The parade was a hoot. Some of the stars were really into the manic bead throwing. Some seemed a little taken aback at the sight -- familiar to locals -- of crazed grownups clawing for some 2-cent plastic beads like they are precious jewels.
Real-life couple Mandy Bruno and Rob Bogue (Marina, Mallet) were incredibly cute. Liz Keifer (Blake) had her hair up and look of sheer determination on her face as she hurled beads as fast as she could. Jordan Clarke (Billy) had worked up a sweat by parade's end. And Mardi Gras King and Queen Robert Newman and Kim Zimmer looked like they were having the time of their life. Zimmer, in particular, was laughing every time I caught up to her float. By parade's end she had worked her crown loose, and she pulled it off, shook her hair and readjusted without missing a beat. Hey, she's a show-biz pro.