Off-Broadway Comedy ‘Craving for Travel’ Showcases Travel Agents Trying to do the Impossible

Facebook/Craving for Travel

Joanne and Gary, rival travel agents compete for their industry’s top honor, the Globel Prize, while trying to address their clients’ impossible demands in an Off-Broadway comedy that debuts this week, “Craving for Travel.”

The 85-minute, two-actor, 30-character comedy was commissioned and produced by Jim Strong, president of the Dallas-based Strong Travel Services travel agency.

“Travel agents are always asked to do the impossible, and this play shows how that is done, from finding the impossible rooms to making dreams come true,” Strong told the “Dallas Morning News.” “I decided to bring it to life on stage as a comedy in New York.”

From “Craving for Travel’s” press release:

With their reputations on the line, travel agents Joanne and Gary will tackle any request, no matter how impossible, and any client, no matter how unreasonable. Full of overzealous travelers, overbooked flights, and hoteliers who are just over it, Craving for Travel reminds us why we travel-and everything that can happen when we do.

“Craving for Travel” opens Thursday at the Peter J. Sharp Theater, where it’ll run through Feb. 9. Tickets are $32.50 and $49. They can be purchased at CravingForTravel.com, 212-279-4200 or the Ticket Central Box Office (416 W. 42nd St., 12-8 p.m. daily). More than half of the shows are already sold out.Written by Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg and directed by Sandberg (a Tony Award-winning producer for the 2009 revival of “Hair”), the play stars Michele Ragusa (who also was in “Young Frankenstein” and “Disaster!”) and Thom Sesma (“The Lion King,” “The Times They Are A-Changin'”).

“While travel industry professionals may have a different kind of appreciation for it, the script is written for general audiences,” Sandberg told the “Dallas Morning News.” “Everyone can relate to travel, especially when painted in such a humorous light.”

Video Of The Day: Sleep No More NYC


It’s not every day that I hop onto Gadling in an effort to persuade our readers to go out and purchase tickets for an event that will make a place come to life in a new way, the kind of way that enhances travel and the cultural experiences that come with it, but when I do, I mean it. After going to NYC‘s Sleep No More last night and reading rumors online that it might not be open that much longer, I feel obligated to inform you that this interactive theatrical event is unlike anything else I’ve been to in NYC. If you can get your hands on tickets, you’ll find yourself meandering and sometimes running through five stories of a gigantic loft building in Manhattan’s Chelsea. It will engage your senses and sometimes mess with your mind and, no matter what, give you an incredible insight into NYC’s limit-pushing arts scene. And so, with that hearty recommendation, I give you this behind-the-scenes footage that will provide you a few more details about the event.

NYC Date-Night Hot Spots

Shakespeare Slept Here: Hidden Old Room In Oxford Once Hosted The Bard

ShakespeareBehind an eighteenth-century facade in downtown Oxford, just above a clothing shop, is a bedroom that was once used by William Shakespeare.

It was part of the Crown Tavern, owned by Shakespeare’s friend John Davenant. The Bard frequently stopped in Oxford on his trips between Stratford-upon-Avon and London. A nearby courtyard may have hosted his troupe’s performances.

Known as the Painted Room, it’s been remarkably preserved since Elizabethan times and still has hand-painted wall decoration from the late 16th century. This rare artwork survived thanks to oak paneling installed in the following century, and was only rediscovered in 1927.

Part of the decoration includes a religious text:
“And last of thi rest be thou
Gods servante for that hold I best / In the mornynge earlye
Serve god devoutlye
Feare god above allthynge. . .”

This week the Oxford Preservation Trust is offering guided tours of the Painted Room. If you can’t make it, BBC has posted a video tour of the room, led by some silly guy in an anachronistic tricorne hat. The Trust is also working on making the rooms permanently available to the public.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Photo Of The Day: Behind The Scenes

Photo of the Day - behind the scenes in India
For the Gadling Photo of the Day, we like to feature a variety of photographers both amateur and professional, to show the range of great travel photos: from the “lucky shot,” to the cellphone pic, to the well-timed and set-up image. Some people just have a great eye, and sometimes more importantly, great access. Today’s Photo of the Day is another amazing one from Flickr user arunchs in India, backstage before a Kathakali performance. Kathakali is a traditional dance-drama from Kerala, known for the colorful, almost mask-like make-up, what we see being applied here. The performers look so casual in this candid, behind-the-scenes shot; it’s hard to imagine the stylized show they are about to put on. It’s not something you’d see every day, it took both special access and a good eye for composition and timing.

Share your special shots with us on the Gadling Flickr pool to be featured here.

[Photo credit: Arun Bhat]

‘Tarragona’ Takes You Away

Performing in its last week at New York’s WorkShop Theater Company is a comedy called “Tarragona.” It’s a play about a confined office worker’s transformation after being drawn to a new lover and subsequently discovering the freedom that traveling offers.
It’s a cross between “Eat, Pray, Love” and “There’s Something About Mary” and with tickets just $18, it’s something you shouldn’t miss if you’re in New York this week.
We were convinced the moment we watched the trailer:

As if the talented cast and witty dialogue wasn’t enough, after the show the actors, writer and director invited the audience to join them for an on-stage party as a fund raiser for the WorkShop Theater Company. Sangria was served by Lidia Ornero from Barcelona who nailed the part of Christina. If offered, I highly recommend this chance to meet the cast.

So if you can’t get to Tarragona, Spain anytime soon, you may enjoy this production as a way to escape from your own job.
[Photo credit: author]