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

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Episode 11 - The Big Chill

Episode 11 - The Big Chill
Photos by Janna Hove
Synopsis by Jim Cej

Our Cast of Characters
Jason Hardwick as Keaton Abbott 
- impresario, theatre owner -
Shannon Blanchet as Plootie Scampzingus 
- his child(?) -
Stephanie Wolfe as Juniper Jones 
- now solo member of a sister act-
Delia Barnett as Daisy Darling 
- showgirl, born in a trunk, the Toast of Paris-
Mark Meer as Lou Tellegen 
- famous actor - 
Belinda Cornish as Geraldine Farrar 
- his equally famous actress and opera singing wife -
Matt Alden as Jack Potts 
- recently poor man about town -

*                *                 *

- January 13th 1920 -

Plootie Scampzingus has arrived in town... 
 ...and tries to track down Keaton Abbott. 

 When Plootie finds him...
he tells him that he is the child that Keaton's wife sent him.

*                *                 * 

In his office, Keaton tries to figure things out. 
His wife was supposed to send his daughter, but she sent out A child. 
He asks Plootie is he has any theatre experience. 
No, but he ran messages and had the run of a Hollywood studio.

*                *                 *

 Keaton visits Geraldine and tells her that there is a kid here now. 
Well, it’s not hers. 
He asks if she has a child. 
That will be her secret. 
He reminds Geraldine about their conversation in the tiny, tiny storeroom. 
Where should they commit the murder? 
Keaton would prefer that they don’t do it in the theatre. 
Bad publicity.

*                *                 *

 Lou Tellegen, Jack Potts, and Plootie meet backstage at the theatre. 

They speak quickly, and speak in similes, after Lou explains what one is.

*                *                 * 

 Daisy and Juniper meet in the park. 
They are glad to see each other. 
Juniper wonders what Paris was like. 
She missed Daisy.  
 They talk about joining forces to improve their acts. 
They will become a non-sister sister act. 
Juniper thinks that people think they are enemies, 
so they can play that up. 

*                *                 *

 Geraldine sits alone. 
Her husband has a gift for her. 
She tries to guess what it is. 
He brings her a puppy. 
She is less than thrilled. 

 Lou asks what she will name it. 
Poo Poo might be apt. 
It did that in the cab on the way over. 

 Geraldine doesn’t know what to do with it. 
She thinks that she is going to call it Potato. 
Lou says that just like the potato, Shih Tzus are loved by the Irish. 

She wishes that Lou would kiss her... 
 the way that Potato licks her face.

*                *                 * 

 Jack Potts has a great idea for Keaton Abbott. 
While he was on the roof, he thought what was in the wind. 
Radio Waves! That’s his pitch. 
  Keaton asks what a radio wave is. 
It’s a new thing. Everyone is listening to it. 
He can do a live broadcast from the theatre. 
They can have radio plays, musical acts, interviews. 
They could have the Baguette Sisters perform. 
Keaton wonders how they could make money. 
They’d sell advertising. 
Keaton thinks that if they had a live studio audience, 
they could have live reactions broadcast along with their show. 
They negotiate a name for the broadcast. 
The Keaton Abbott Radio Hour with Jack Potts? 
Keaton Abbott presents the Jack Potts Radio Hour!

*                *                 *

 Geraldine and Potato visit Lou in his dressing room. 
She has warmed to Potato. 
She seems so overcome by emotion and has never been happier. 

Geraldine thought she would hate being forced to go outside 
when she gives Potato his walkies, 
but she is loving seeing New York. 
 She met the Crone of Fifth Avenue, who spits in people’s faces.

*                *                 *

Daisy and Juniper try to work out the details of their non-sister sister act. 
Juniper has heard about the Baguette Sisters from Jack Potts. 
Daisy says that they’ll walk into Keaton’s and demand that he book them.  
Keaton asks if they would be performing for theatre or the radio show. 
Plootie gives Keaton some advice about their act 
and has him pay them in advance. 
Keaton thought that pitting them against each other, 
but having them work together would be a better act. 

Then, six months down the line, they can have a big blowout. 
Then, reunion tour! 
If the show goes well, they will be in the green for the rest of their lives. 

 After they leave Keaton’s office, Juniper is suspicious about his intentions, 
even though he gave them two dollars. 
Juniper tells Jack Potts that they will give him the two dollars ...

 ...if he will look after their act. 
Money talks.

*                *                 * 

Keaton Abbott presents The Jack Potts Radio Hour! 
Jack warms up the audition for their reactions first. 
Plootie takes notes. 
They start off with the serial, 
"The Masked Cowboy Man and his Sidekick Buddy" 
sponsored by Children’s Cigarettes. 
 A horse wanders into town. 
It’s a clue! 
But the horse rides off. 
The Masked Cowboy Man and Buddy, 
a ventriloquist’s dummy brought to life, chase after it. 

The horse falls off of a cliff and they follow. 
The cool taste of Children’s Cigarettes keeps them relaxed. 

The Masked Cowboy Man and Buddy climb up the cliff, 
where they are confronted by a gang of masked men.

*                *                 * 

Plottie seems to be doing a lot of work. 
He gives Keaton the proceeds from the radio show. 
Keaton is surprised. 
He wonders where Plootie is getting all their money from. 
Do you know what people spend their money on at the theatre? 
Do you know how much a bag of corn costs? 
 Do you know what else they buy? 
The smoke! 
Keaton thought that they were selling them the show. 
It’s not the act, it’s not the people, it’s the smoke. 
The next thing they will sell after the smoke 
is salted caramel covered pretzels. 

Keaton understands what she is saying. 
What do they sell next? Cocaine!

*                *                 *

Daisy and Juniper are quite upset. 
They got all dressed up but weren’t in the radio show. 
They gave him $2! 
He’s protecting them from terrible reviews. 
They want their money back. 
He already spent it on protection for himself. 
Daisy and Juniper can’t get a break. 
He tells them that this was just the first one out of the gate. 
What do they want him to do? 
He has them show them his act and they will 
work it into The Masked Cowboy Man. 
He watched them dance. 
He tells them that their dance will be perfect on the air. 
They will play The Masked Cowboy Man’s horse and his pay friend, 
and they are tired of working for him. 
 They will be working against him with their own separate script. 
He’s going to need them to… IMPROVISE!

*                *                 *

Lou and Geraldine are dealing with the day to day work 
involved with having a pet.  
 Lou is thrilled with the reaction to The Masked Cowboy Man, 
but Geraldine is afraid. 
 She is afraid of what the Ferguson is doing to them. 
She came from California to be with Lou. 
She was to play the lead in Cecil B DeMille’s latest epic, 
but she turned it down to be with him. 

He told her that Vaudeville is the zenith of entertainment. 
But here she is, playing Buddy a ventriloquist’s dummy 
and being dragged around my a Shih Tzu. 
Lou has been so selfish, thinking only of himself.

*                *                 *
 Daisy and Juniper don’t trust Jack. 
They try to get this power broker, Plootie Scampzingus on their side. 
He tells him that he is an orphan, he thinks. 
They notice that he is highly motivated and good with numbers. 

 They need someone like him to be their manager. 
He thinks that they are fantastic and they don’t need a manager. 
They need a booster. 
They gave Jack Potts all of their money 
and they’re suspicious about Keaton Abbott. 
He seems fishy. 

 Keaton’s wife Kitty used to always say that he is a fatalist, 
but Plootie doesn’t know what that means. 
They should become the opposite of fatalist. 
They just want to do something new, 
and want to feel supported instead of 
having to prove themselves over and over. 
Plootie says that they have to have trust in themselves. 
Don’t milk the cow before dinner.
 They just have to figure out how to milk the car after dinner.

*                *                 *
In the next instalment of the Masked Cowboy Man, 
he recognizes the masked group as the gang he used to run with. 
But he saw the error of his ways and now fights evil. 

 Two horses ride in to help them. 
They offer the horses children’s cigarettes. 
The cigarettes makes them sick. 

 When the gang opens fire, the horses run off. 
They are off script now, 
They says that they are being horses because them wanted to be team players.
 Geraldine is behind them 100%.
 She stands with them if they want to be horses or dancers.
 Jack Potts tries to round things off, 
saying that the horses ride off into the sunset.

*                *                 * 

Keaton is having second thoughts abut the radio show. 
He tried. 
He tried to make the best Vaudeville show that they had. 
But every time they got to a great show, things come tumbling down.

Jack thought things went well, 
but the man from Children’s Cigarettes was not pleased with the show. 
Keaton says that without a sponsor, they don’t have any money. 
He had a question about the money, 
he went to Lou Costello, 
but he wasn’t there.  

Juniper says that he never gives them a chance on their own, like Lou. 
Keaton says that she is just part of a failed sister act. 
Juniper explodes and leaves.  

Geraldine steps forward. 
She sees what kind of man he is now to people 
who are loyal to him or want to try something new. 
She leaves. 
Jack just wanted to try something different. 
He leaves. 
 Daisy says that Lou fired her. 
She doesn’t know if she has a place there 

and she doesn’t want to be somewhere that she’s not wanted. 
Keaton says that he told Lou not to fire her. 
She leaves as well. 
Jack returns and says that it’s not that he doesn’t believe in other people,
 he doesn’t believe in himself. 

 Keaton asks Plootie what he is going to do. 
Is he going to leave too? 
Nah, he just got here. 
He doesn’t have any place to go. 

 Plootie listens to people and what they say. 
All that Keaton thinks about is what he doesn’t have. 
But he has him. 

 The sponsor expects a new spot for the radio show next week. 
 Keaton is alone. 
He calls his wife, Kitty. 
He cries and tells her that he is in trouble.

*                *                 *

Music by Paul Morgan Donald
Directed by Peter Brown
Lighting by Brad Fischer

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