What do you want to do at the end of a long week performing in a Broadway musical, finishing the 8th show on Sunday matinee at 6pm? Why not hop on a bus and drive like lightning to Washington DC to appear on stage at the Kennedy Center?
That’s what the entire cast of “The Last Ship” did yesterday. All of them including all the principals came off the Sunday matinee and got down to DC to surprise Sting at his Kennedy Center honors show. They just made it, too, arriving in time to close the show in a rousing rendition of Sting’s Police hit “Message in A Bottle” led by Bruno Mars, Bruce Springsteen, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spaulding and Lady Gaga– each of whom had performed a Sting song as part of the celebration.
Indeed, Bruno Mars– whose own hit “Locked out of Heaven” sounds suspiciously like the whole Police catalog rolled into one single– had just done a super medley of “So Lonely” and “Roxanne” as a sort of good-natured payback in recognition of his appropriation.
Sting really got the royal treatment at last night’s show. His toast was given by none other than Meryl Streep, America’s unofficial cultural royalty and previous Kennedy Center inductee. She gave a rousing speech endorsing “The Last Ship” and recalling a love scene she’d had with Sting years ago in the movie “Plenty.”
“That was hard work,” she joked.
Five of Sting’s six kids were at the show (the 6th is in college), as well as two little grandchildren and beautiful wife Trudie Styler. Almost the entire proceedings were a surprise to the 63 year old rocker, including watching President Obama mouth the words to “Roxanne” while Bruno Mars sang it.
“This is a long way to come for a fellow from Wallsend,” Sting said to me at one point, referring to his hometown in Newcastle, England, the setting for “The Last Ship.” He begins appearing in the show starting tomorrow night for 4 weeks.