Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Buckle up for this hilarious lampoon of Fodor's best-selling travel guide.
Show Essentials
6
Roles
PG
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

The roar of a plane's engine taking off can be heard as the music begins. Flight Attendant Liz welcomes the audience and warns that it's going to be a bumpy night. Others now appear, introducing the perils of travel and sharing some of their savvy tips to avoid the pitfalls ("Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know").

We now meet James, a distraught Business Traveler, who seems to be naked except for undershorts (or a towel) around his waist. He laments the state and whereabouts of his missing luggage ("Naked in Pittsburgh").

Next, we see Michael, a hip and happy Traveler, on the phone with an automated reservationist named Kathy. The reservationist guides an increasingly frustrated Traveler through options and automated loops, until the weary Traveler's time limit finally expires and he is disconnected. We now meet Liz, an excited passenger who recounts all of the riveting talent found in her cruise ship's talent show ("Star Search").

Jay, who seems like an innocently naïve man, details the unusual items that he has managed to pick up from his travels. He simply can't understand why Customs officials are giving him a difficult time ("Customs"). Michael, a frequent car-renter, follows with his own lament about an exorbitant rental bill to a sexy Hertz Reservations Clerk ("Hertz").

Next, a tourist recalls the stunning and handsome souvenirs that she brought back from her vacation ("Acapulco"). Then, in the high style of a Noel Coward play, Amanda and Elyot, two ex-spouses, are horrified to find out that they share adjoining balconies with each other on their current honeymoons. As a faint piano plays strains of "Someday I'll Find You," Amanda and Elyot reminisce about the past and talk of their current loves.

Michael and Kathy then appear to explain the joys and the challenges of discovering America and traveling through the country ("Seeing America First"). Elsewhere, James is reflecting and trying to remember if he left anything behind while traveling ("What Did I Forget?").

We transition over to Michael, the hip and anxious traveler, who is still attempting to make a reservation. No luck there, he ends up holding for the next available operator ("Reservations: Part 2"). Meanwhile, a French Chanteuse laments of her dear lover and his little idiosyncrasies, while another translates ("The French Song").

Back on the cruise ship, a smooth-talking gambler, obnoxious housewife, innocent child and grumpy old man discuss their favorite part of the cruise ship life ("Buffet").

Act Two

As Act Two begins, the cast of characters comes on stage to encourage the audience to see the wonders of the world before it all comes crumbling down ("See It Now"). We then see Michael, asleep near the phone, as music plays in the background – he is still on hold.

A sad and forlorn Country-Western girl dedicates an ode to "Mr. Trailways" and tells of her illicit love gone wrong ("Please Mr. Trailways"). Carmen Miranda and two jungle-outfitted men appear. They set the scene of a distant tropical island and reveal the problems facing their nation ("Red Hot Lava").

It is now Stan's turn to speak of his love for another special island: Uzbekistan ("Paradise Found"). Meanwhile, on her first vacation in years, a simple-minded tourist has a hairy run-in with a Border Guard.

Elsewhere, Jay laments about his unhappy situation and discovering more than he bargained for on his nine-day eating-and-drinking binge throughout a trip to Mexico ("Me and Margarita"). Then, after a brief message from the captain of an Air India flight, someone arrives to set a candelabra on the piano. The entire cast gathers around to find out more about the virtues and vices of Mozart during his festival in Salzburg ("Salzburg").

Michael wakes. Sharon, a live operator, finally answers his call. She flirts with him as he describes his details for the flight to Nome, Alaska. As the reservation is near completion, Sharon begins to repeat herself – Michael is now unsure if she is real or now. James sings about the joys of flying ("Aging Planes").

Next, we meet a shy and unassuming man with a noticeable lisp. He reveals that he has found his perfect match – a woman whom he met on his vacation to Spain ("She Spoke Spanish"). Liz joins us again to give another travel secret: how to find the best travel agent. Three savvy, high-powered travel agents all compete for the best deals for their customers ("Honey, Sweetie, Baby").

As the show comes to a close, the entire cast reunites to remind us about the importance of home. It is their favorite place to be and there is nothing like it ("Home").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

James
Plays a distraught business traveler, a Noel Coward-style homosexual newylwed, a forgetful traveler, an old man, a man on safari, a man obsessed with planes, and a Hollywood-esque travel agent.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Kathy
Plays a peppy recorded voice who turns into a sexy operator, a materialistic tourist, the wife in the "American Gothic" painting, a French translator, a loud housewife/tourist, Carmen Miranda, and a Hollywood-esque travel agent.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: E3
Stan
The piano player of the band who also sings. Briefly plays an airline captain and a man obsessed with Uzbekistan.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G#2
Jay
The bass player of the band, he also sings. Briefly plays a dimwitted man detained in customs and a gluttonous tourist.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Liz
Plays a flight attendant, a cruise ship passenger, a sexy Hertz reservations clerk, a Gertrude Lawrence-style newlywed, a French chanteuse, a troublemaking kid, a forlorn country girl, and a simple-minded tourist.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: F#3
Michael
Plays a hip and happy traveler who becomes distraught, a lamenting car-renter, the husband in the "American Gothic" painting, an elegant gambler, a man on safari, a fierce-looking border guard, a romantic who impersonates a Spanish lisp, and a Hollywood-esque travel agent.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 50
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Full Song List
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Naked in Pittsburgh
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Star Search
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Customs
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Hertz
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Acapulco
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Private Wives
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Seeing America First
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: What Did I Forget?
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: The French Song
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Buffet
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: See it Now
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Please Mr. Trailways
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Red Hot Lava
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Paradise Found
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Border Guard
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Me and Margarita
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Salzburg
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Aging Planes
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: She Spoke Spanish
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Honey, Sweetie, Baby
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: See It Now - Finale
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know: Home Encore

Show History

Inspiration

Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know is a musical comedy revue that utilizes work from fifteen different composers, lyricists and sketch writers.  It is based on the comedy book of the same name by travel expert Wendy Perrin.  The book functions as a guide for the do's and don'ts of traveling, covering everything from airlines to lodging tips.  The revue takes those tips and turns them into a series of vignettes.  The four actors (and in the original production, the piano and bass players) each represent a variety of characters who face the gamut of travel highs and lows.

Productions

Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know premiered Off-Broadway at the Triad Theater on October 30, 1997.  In 1998, it transferred to the Ibis Supper Club before closing in February 2000 after more than 950 performances. The musical made its European debut at the Playroom at Cambridge Arts Theatre in Cambridge, England.

Trivia

  • The original Off-Broadway production of Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know starred such notable performers as Michael McGrath, Stan Freeman and Jay Leonhart.

Critical Reaction

"Hilarious! Highly Recommended!"
– The New York Times

"A razor sharp musical send-up of the foibles of travel!"
– New York Law Journal

"Soars with flying colors!"
– New York Magazine

"A underdog musical by 11 composers that whisks audiences through a 75-minute tour of foibles of a modern travel. From a giddy spoof of Montserrat's ashy beaches to a deadpan ballad about Uzbekistan's dubious tourist attractions all without a single hah about airline food Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know's song-joke-song ethic is a little old-fashioned, but it's nimble wit isn't."
– Entertainment Weekly

"A bright and breezy musical travelogue... [that] targets the perils of world travel with tuneful mirth and an infectious cheekiness."
– Variety

"If you've ever traveled anywhere by boat, plane, train or bus and lived to tell about it, this is the show for you! Based on the best-selling book from Fodor's, this hilarious revue offers travel tips and cautionary tales certain to tickle the ribs – or chill the spine – of anyone who has ever set foot outside of his or her own hometown."
– Art & Seek

"Performed in the style of 'The Carol Burnett Show' and 'Saturday Night Live,' this musical comedy is the perfect blend of tunes and twists about travel!"
– klkntv.com

Connect

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
SECRETS EVERY SMART TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW
The New Musical Comedy Revue
 
Songs and Sketches by
Douglas Bernstein, Francesca Blumenthal, Michael Brown, Barry Creyton
Lesley Davison, Addy Fieger, Stan Freeman, Dave Frishberg, Murray Grand
Glen Kelly, Jay Leonhart, Denis Markell, Nick Santa Maria
 
Inspired by
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know (Fodor's)
 
Originally Produced by Scott Perrin
 
**All billed names shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than their billing except for the title of the play.**
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK8
PIANO VOCAL SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS