While I was performing at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City one week, I got a call from the Vice President of Entertainment at Trump Castle Casino Hotel with a frantic call saying, “Foster Brooks didn’t show up — can you do the show tonight?”
I had just stepped out of the shower and was dripping wet. I had performed my act at Trump Castle for an eight week engagement just a few months earlier, so not only did the V.P. of Entertainment know that my act was strong and consistent, but the stage techs already knew the cues to my show!
Trump Castle has a wonderful “Vegas Style” showroom and as much as I wanted to do the show, I was already contracted to emcee and present a 30 minute show at the Tropicana Hotel on the other side of town.
“We already know that,” the Vice President continued, “…but we only need 15 minutes. If we can time your performance to happen between your sets at the Trop, would you do it?”
I thought about it. The Tropicana is on the Boardwalk and Trump Castle was miles away at the Marina. Realizing that it was the weekend, I would have to contend with weekend Casino valet parking… as I started to mention it, the V.P. chimed in “…we’ll send the limo!”
It was such a fun week! I would walk onstage at the Tropicana, greet the audience and do my 30 minute set. Then I would introduce and bring up the next performer. Once he started his set, Carol-Ann and I would run out the back door into a waiting limo, race across town to Trump Castle where I would step out of the car onto the front door’s red carpet where there was a stagehand waiting with a headset yelling, “he’s here!”.
The stagehand would then lead me (quickly) through the casino to the stage door, through the dressing room area to the wings (calling out our present position into his headset along the way) and without even stopping, I would just keep walking right onto the stage as the host of the show, Freddie Roman, would say, “…and here he is — Atlantic City Entertainer of the Year Award nominee, Harry Maurer!”.
I would then do a 15 minute set, take my bow, shake hands with Freddie, race back out the same route I entered into the waiting limousine to drive in record time back over to the Tropicana with just enough time to walk onstage to take the performer off as he finished his act, and I would smile and say to the audience — “wasn’t he great?”.
That went on each night for a full week!
We had a fellow entertainer visiting us one night and we took her along with us and she was amazed at our split-second timing.
During the ride back to the Trop she said, “Do you know how many entertainers would kill just to have the chance to work even once in Atlantic City — and here you are working two showrooms at the same time! Do you realize how lucky you are?”
…YES, I do…