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

Friday, December 13, 2019

Episode 8 - " Two Turtles Duck"

Episode 8 -  "Two Turtles Duck"
Photos by Janna Hove
Synopsis by Tom Edwards

Our Cast of Characters

 Jason Hardwick as Keaton Abbott 
- impresario, theatre owner-
 Kristi Hansen as Bobbi Smarts 
- designer and stage hand -
Stephanie Wolfe as Juniper Jones 
- now solo member of a sister act - 
 Vincent Forcier as Barnaby Toughbottom 
- strongman -
 Jesse Gervais as Lou Costello 
- accountant and guesser -
Mark Meer as Lou Tellegen 
-famous actor- 
Tom Edwards as Riff Van Winkel 
- ex-WWI pilot turned wing walker - 
Chantal Perron as Betty Purtle 
-of Purtle’s Amazing Pets-

 *           *           * 
9 December 1919 

 *           *           *

 Two criminals are selling a dog on the street to Betty Purtle. 
The dog is trained and evidently is also a poodle/wolf cross
and they want $100. 
The thieves warn her that the dog ate their third team member
by dislocating its jaw and eating a man in five bites. 
She haggles them down to $25 through sheer will and threats
and takes the dog with her. She decides to call the dog Rome.

  *           *           *

Keaton calls everyone for a meeting to discuss the new Christmas show. 
They won’t be doing the last year’s show, “The Kaiser stole Christmas”,
they will try to do something different, “The Kaiser is stealing Christmas”
but it will be in the future in 1950! 
They discuss futuristic ideas
but they will do the show in the same costumes and set.
Keaton tells them the budget is low.
Also that he’s paying Daisy to go to Paris
but he won’t be paying many who are doing the show.
 *           *           * 

 A year earlier, the cast perform a song from last year’s show. 
It is about how the Kaiser tried to keep Christmas from coming
by starting a war.   

 Eventually the Kaiser’s heart grows four times its size
and gives the Kaiser a heart attack.   

But he is brought back to life and the Germans surrender.
It’s a Christmas miracle.

  *           *           *

Lou Costello is using the telegraph
to send messages to Daisy, his girlfriend, in Paris. 
She writes back that she gets along very well
with all her handsome male costars.
H.R. Puff ‘n Stuff is getting pretty handsy. 
Lou sends back a message to keep H.R. at bay.
She says don’t worry,
he is harmless but spends much time in her trailer
and is built like an Etruscan sculpture. 
She says she thinks of Lou every time she kisses those men.

 *           *           * 

  Lou Tellegen goes to see Keaton about the new script. 
He says it’s not very good.
He says that we need a strong foundation
or else the house we build will fall down. 
It’s like when you’re building a house.
Lou says that was a metaphor and then a simile and we need those,
as well as onomatopoeia and alliteration. 
 Keaton respects his professionalism, so they try alliteration:
Kaiser’s Kristmas Klassics!
Or maybe the Christmas Czar!
And since there was a revolution
and the czar no longer exists,
Lou says that perhaps there is another revolution in 1950
and the czar is back, which is bound to happen.
*           *           *

Riff and Juniper are working on a song directed by Barnaby. 
 They try for metaphor, then emotion, then one word at a time and finally scattered phrases. 
In the end it’s a royal mess but a lovely song and no one was hurt.

 *           *           *

  Betty is in her dressing room. 
Bobbi Smarts comes in to complain of the smell of dog farts. 
It has been a problem since the night began.
Bobbi says that everyone has respect but the smell is horrid. 
She suggest that the animals be put outside by the garbage bins.
Betty doesn’t take this well and repositions the dog
so that something other than his butt is seen by all.  

 *           *           *

Lou Costello realizes that the show is already over budget
and comes up with the idea of a concession stand. 
He is selling lemonade at the beginning.
He’ll put Laudanum crystals in the lemonade.
He knows that this will bring in the audience. 
He declares that he is a clairvoyant accountant.
They won’t be show sellers but drug sellers.

*           *           * 

  Lou Tellegen finds Bobbi painting the stage
and clearly upset about some things. 
Bobbi says she isn’t getting the money
to make the required sets.
But she is weighed down by self-doubt. 
She sings about it.
Lou offers her friendship and a shoulder to cry on.
She then has the heart to get on with the work for the show. 

*           *           * 

  Barnaby and Juniper talk about the song. 
Barnaby wants Juniper to make Riff fall in love with her
to make the song come to life. 
There will be tears in the audience’s eyes
and big pay cheques.
 Juniper sings a vamp about committing to doing weird times in the theatre. 
 She may not understand but she’ll do it.
She suddenly starts kissing Barnaby 

 *           *           *

      Everybody is meeting to run through the opening scene. 
There are too many entrances and exits.
Keaton gets them going. 
 They begin the scene and the entrances and exits begin...
...and take off until it’s intensely farcical.

 *           *           *

 Bobbi is watching the last scenes below from the catwalk. 
 She is heaving to start with from the dog farts, then notices the scenes below. 
 She sees Juniper kiss Barnaby and starts hyperventilating.

*           *           *

   Betty bursts into Keaton’s office to complain about the suggestion
that Rome and the other animals sleep outside by the garbage bins. 
But Keaton only talks to Rome.
Keaton says that these things take time to solve.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Get it?

Betty suggests that she and Rome stay after work each day to clean up the dressing room. 
  Rome may not like that.
But Keaton wants them all to stay because they’re needed.
He wants to be Rome’s best friend. 

*           *           *
 Lou Tellegen is in his dressing room, checking himself for blemishes
but calls down to the front desk to complain that he can’t do so
because he still does not have a reflection in his mirror! 
Jack Potts walks in.
Jack has left to work at the Limelight Café.
He’s been hired as a director and has ruined the show.
They were doing dinner theatre and he realized that the theatre part was ruining the show
so he got rid of the theatre part and left the audience just having dinner. 
He directed himself out of a job.
He came back to join the Christmas show.
But Lou tells him that the regular show is not happening.
Jack tells Lou that in all the times in his life no one has ever said,
“Life must be hard for you.”
Lou tells Jack that is because he is a privileged white man. 

*           *           * 

  Juniper Jones goes to fall in love with Riff. 
They talk about how nice it was to work together. 
They have a kismet between them.
They can see each other in each other’s eyes. 
Juniper asks Riff to wait until she fixes something and then she will come back.
 They dance as they talk and she leaves.
Bobbi has been watching the whole thing! 

*           *           *

      Lou is creating a new cocktail. 
 As prohibition is coming soon he begins in a code
to sell booze by calling it various forms of tea.
Lou Tellegen buys some tea off of him and leaves.
Riff comes in to tell Lou he's designing a character off of Lou himself
and hopes Lou is not angry. 
Lou says, no, intimidation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Besides he is just coming down off of his Christmas lemonade.
Jack Potts appears.
Lou admits to being hooked on Christmas lemonade with Laudanum in it. 
The tea speaks to Lou.
Lou is losing it and goes into dancing spasmodics.

 *           *           *

Bobbi and Juniper are meeting at Bobby’s apartment to talk things out. 
They sing a dangerous song of their relationship.
Bobbi says that no one has ever loved her. 
Juniper says that even though she cares about Bobbi, she needs to move on.  
Bobbi says she’s crazy about Juniper and attacks her with a bottle.

 *           *           *

Eight operators at the switchboard taking different calls. 
They take many calls of business and personal natures.
There are many classic jokes:
Have you got Prince Albert in a can? 
Is my refrigerator running?
You don’t say, you don’t say? What did they say? They didn’t say.

  *           *           *

Jack Potts is sitting with a drink and Riff joins him. 
Riff says is that the Boogaloo special? Yes!
Riff says it changes every time according to the bartender. 
 Jack asks how the theatre is doing.
Riff says that Keaton looks worried.
A server comes by and serves Riff a Boogaloo special. 
 A man starts singing a romantic song while they eat spaghetti and meatballs.
Jack gives Riff the last meatball.
As they converse they get closer and closer and almost kiss but…they don’t.

*           *           * 

Keaton goes out for some fresh air and finds Lou Tellegen having a moment of weakness. 
Lou is lying down and has no strength.
 Keaton helps him turn over and help him smoke every once in a while and to exhale. 

 Lou is proud of Keaton.
He has reminded us that every Christmas we must celebrate Frosty the Snowman’s birthday.
And we must always remember that as St. Nicholas gives gifts,
the Krampus will beat the shit of them. 
Keaton realizes that the show isn’t about all the myths but the children.
Children’s theatre is the wave of the show.
Keaton is going to change the show into a children’s show.
Lou suggests making filming it and making a movie
whereby they can make the parents pay for a copy of it.

*           *           * 

 Lou Costello has found his way to Betty’s change room
and there is tension because they are ex-lovers. 
They talk small chat.
Lou admits to his addiction.
Rome walks in and demands a walk.
She puts him up on the couch.  Rome begins to fart.
Lou talks about Daisy.
The farts get worse and even Rome has to leave.

 Betty asks Lou if Daisy ever told him that she loved him? 
Evidently, she hasn’t.
Lou talks in Texas hold’em poker code.
Betty warns him that he doesn’t have the hand.
Lou complains that he worked his ass off and now has flat ass. 
They argue more.
Betty offers to talk with her to find out the truth.
But she will tell Lou the truth because he needs to hear it.

*           *          *

 At the telegraph Betty is having a chat with Daisy Darling. 
Betty doesn’t understand how a telegraph works.
Jack bursts in and sings about how to use a telegraph machine. 
Betty understands and sends Daisy a message asking how she feels about Lou.
The songs ends.

* * *

 Everybody is getting ready for the dress rehearsal and Keaton bursts in to change everything and tells them that the show is now about the children.  .

 Betty warn them about working with kids.
You think working with animals was rough?
Wait till you work with the smell of children.
Keaton tells them that his wife and his kid are going to join them.
     Bobby Smarts comes out while the children sing
and hits herself in the head with a bottle. 
She collapses.

 *           *           * 

First Act directed by Matt Alden
Second Act directed by Vince Forcier
Music by Paul Morgan Donald
Lighting by Brad Fischer

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