It’s 1919 in New York City, and Vaudeville is all the rage!

Impish impresario Keaton Abbott (Jason Hardwick) is polishing the planks of the Ferguson Theatre as his company of actors, magicians, jugglers, singers, showgirls, stage-hands and circus animals put the finishing touches on their latest variety spectacle.

DIE-NASTY plays every Monday at 7:30 at the Varscona Theatre
(10329 - 83 Avenue in Old Strathcona) from October 21, 2019, through May 25, 2020, except for December 23 and 30.

Tickets are $15 or $10 with a $40 membership
and are available at the door (cash only) or online at

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Episode 3 - "The Battle of the Limelight"

Episode 3
"The Battle of the Limelight"
Photos by Janna Hove.  
Synopsis by Jim Cej.

*          *           *

Cast of Characters
 Jason Hardwick as Keaton Abbott 
- impresario, theatre owner-
 Kristi Hansen as Bobbi Smarts 
- stage hand-
 Matt Alden as Jack Potts 
- performer in search of an act-
Tom Edwards as Riff Van Winkel 
-ex-flying ace, wing walker-
 Stephanie Wolfe - Juniper Jones 
- now solo member of a sister act- 
Jesse Gervais as Lou Costello 
- theatre accountant -

*          *           *

 November 4th, 1919 
The Ferguson Theatre is bleeding money. 
The electricity bill needs to be paid. 
Lou Costello wants to open the show, 
but Keaton Abbott says that the show isn’t ready. 

Daisy’s reviews have been terrible
 and the new Limelight Cabaret has just opened next door. 
The show will be in previews until it’s ready. 
Lou tells Keaton to enjoy his previews in the dark.

*           *           *

Lou Costello has a meeting with Bobbi Smarts. 

 She is hungover and is having a rough day. 
Lou wishes someone would punch him in the face 
so he would see some stars around here.

*         *         *

Jack Potts visits Riff Van Winkel in his dressing room. 
 We see the scene first from Jack's point of view.

 He tells Riff he is the financial backer 
and the creative producer for the theatre.
Riff wants to see a WWI musical. 
 Jack likes the idea, except instead of soldiers, 
a bunch of tiny forest creatures. 

 It’ll be a Cartoon on the Stage.

*          *          *

Jack Potts visits Riff Van Winkel in his dressing room. 
We see the scene again, as it really happened.

*           *          * 

Juniper Jones puts on false eyelashes in her dressing room.
 Jesse Gervais is her reflection.

*           *           *

 Riff has carried Jack Potts down to the shop 
to have Bobbi Smarts check him out. 
He tells her that Jack is drunk and is full of good ideas. 

 She says that it’s like he was hit by inspiration. 
Riff worries that he’s going to burn himself out. 
 They need something to jolt him out of it. 
Bobbi apologizes but says that she has nothing to do with this. 

 Riff sees a big lump on Jack’s head. 
He asks Bobbi if she has anything to do with this. 
When she says no, Riff can see that she is lying. 

*          *           *

 Keaton Abbott has a pitch session with everyone 
to come up with ideas to take down 
the Limelight Cabaret. 

 He says that they are all talented, 
but the Limelight is getting on his nerves. 
They have taken some of his great ideas 
and some of their audience. 
He wants everyone to bring something to the table. 
Juniper says that they could invent something new. 
Or they could burn their theatre down. 

 Or we could burn out their theatre down. 
Maybe just invite people to join our act.

*            *           *

 In the theatre bar, 
Keaton Abbott has asked Juniper Jones to join him after the meeting. 

He tells her that she has a lot of talent. 
She is like a big ball of clay that he can mold. 
He thinks he made a mistake at the theatre. 
He told Daisy that she was going to be the headliner 
with three new acts 
and she was going to replace Juniper. 
But he can't have that. 

 He needs her to push Daisy out and make it look like it was her idea. 
Then, it will be the Juniper show. 
She has what the Keaton Abbott show needs. 
He doesn’t feel good about doing it. 
Karma and all that. 
She’ll take care of it for him.

*         *          *

Lou Costello takes to the streets. 
He is trying out a new act, guessing things. 

Your weight, your age, your blood type, 
your shoe size, your occupation.

*           *           *
The weekly poker game features an inordinate number of Cockney players. 
 Bobbi tries to make it a dry game.

*        *          *

 Riff has left Jack Potts with Bobbi Smarts to meet with Juniper Jones. 
He has always thought that she was smart.

 He’s a little worried. He has fallen in love. 
He should never do that in the theatre. 
But he brought Jack Potts to her after he came to his dressing room. 
He’s worried about the dark side of Bobbi Smarts that he didn’t know before. 

 Everything has a dark side. 
Even puppies. 
She has one, too. 
He has a dark side. 
He has been dabbling in cocaine. 
But the problem is Bobbi. 
He doesn’t now what she has fallen into. 
Maybe he sees himself in Bobbi. 
 Juniper will talk with her.

*         *           *

Bobbi tries to figure out how to fix Jack Potts’ condition.
 She’s sorry that she did this to him. 

 But he says that he is having a fabulous day. 
Or is he intensely sad? 

 He suggests that they share a Drink for Two.

*          *           *

 Behind the theatre, 
Keaton Abbott is smoking four cigarettes at a time. 
Riff seeks him out. 
He has an idea for a new act. 
But he has to be openminded. 

 It’s interactive dinner theatre. 
It’s big in Philadelphia. 
Keaton’s been working on bringing liquorice into the theatre.
 We can have sandwiches. 
He likes the idea. Sandwiches in the theatre. 

 And if you’re bringing audience onto the stage, you don’t have to pay them.

*          *           *

Lou is joined by Juniper Jones in the kitchen in the theatre.

  They have a suggestive scene 
about egg salad sandwiches and walnuts. 
 They have more in common than they ever imagined.

*            *           *

The technician's orgy turns into the collection of beads that have scattered all over the floor. 
 They talk about forming a union, like the newsies.

*           *          *

Juniper Jones talks with Bobbi Smarts 
in the theatre basement. 

She wants to talk to her, gal to gal. 

 There is somebody that likes her, 
and she thinks that Bobbi should know. 

He’s worried that he may be addicted to cocaine. 
She’s just the messenger. 
She can feel his spirit moving through her.
Juniper passes Riff’s spirit on to her.

*           *            * 

 Jack crashes into Lou Costello’s apartment. 
He’s feeling much better, but he’s had a terrible day. 

 He may have had a slight head injury. 
And he may have taken all the money he put into this theatre
 and put it into Limelight Cabaret. 

 He hopes that Lou hasn’t lost confidence in his ability to finance the theatre. 

 If he doesn’t come back with something viable, 
he doesn’t come back. 
They have enough money to use his idea of a flying theatre,
 but only under one condition - 
He is in the act!

*         *           *

 Bobbi Smarts is in Juniper’s dressing room 
when she is surprised by Keaton Abbott. 
She says that she is going through a thing. 
They are all going through a thing. 
We’ve got some troubles, we’ve got some debt. 
And the theatre has just gone IATSE, 
so her rates are going up. 

 He asks her if she would like some off the record work.
 You’ve heard about the Limelight Cabaret. 
He has a job for her. 
It doesn’t pay much, but her job is on the line. 
He wants her to become chummy with the owner and get a job over there. 
You’ll be my double agent.  
When they trust you as much as I do, 
I want you to build them a set 
that will burn them to the ground. 
Accidents happen. 
She laughs. 

 It’s all going to come down. 
New York will be theirs.

*         *         *

No comments:

Post a Comment