Blackbirds of Broadway 1999 Tour
Living in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte was our first experience with first-class accommodations. Cast members were divided up between the Hilton, Doubletree, and Four Points Sheraton hotels, and some nearby two-bedroom corporate apartments. Hotel dwellers enjoyed a downtown location within walking distance of the theater, while apartment dwellers enjoyed the ability to cook and do laundry for themselves.
The downside of this for the hotel dwellers is that it's very expensive to eat out all the time and have your laundry done by a service. Even local phone calls cost $.75 apiece. The downside for apartment dwellers was that they were further out in the suburbs and had fewer stores and restaurants within walking distance.
I was housed, along with one cast member and one crew member at the Four Points Sheraton on MacDowell Street, about a mile from the theater.
Charlotte was well-liked by the cast. There was plenty of nightlife, and one particular restaurant became a second home. I had an unfortunate accident with my alto sax, and was guided to by members of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra to a fantastic little shop called J. L. Smith Woodwinds. While they primarily deal in flutes, their repair staff can work on anything--and they did a terrific same-day job on my horn.
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