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    VIP LOUNGE | Matthew Lombardo

    The VIP Lounge with playwright Matthew Lombardo

    Matthew Lombardo

    Playwright Matthew Lombardo’s Broadway-bound play, “Tea at Five,” is in Boston for an extended run. The one-woman show, starring Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway as the late actress Katharine Hepburn, is up through July 14 at the Huntington Avenue Theatre. Directed by Tony Award nominee John Tillinger, the play — which Lombardo wrote in 2002 but has revised for the new production — is based on Hepburn’s book “Me: Stories of My Life.” Lombardo, a Wethersfield, Conn., native who lives in New York City, called Hepburn’s life story “an inspiration to women everywhere.” He said Boston is a great place for a pre-Broadway run. “I’ve always brought my plays to Boston,” he said. “The audiences are smart and honest in their responses.” We caught up with Lombardo, 55, to talk about all things travel.

    Favorite vacation destination? Fort Lauderdale, Fla. I can hit the beach year round and it only takes three hours [by plane] to get there. I could see myself retiring in Fort Lauderdale — or in Palm Springs, Calif.

    Favorite food or drink while vacationing? The garlic rolls at Bona Italian Restaurant in Wilton Manors, Fla. They are made with so much garlic you can smell it coming out of your pores the next day.

    Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Canicattini Bagni, Sicily. That’s where my father’s family is from. I’m afraid that if I go though, I might not come back.


    One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Imodium. My biggest fear is not about flying [or] crashing . . . it’s that I might have to have a poop on the plane.

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    Aisle or window? Emergency exit row, because if God forbid something happens, I won’t have to climb over a lot of people to get out.

    Favorite childhood travel memory? Hershey, Pa. I ate so much sugar on that trip it’s a miracle I didn’t come down with diabetes. I remember it so vividly: It was our family and my cousins’ family, so four parents and eight really misbehaving children. You should hear my mother talk about it! Also, it was the summer of 1974 and I remember being in the car after spending the day at Hershey Park and hearing on the radio that Nixon had resigned.

    Guilty pleasure when traveling? First class, baby!

    Best travel tip? Flirt with the flight attendants. They give you free stuff if they like you.JULIET PENNINGTON