Play About Travel Agents Tries to Capture Some of Their Relevance

The play “Craving for Travel,” by Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg is currently open in New York.

Craving for Travel

A review by the New York Times exposed some interesting things about this play.

During the play, a pair of divorcees compete to be the best travel agent out there–fulfilling impossible requests and cracking jokes about online booking websites.

The play is supposedly campy and cheesy, but legitimately funny.  However, the New York Times found out the play was commissioned by the president of Strong Travel services to try to keep the industry relevant.

From the article:

Strong Travel caters to wealthy clients in the Dallas area. Mr. Strong took over day-to-day operation of the agency, which his mother, Nancy, started in 1997. Since then, he has made it his mission to promote the industry, writing books about his exploits and even composing a song called “Craving for Travel,†which he commissioned an amateur rock band to record.

But his quest took on new urgency after President Obama dismissed travel agents during speeches in recent years. “When was the last time somebody went to a bank teller instead of using the A.T.M., or used a travel agent instead of just going online?â€Â the president said at one.

Those were fighting words to Mr. Strong.

So, new to Broadway, he entered the world of New York theater in an unorthodox fashion. In search of creative partners, he cold-called talent agencies, who eventually steered him to Mr. Sandberg, an up-and-coming writer and director, who then roped in Mr. Edwards, another young playwright.

The author New York Times review of the play seemed to feel guilty for enjoying this “propaganda”.  But I think it’s fine.  Is a funny play about travel agents going to make everyone start using them again?

Let me put it this way.  I really enjoy the movie Stagecoach, but I am not exactly starting to forgo my cross-country flights in favor of a horse and wagon.



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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One comment

  1. I think that it is a good idea for works of fiction to provide insight into society and changes in society as long as the portrayal is genuine. Unfortunately there is too much untruthful partisan nonsense going around. Travel agents have a problem – they no longer can sustain a business based on routine travel. They cannot sell an airline ticket better than the web. They can provide knowledge about destinations, non-chain hotels, etc. They can organize group travel or high-end travel.

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