itís Stupid" Mary Faber, as Smitty, getting into places for the top of the show.  Thatís not her real hair.  Or glasses.  Or fingers, interestingly enough.  Theyíre a prosthetic.  It was a character choice. Megan Sikora and Barrett Martin, the "Mom and Dad" of our company.  This is Meganís 657th Broadway show, almost a record for someone who is only 17 years old. Dave Hull (Hey girls, heís single!) in position on the towers of our gorgeous set, designed by Derek Maclane.  He didnít get nominated for this set, although I prefer his work with buildings over boats.  Regardless, the manís a freakin' genius. Cleve Asbury and Paige Faure, mere moments before the downbeat of the overture.  As you can see, they are deeply focused, intense and serious actors. The stunningly beautiful Tammy Blanchard, awaiting her entrance as Hedy LaRue.  I originally was going to wear this costume as Twimble, but Rob Ashford thought that it might be a confusing take on the character. Before the Overture starts, we all gather in a circle for our pre-show ritual, where we compare manicures.  Larroquette always wins. Michael Passaro, ready to call the show. ďLadies and Gentlemen, all photographic and recording devices strictly forbidden.  At this time, please turn off all cell phones and pacemakers.  Enjoy the show.Ē One of the many moods of Christopher J. Hanke as Bud Frump.  This one is blue. "Walt," the toupee I wear as Wally Womper to help make his character more distinctively different from my Twimble... in lieu of acting. Second Act.  Carla Muniz, Follicle Artiste, getting me into "Walt." After the first show, the fans line up waiting for my autograph.  They usually stay until after Iíve left to go to dinner, Iím not exactly sure why.  I think it takes them a little time to recover from the thrill of realizing that theyíve met The Robio. The first of the three dinners I will consume to keep up my energy is taken at Rio, right next door to the theatre. (Okay not RIGHT next door, that would be the topless club, which is another story altogether). My friend Yoko always takes good care of me. Kitsune Udon.  Nectar of the Gods. The fifth course.  Later on I will have a pizza delivered before intermission. And then, just before I go down for "Brotherhood of Man," I will treat myself to a couple of cheesesteaks. On two-show days the feet are the first thing to go. Itís important to pamper them as much as possible. After dancing my heart out during the first show and a light couple of dinners, I treat myself with a visit to the Polish Sausage Foot Spa on 10th Ave. I opt for a #7: The Warsaw Special.  Nothing soothes aching piggies like some smoked, cured pork links. Back to work.  Neil, our backstage door guardian.  He always asks me for ID and sometimes performs a cavity search.  Youíd think that, after four months, heíd recognize me and remember Iím part of the show. Donít forget to sign in.  Or you wonít get paid.  Not that weíre doing this for money. If the producers are reading this... of COURSE weíre doing it for money! Michaeljon Slinger, one of our ubiquitous Swings.  He can literally do the entire show by himself.  And he has, so Iím told, up in the Male Ensemble dressing room. Ellen Harvey preparing herself for show #2.  Makeup and champagne are both part of her "process."  I have a similar process, except mine involves bacon. David Chase getting into his tuxedo before the evening performance.  He always wears a tux, even when heís not conducting. Davidís wife, the lovely actress Paula Legget, told me David even wears a tux to bed.  You gotta love a man who dresses formal. The best female ensemble on Broadway getting ready to do it again.  They all love me.  Many of them thank me in their Playbill bios.  Somebody told me they thought it was really Rob Ashford who they were thanking, but I know better. Miss Blanchard in her dressing room.  That particular shade of pink cannot be found anywhere in nature. Ryan Watkinson and Charlie Williams, warming up.  Although, as you can see, theyíre both pretty damn hot already. The lovely Shannon Hammons, one of our ASMs, taking attendance.  Present.  And accounted for. Paige Faure adjusting her microphone, getting into places.  I have the same dress, in teal, because Iím a "Summer."  Royal Blue always makes me look like half of a Howard Johnsonís restaurant. Okay, Sam.  This is just ridiculous now.  I couldnít do that... even when I could do that. John and Christopher witnessing a Wardrobe Malfunction on one of the towers as "Places" is called. Michael Passaro giving some pre-Show notes just before curtain.  Okay, Iím lying.  Weíre actually looking at photos of David Chase dressed as a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader from one of the Hasty Pudding Revues he did while at Harvard. Miss Rose Hemingway, getting into character. But donít be fooled, Rose can drink anybody under the table.  I once challenged her to a Boilermaker Contest at Angus.  After the #43, I passed out.  She finished hers then went to Joe Allenís for a Nightcap. Miss Harvey downstairs in the basement, either studying lines or checking Backstage and Variety for casting notices.  Thereís no such thing as a steady gig in Show Biz, so it pays to be prepared for any eventuality. Michael Park and I relaxing at intermission, playing a game of Strip Cribbage.  He cheats. At intermission, my dear, close friend Daniel Radcliffe stops by for career advice and counsel.  I told him he needs to get himself a starring role in some kind of film franchise, you know, so he can begin making a name for himself in this business. One of my amazing fans made this beautiful "Company Way" poster for me that I hang proudly in my dressing room.  I donít know much about art, but I know what I like.  Plus, it helps me remember the lyrics to the song, which I frequently forget. Within moments of the curtain coming down, the incomparable Justin Keyes is back in street clothes, ready to patrol the streets of Hellís Kitchen, keeping it safe for Broadway Babies everywhere. After the show, the crowds begin to form at the Stage Door with fans eager for my autograph. There are so many of them, they also have to line up across the street.  I will sign one for every single person there.  Sometimes itís a struggle forcing them to give me something to sign, but I know theyíre just being shy.  When doing a Broadway show, and especially while also moonlighting as a radio and television personality, itís important to get your rest.  So I make sure I get my naps in.  Even when Iím driving to... ... and from the city. Tonight, Iíll be home by 12:30 AM.   I will shower, have a couple of sandwiches and turn in for a good two or three hours of sleep until itís time to do it all over again! Hi Diddle Dee Dee!  An actorís life for me!
 
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