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Updated: Apr 23

After weeks of planning and rehearsing Bettinger's Luggage opened this week and it was a resounding success! We had 3 full houses and such excellent feedback, our heads are a little swollen from all the (deserved) compliments. Now that we are open you really have no excuse not to see our fantastic play.

Bettinger's Luggage AMT Theater
Look at this amazing production team!

Our dress run on Tuesday night was great (which, quite frankly had me a little worried as the saying goes "Bad dress run excellent opening night"...), but the team pulled through and made the opening night very special! So, the lesson is not to trust sayings I suppose, trust the team.

Our playwright, Al Tapper, had quite an adventurous start to the evening. If you're in Manhattan at the moment you will know that traffic is an absolute bloody nightmare because the UN is sitting (or something else important) and making a mess of our streets which meant that while he left his home with plenty of time to spare after being in a taxi that wasn't moving for ages he jumped out, walked a bit towards the west side, saw a car turning in the right direction, then jumped into this strangers car and said "Take me to 354 West 45th Street, I'll make it worth your while" and lo and behold the shocked driver did exactly that and Al arrived with 15 minutes to spare until doors opened! He enjoyed a much needed glass of wine when he arrived and regaled us with this fantastic, only in New York, story.

Tony Sportiello, Al Tapper and Laura Elrick AMT theater
Tony Sportiello, Al Tapper and Laura Elrick
Bettinger's Luggage AMT Theater
Heshie, Moe, George and Angel enjoying a game of cards with beer and smokes...similar to the rest of us after the opening night!

Another lovely story from opening night is that it was also the 26th Wedding Anniversary of Tamara Flannagan and Steven Ditmyer. Both of them are very important in this production, Tamara is the Technical Director and Prop Master while Steven is the Director. We managed to make it a special night for them at the after party where one of their sons gave a beautiful speech and their wedding song was played on the piano and they were forced to dance for all of us :) Congratulations Tamara and Steven! Well done for making life and art together for so many years - relationship goals!

Stven Ditmyer and Tamara Flannagan
Steven and Tamara on their special day!

A very big shoutout to Sharon Osowski for taking on the lion's share of organising our opening night after party. It was held at The Friki Tiki, a fabulous bar on W44th Street, the food was delicious, the drinks were more-ish (I should know, I had at least 7 cocktails) and the music was excellent - full dance floor and singing at the tops of our lungs to prove it. It was a wonderful way for the entire team and our families, who have supported us all the way (mostly by accepting that our whole lives have been focused on this night) to celebrate together and get to know each other really well. I think it's the mark of a good party that there aren't that many pics, we were having too much fun.

Sharon Osowski AMT Theater
The lovely Sharon Osowski

Tony Sportiello, our Artistic Director, has been wonderful and supportive throughout this whole journey. He has helped us navigate the stormy weather and we opened with relatively few glitches (and none the audience knew about...or will ever know about). Thank you Tony! Also, all this fabulous artwork we have been using to promote Bettinger's was designed by Christine Cirker, who is cool, calm and collected - always. She has been very patient with us and has produced beautiful artwork, thank you too!

Christine Cirker and Tony Sportiello AMT Theater
Christine Cirker and Tony Sportiello

So, now we can look forward to our amazing run where I know the cast will get better and better, like a good wine. Make sure you don't miss it and that you bring all your friends! Tickets here :)

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