95 Miles to Go
April 7, 2006
During a spring hiatus from "Everybody Loves Raymond", the show's star Ray Romano did a comedy tour of the South. Traveling with him was fellow comedian, former roommate and "Raymond" writer Tom Caltabiano, who also served as opening act. Although Romano and Caltabiano had been traveling and performing together for the better part of a decade, they only occasionally filmed any of their work. Finally Caltabiano convinced Romano that the time was right to film the tour. Though Romano was reluctant, he agreed, but decided that he didn't want a huge crew on the project.
The solution to the small crew question was "Raymond" intern and USC film student Roger Lay Jr. The trio went on an eight-day tour that took them to seven cities. After flying from L.A. to Miami, they rented a car for their 1,000 mile journey, which included such locations as starting point Miami, Tampa, Clearwater, Orlando, Jacksonville, Savannah and Atlanta. They took about 16 hours of footage per day and wound up with around 130 hours of footage that was eventually edited into documentary film form.
Following on the heels of the Ice Age sequel, Romano may be able to get some decent attention for this project. He's a popular comedian and for those who remember his comedy routine before "everybody" loved him, he was quite funny. It's certainly worth a look and should be a fair draw in art house locales. (Kim Hollis/BOP)