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

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Episode 9 - "Silent Night, Holy Sh!t"

Episode 9 -  "Silent Night, Holy Sh!t"
Photos by Janna Hove
Synopsis by Jim Cej

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 -
Tom Edwards as Riff Van Winkel 
- ex-WWI pilot, wing walker -
Mark Meer as Lou Tellegen 
- famous actor  -
Jesse Gervais as Lou Costello
 - accountant and guesser -
Owen Bishop as Henchbuck Wrinklebrow 
- Hollywood producer -

Chantal Perron as Betty Purtle
 - of Purtle’s Amazing Pets -

Vincent Forcier as Barnaby Toughbottom
 - strongman -

Jolene Ballendine as Bernadette Jones 
- Juniper's sister and bank robber -
Jeff Gladstone as Clive Pickles 
- her partner in crime -

*          *          *
December 19th, 1919
*          *          *

Juniper sits at home when she receives unexpected guests. 
It’s her estranged sister Bernadette and her new husband, Clive.

*          *          *

 Keaton Abbot is sitting in his office when Henchbuck knocks. 
Keaton asks after Daisy. She is doing well. 
Keaton’s not as well. 
His wife and daughter were supposed to come to do the Christmas show,
 but now they’re not coming and there’s no show. 
Keaton and Henchbuck are both thorns in each others sides.
 Henchbuck wonders if he thought that he’d get away 
with stealing his car, hitting him with a bottle 
and making him speak with an English accent. He will pay.
 Not so fast. Keaton says that Daisy is a wanted criminal 
in many states for her immoral act, 
and Henchbuck has aided her in getting out of the country.

*         *         *

Lou, Barnaby and Bobbi have a production meeting. 
Bobbi is feeling a little under the weather from her concussion 
and wants a sick day. 
Barnaby says that they don’t have enough performers 
to qualify for the Christmassy Time awards. 
They are short one child slave.
*          *          *  

 Juniper makes breakfast for her sister and her husband. 
They reminisce over old times. 
Juniper asks if they've heard about that couple running across the country robbing and killing people? 
She hopes that they don’t run into them.  
While the sisters talk about the old times and their act... 

 Clive rummages through Juniper’s things.  
It turns out that their father had been baiting the sisters against themselves before their act broke up. 
Juniper invites Bernie and Clive to come to see her at work.

*          *          * 

 Betty has invited Lou Tellegen to her dressing room. 
She would like his help. 
She has an idea for a new act. 
The competition among animal acts is insane. 
She wants to turn it into a talking dog act, 
with Lou supplying the voice. 
He suggests that they call it "Look Who It Is That Is Talking."

*          *          *

Next door is where they keep the child slaves. 
The optimistic one tries to raise their spirits with a song about tomorrow.
 Barnaby tries to infiltrate the group 
but keeps getting on the wrong side of them. 

*          *          *

Keaton is furious after his meeting with Henchbuck. 
He runs into Riff in the elevator. 
Things can only go up. 
 Riff wants a song. 
One that will make him happy that he can share with the world. 
Keaton says that Manhattan isn’t the centre of the world. 
They have to focus small.
They just have to put on a good show and the audiences will come.
 They still have to have their Christmas show but plans have changed.
 They have to rally the troops and come up with a solution.

*          *          *

While wandering around the theatre, Clive runs into Lou Tellegen.
Lou thinks Clive is there to repair his mirror that doesn’t reflect... 
....but he looks very familiar to him. 
Why does he recognize him? 
He asks what kind of work he does. 
He’s between gigs.  
 Lou thinks that he has seen a picture of him 
with a woman in the newspaper. 
He has read all about this crime wave. 
Clive's profile is unmistakable. 
They are Bacon and Chives, the Baked Potato Bandits.
They are heroes to the downtrodden. 
They take what they want and have become counterculture heroes. 
Lou thinks that he would like to write their story for the screen. 
Lou tells Clive that he can count on his discretion. 
Perhaps he should meet his wife, and they can discuss this further.

*          *          *

Henchbuck runs into Betty Purtle backstage. 
She is thrilled to see him after his promises to make her a movie star. 
He has no recollection.  
All that he remembers is that Keaton Abbot is a rascal of a fellow. 
  He pours the charm over Betty. 
She says that before his head injury, 
he was one of the nicest man she ever met. 
He made her feel a little tingly between her legs.
 Henchbuck suggests that it might be nerve damage.
He must be starting over with his life. 
He asks if she will be his partner in crime. 
She agrees.

*          *          *

Barnaby sees that the child slaves are being treated badly. 
They need a leader.  
 They all think he should be the one to lead them now.
They’re not gonna to take it... 
No! They’re not gonna to take it... 
They’re not gonna to take it... anymore!
The child slaves start to revolt against their keeper. 

*          *          *
It’s a classic Lou Tellegen film, The Nativity Scene.

*          *          *

 Riff has reworked Keaton’s script and taken it to a production meeting.
If they can pull it off, it would be a Christmas miracle.
 In the story, the bully’s dog in the story dies, 
and the bully sees the error of his ways.  
Angels bring the dog back to life.
 They have a hard time convincing Lou Costello that the story will work.
 They decide put the show on for Christmas. 

*          *          *

Bernadette and Juniper talk about their old act.
 Juniper was a little worried when she saw her sister at the door.
 Bernadette dreams of a life like her sister’s. 
 They remember Christmases past and cry. 
 Juniper says that she feels like there’s something wrong about Clive.
 She asks if they can stay there and hide out for a while.
 Ok, but if one thing goes wrong, they’re out of there.

*          *          *

Clive tells Lou Tellegen all about what they’ve been doing.
 It’s a love story.
 They met in grade 10 in gym class.
 She tripped and fell while they were running. 
 Bernadette said that she needed help to her away from her family. 
 They pretty well jumped right away to mass murder. 
 Lou asks why they did it.
 They were on the run because of the first murder.
*          *          *

 Keaton Abbott is in his office 
when Henchbuck walks in with a Christmas present. 
 Henchbuck has been wracking what’s left of his brains 
over what has happened. 
His life was on a brilliant trajectory and something ruined it all. 
It all comes back to Keaton.
 Keaton talks about how bad his life has become 
with his family problems and running the theatre.
 Every time he turns a corner, there is Henchbuck.
 Lou Costello and Bobbi Smarts help him keep things together,
 but he doesn’t miss Jack Potts.

*          *          *

Riff and Bobbi share a drink.
 They think the show is really going to come together. 
He compliments her on her new nose. 
 She asks if he knows that things ended with her and Juniper.
She knows that she hurt Riff. 
Riff says that with Bobbi, that if you love something, let it go.
 Bobbi asks if they have come full circle.
 He doesn’t know.
 He loved her from the beginning.
 His feelings are just as strong now as they then.
 If she feels the same way, tell him now or let him go.
 She doesn’t know. Is that okay?
 Yes, it is.
 He says that that is the truth inside her, and that’s okay.
 He wants her to be happy, too.
 Please let him in again.
 Bobbi says the she is sorry and leaves.

*          *          *

That night, 3 ghosts visit to Lou Costello to give him the Christmas spirit.
 They tell him to change his ways.
They're all there together due to time constraints
 One shows him his tombstone. 

 He goes to visit the dog that is going to make them a star.

*          *          *

Juniper finds her sister’s suitcase and decides to help her unpack.
 She is shocked when she opens the suitcase.
 It is filled with guns and other weapons. 
 Bernadette enters and tells her that she said that she was in trouble,
 but she didn’t say how much trouble.

 They came to steal from her to keep them on the run. 

 Clive surprises them with a gun.
 Bernadette steps between them.
 Shots ring out and they all fall to the floor. 
 Lou is there and takes notes for his movie.

*          *          *

We see the Christmas show. 
The talking dog brings them a special message for Christmas. 
 People have forgotten that Christmas is the time we remember that someone special was born with special powers. 
Yes, Frosty the Snowman!
 That is why we say Happy Birthday every time we put on a hat.

*          *          *

Directed by Matt Alden
Music by Paul Morgan Donald
Lighting by Brad Fischer

*          *          *

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