Above: My 2000 Porsche 986 “Boxster”, which I bought a few years ago. Here’s how it happened; In 2010, I had been performing in Denver, Colorado with the Mary Poppins tour. In the months leading up to that point, I had been spending a lot of time researching pre-owned Porsches online (I had decided that I wanted to buy a car and to drive the tour – as opposed to flying it – and I had the notion of doing it in the coolest – but most completely impractical, I admit – way possible). ..It’s incredible what a decade will do to the price of a car. The Boxster (so named for its horizontally-opposed “boxer” engine and “roadster” style body) is the entry-level Porsche, and pre-owned ones can be found now for less than the price of a minivan. …Seriously. I zeroed in on this particular Boxster, even though it wasn’t particularly close to me geographically, as soon as I saw it. My reason: I knew it had to be silver over black, low-mileage and – especially important to me – that it have the rare, optional hardtop (anyone shopping for a Boxster – do not consider one without the hardtop: it makes it two cars in one; a summer rag-top convertible and a spring/fall – even winter – hardtop complete with rear-window defrost. Plus, the car has two completely different looks (every Boxster on the road seems to be a soft-top, you rarely see a hardtop), and having the hardtop on will keep the soft-top in near immaculate condition. My Boxster was owned by a Dallas, Texas Architect who had listed it on EBay. It had gone unsold, and I struck up a deal with him afterwards to sell the car to me at a reduced price. A condition of the sale was that he would have the car inspected for me at an authorized Porsche dealership, and so my first meeting with the car was there, at Boardwalk Porsche in Dallas: once the car passed the test, I had flown there to to pick it up. I knew I was buying a well-kept little gem, but this car exceeded my expectations. A 2000 model, hardly broken-in with only 15,500 miles on the odometer, it’s owner had kept it in spotless condition. My jaw dropped when I saw it in person for the first time. …And let me tell you, there’s nothing like walking into a Porsche dealership, past awe-inspiring 911 Turbos and Carreras and stunning Caymans, going up to reception and saying “I’m here to pick up my car.”
I can trace my interest in Porsches back some 30 years. A childhood friend’s father had a 911 in the ’70’s. I remember standing in Mr. Tourigny’s garage next to the car – windshield-height – looking at it. It was gunmetal grey and even as a child I was impressed. I can still picture it now. Years later, When the Boxster was launched in the mid-’90’s, I must have been struck by it, because I went into a Porsche dealership in Toronto and looked at one in the showroom. I left without the car, of course, but I did ask for a poster. It hung on the wall of my dressing room at Phantom of the Opera for a few years, and I spent a lot of time looking at that silver Boxster. In the time since, whenever I’ve seen one on the street or in a parking garage I’ve always stopped to have a good, long look. Harm Lagaay’s spectacular design, based on the famous (or infamous if you happened to be James Dean) 550 Spyder, is a pleasure to behold from every angle. The turning-point came in December, 2009: while performing with Poppins in Los Angeles, I had chance to catch up with my old friend Michael Downing. We go back twenty years, to the National Ballet of Canada. Mike is now a successful film and television director and lives in the Hollywood hills with his wife and two children. When I visited him a few years ago, he took me for a spin in his super-cool, brand new 911. What’s more, he let me drive it. Trust me, driving a 911, the Porsche flagship and a car that is arguably the best production sportscar ever, will rock your world – that’s all I can say. And it made me think “If I could get just a bit of that experience into my life…” And so began my search for a piece of the Porsche dream.
…It wasn’t long before it became a reality. And from the moment I saw my Porsche, sat down in the driver’s seat – and turned the key – it was, I kid you not, love. A beautiful machine: Gorgeous to behold and a treat to drive. ..And drive it I have; from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate Bridge and everywhere in between – about 14,000 miles of sheer bliss. Highlights, which deserve posts of their own – and may get them – are the “Brocation” I took with my brother, Lach, in SoCal last year (Sacramento to San Fran to see U2 live at the Oakland Coliseum) and the many, many road trips that my beautiful girlfriend, Helen, and I have taken in the car: From Manhattan to the Hamptons, from Charlotte to the magnificent Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and from Portland, Oregon through the rocky mountains to Banff and Calgary, Alberta. A total joy.
Now, however, the current tour that I’m on (Jekyll and Hyde) is not driver friendly (we will be zig-zagging across the States, and must fly in a day from one city to another) So the B. is currently stored under the watchful eye of the Celtic Speed Motorsports team in NJ. It’s a relief to know it’s being well cared for until the spring when we open our show on Broadway. Can’t wait to get her out on the road again just as soon as I can.
…I’m already counting the days.