First the cast party. Then the pool party.
"It's into the Jacuzzi at the (Beverly Heritage Hotel) after we leave this party," said Judy Jacksina, national press representative for "My One and Only," the toe-tapping musical that opened Wednesday night at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. "The hotel management said we could use the Jacuzzi late--if we keep the noise down."
"Tommy? You're going aren't you?" asked Jacksina of "My One and Only" director and star Tommy Tune at the Ambrosia Grand-Teton Chalet restaurant near the Center. "It's the most beautiful Jacuzzi I've ever seen," she added.
The 6-foot-6 Tune, flopped happily on a wing chair, nodded, flashing a smile.
No wonder. The cast had just sung, cavorted, tapped and splashed--one show-stopper features Tune and co-star Stephanie Zimbalist kicking their way though a soft-shoe sequence in a wading pool--through more than two hours of romantic frolic on the final leg of the show's national tour.
As Tune, surrounded by cast members, picked at pizza squares, center directors and board members gushed over the Tony award-winning performance.
"Fascinating to see a 6-foot-6 individual that graceful," said Bob Fluor, who attended the show with his wife, Martha. "The music is very, very up beat. I love Gershwin." (Fluor, vice president of corporate relations for Fluor Corp., has a fine singing voice himself. "But I've retired," he said, laughing. "Now I just sing 'Unchained Melody' in the shower.")
For Center Vice Chairman Timothy Strader, the performance was "sensational."
"Tommy Tune is the new Fred Astaire. To have him perform here is the fulfillment of a dream," he said.
While Strader waxed ecstatic about the opening of "My One and Only," he confided that he was feeling jittery about the opening of "Cabaret" on Broadway in New York on Thursday night. Strader is an investor in the show. "I've made arrangements for someone to call me with the reviews as soon as they come out. I'm not worried," he said. "But they do make the difference. Their power is incredible."
Center General Manager Judy O'Dea Morr couldn't get over Tune's "incredible legs!"
"I couldn't do anything but watch those legs," she said. "Fantastic!"
Morr's husband, Center President Thomas R. Kendrick, agreed that Tune's grace and rhythm made him "one of the greatest dancers of our time."
"Everybody talks about him being the Fred Astaire of our generation," Kendrick said, sipping a tall Scotch and water. "He is an eminently American dancer."
Tune said he believes that the show has been a hit because it marks a "return to romance--that's what people like."
Of ending their six-month tour with a five-day run at the Center, Tune said, "Well, Horace Greeley said, 'Go West, young man!' It's taken us six months to get here. But, right now, I feel like he gave some very good advice. The Center is wonderful! It's amazing that it can be so large and so intimate.
"Who designed it? They should be applauded. We have performed at very large auditoriums around the country and they feel vast. This one feels intimate. I'm very impressed."
Stephanie Zimbalist, looking demure in ruffly black net, said the Center is "very beautiful." The daughter of actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. said her father planned to attend Saturday night's performance. "This area is not new to me," said the actress and television star in her own right. "I've auditioned at South Coast Repertory over the years. Now, it's kind of like, well, here I am!"
Center board member Vic Boyd--who was so tickled over the dance-in-the-wading-pool sequence that he wanted to go home, "turn on the shower and try it myself"--said his dream was for "everybody in Orange County to get to do what I did tonight."
"The Center belongs to Orange County," Boyd said. "When we built it, we had to deal with some pretty hard numbers to raise funds. But, because of the Center's endowment, in a few years we'll be able to get the ticket price down ('My One and Only' tickets sold for $15 to $38) to where everybody in Orange County will be able to share the fun."