Kate Shindle, who plays the lead in the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home” — which stops at the Boston Opera House for nearly two weeks beginning Tuesday — said she is looking forward to coming to Boston and riding her bike along the Charles River when she is in town. Shindle, 40, a Broadway actress and former beauty queen (she was Miss America in 1998), plays the adult Alison in the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir. “It’s so socially and culturally important at this particular moment,” she said of the show’s message. “Bad things can happen when people aren’t allowed to live their true identity.” The story focuses on Bechdel’s life, including the discovery of her sexuality and her relationship with her closeted gay father. Shindle, who was born in Toledo, Ohio, raised in New Jersey, and lives in Astoria, Queens, said that “performing in a theater town like Boston” makes the performances extra special. “I think audiences in Boston will lean forward a bit, listen, and think,” she said. “They’re going to really warm to this show.” We caught up with Shindle to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation spot? The Jersey Shore. I appreciate the fancy places like everyone, but when it comes down to it, I’m a blue collar Jersey girl who loves fishing and the smell of low tide. I recommend Brigantine; it’s a magical place.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I’m a big fan of a well-built Mai Tai. And I say “a” well-built Mai Tai because when it’s the real deal, I can’t handle more than one.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? The Tour de France. Without question. I’m a huge cycling fan and have always wanted to witness that race in person.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? I would have always said my phone, but this summer I spent four days in St. Maarten and left my phone and computer in New York. It was intense — an awful lot of time alone with my thoughts — but I’m so glad I did it. And so sorry to see what has happened since in St. Maarten. It’s a beautiful place. I try to travel with my road bike whenever possible.
Aisle or window? Window. I take a lot of red-eyes and predawn flights, and I’m a good plane sleeper when I’m in a window seat.
Favorite childhood travel memory? Driving from New Jersey to Disney World and to Toledo, Ohio, in our Chevy station wagon. My mom cut a board — a piece of plywood — that reached across the back seat, from one window to the other. We colored, ate, and put our pillows on that board to take naps. Genius.
Guilty pleasure when traveling? Dean Koontz books. And Candy Crush.
Best travel tip? If possible, drive. There’s a lot in between destinations that is every bit as rich as where you’re going. I bought a car so that I could turn the “Fun Home” tour into a yearlong road trip. Oh, and if you decide to adopt an 8-week-old puppy in Los Angeles right before you drive to Des Moines, leave plenty of time for extra stops. And pack baby wipes. Trust me.
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