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, March 4, 2020

Episode 18 - As We March Along

Episode 18 - As We March Along
Photos by Janna Hove
Synopsis by Jim Cej

Our Cast of Characters

Tom Edwards - Riff Van Winkel 
- ex-WWI pilot, wing walker, song and dance man- 
 Vincent Forcier - Barnaby Toughbottom 
- strongman-
 Cody Porter - Paddy O’Lantern 
- Irish mobster-
Shannon Blanchet - Plootie Scampzingus 
- spunky orphan, mysteriously rich gopher- 
Belinda Cornish - Geraldine Farrar 
- famous Hollywood actress and opera singer- 
Owen Bishop - Henchbuck Wrinklebrow 
- Hollywood producer- 
 Delia Barnett - Daisy Darling 
- showgirl, born in a trunk, running the Hoboken Pantages Theatre-

*                      *                     *

March 2nd, 1920 

*                      *                     *

  The Ferguson Theatre is burning!
   No one knows where Keaton Abbott is!

*                      *                     *

Riff sits at home, 
tormented with guilt for killing the Irish gangsters. 
Ghosts appear before him, 
blaming him for their deaths.

*                      *                     * 

Back at his apartment, 
Barnaby nurses Paddy O’Lantern. 
Somehow 22 members of his gang died in the fall, 
but he was spared. 
Paddy was somewhat addled from the bout earlier, 
so he doesn’t remember what happened. 
But he needs some men. 
He has a plan to rob the Policemen’s Ball 
and steal all the liquor for them to sell themselves.

*                      *                     *  

Geraldine and Daisy comfort a distraught Plootie. 
Geraldine wants to know what happened to the Ferguson. 

 Daisy has everyone take a deep breath and calm down. 
Geraldine returned from California 
and expected to have a meeting with Keaton Abbott. 
Every time she mentions his name, Plootie cries harder. 
He tells himself that Keaton is just fine 
and he was not in the theatre when it burned down. 
 Geraldine and Daisy are shocked to realize  
that Keaton may be dead. 

*                      *                     * 

 Riff is haunted by the Irish ghosts
Henchbuck bursts in on Riff, 
and the ghosts around him scatter. 
Where is half of his theatre? 
He wants to know who burned it down. 
Riff has no answers. 
He tells Henchbuck that an Irish gang 
tried to take over the theatre before the fire.  
 They need to find Paddy O’Lantern, 
the only person to survive the fire. 

*                      *                     * 

Paddy meets Geraldine Farrar on the street, 
where they look at the burnt out Ferguson Theatre. 
Geraldine doesn’t want people to know 
that they know each other. 
 Paddy wishes that his friends were there. 
She asks if they burned it down. 
No, they were innocent. 
Geraldine knows what kind of friends he has. 

 He tells her about his plan. 
He thinks that her skills would help him 
get into the the Policemen’s Ball. 
He needs someone on the inside. 
Of a policeman?

*                      *                     *

 Plootie searches for clues in the wreckage. 
He tries to keep his chin up and have positive attitude. 

 He hears a puppy bark, and finds a dog. 
It barks and tells him that his name is Xavier Aloysius. 
He calls her Xavy for short. 

Plootie needs his help to find Keaton and her money. 
Xavy points to door and helps him open it. 

*                      *                     *

Geraldine introduces Paddy to Daisy. 
Geraldine says that they have never met before. 
Geraldine tells her about Paddy's plan to get into a policeman. 
He has trouble explaining the plot to her. 
Geraldine tries to help. 
Does he want to skin a policeman and wear his skin? 
Or to spiritually take him over? 
Or is he speaking metaphorically? 
He says that it is a metaphor. 
He needs them to create a diversion 
to let him rob the Policemen’s Ball. 
They are both shocked at the idea of breaking the law.

*                      *                     *  

In the diner, Riff and Henchbuck meet 
while their meal is being cooked. 
While they share some french fries, 
Barnaby bursts in. 

He asks if Riff is willing to help him solve 
the mystery of the death of the 22 Irishmen. 
Riff says that he thinks that they were up to something. 
They were trying to take over the Ferguson. 

He and Henchbuck decided to eat here 
where the Irish gang used to hide out 
and see if they could find some leads. 

 The chefs think they are looking for leeks. 

*                      *                     *   

On a radio cooking show, 
the French chefs make their famous dish, 
Sausages and Cheese. 

 It is a vegetarian dish 
and is also one for the lactose intolerant. 

While they cook, the actresses playing them 
apologize for their French accents and 
ponder the life choices that brought them to this point. 
They were obligated to play the chefs, 
as they were given the instructions by the director. 
They thank everyone for their kindness and cooperation. 
*                      *                     *  

 Paddy plans the big heist with his new gang. 
5 people will have to die. 
Hopefully, that won’t be any of them. 
The ladies will create a diversion with their magic, 
but they haven’t really thought out the rest of the plan. 

Paddy asks Barnaby what he thinks he should do. 
Being a strongman, 
he thought he would carry out the barrels. 
They will need someone to climb through the air duct. 
That will be Henchbuck’s job. 
That leaves Riff. 
Paddy is taking the George Clooney part. 
They need someone to switch out the barrels 
with ones filled with sand. 
Now where could they get some sand? 
Geraldine suggest grinding down some glasses. 
Riff suggests they get some from the beach.

*                      *                     *

Back at Plootie’s Clues, 
Plootie says that the only time that he doesn’t have money 
is when Keaton takes it for the theatre. 

Xavy tells him to stop thinking about his own problems 
and concentrate on finding Keaton. 

Maybe Keaton went on a trip. 
He decides to call Keaton's travel agent. 
 It’s actually a front for a gang. 
They can’t find anything for a Keaton Abbott, 
but they have something for a Keaton Costello.

*                      *                     *  

 Paddy goes over the plans one more time. 
The ball starts in an hour. 

Barnaby will go in disguised as a policeman, 
where he will meet up with Henchbuck, 
who will have enough sand to displace the whiskey. 
Paddy and Riff will sing a ribald song 
about policemen that details their plans for the heist. 
They will present another distraction. 
Barnaby think that plan is going poorly. 
Everything is going wrong, but everything is going right. 
They will pin everything on Henchbuck.

*                      *                     *

 Daisy has never been part of a crime or a thieving. 
She didn’t think to would be so confusing. 
Geraldine agrees that it shouldn’t be so confusing. 
Everyone should know what they should be doing. 

Daisy thinks it should be like a play. 
Everyone should know their objective. 
Geraldine thinks it has something to do with sand.

*                      *                     *

Daisy and Geraldine call everyone back together. 
They ask Paddy what their super objectives are 
and what are their smaller objectives going from scene to scene. 
Riff suggests that they carry guns. 
Geraldine thinks that it is too late to introduce new props. 
Henchbuck practices crawling through ducts. 

Geraldine suggests that she and Daisy go ahead 
and chat their way into the ball. 
They will take care of it all. 
Daisy thinks that it is the best course of action 
considering what help they are dealing with.

*                      *                     * 

Plootie and Xavy play, 
but Plootie suddenly feels sad. 

He sings a song about Xavy. 
He thinks that he made Xavy up 
because he doesn’t have any friends. 

 Xavy says that if he could make him up, 
think of all the things that he could do. 
Even if Keaton is dead, 
Xavy thinks that Plootie is pretty rad.

*                      *                     * 

Geraldine and Daisy carry out the heist on their own. 
They charm their way into the ball... 

 ...and Geraldine creates a distraction 
while Daisy sneaks into where the booze is. 

 Geraldine carries it out 
while Daisy is confronted by the guard. 

 They escape, but are chased by the police. 

 They ride some horses to the beach, 
where they swim away. 
They make their way back to the hideout 
where everyone is waiting. 

 Paddy is surprised that they have so much whiskey. 
Geraldine has a question. 
They never talked about the reason for the heist. 
Daisy asks what was the super objective of the heist. 
Paddy said that if they started selling the booze right now… 
Did they think that they could rebuild the Ferguson Theatre? 
Paddy just wanted to open his own cabaret space. 
He agrees. 
After seeing how they all worked together, 
they could all use it for a new start. 

Geraldine thinks he missed one crucial part. 
She and Daisy left the Ferguson Theatre. 
They run the Hoboken Pantages 
and they think that it could use some renovations. 
Paddy may have come up with the plans, 
but the whisky belongs to the ladies. 
They could hardly stop them. 

Geraldine cries. 
She did not expect kindness from Paddy O’Lantern. 
He asks if they could put the past behind them. 
Geraldine says that the past is always behind them. 

 We see a moment of passion from their past. 
They are from different worlds, 

And she tells Paddy that she is married to a Dutchman. 

*                      *                     *  

 Plootie is back with her gang. 
One of them helped out two ladies 
with a heist at the Policemen’s Ball. 
He asks what happened, 
but they say that he always goes 
from one mystery to another 
and never deals with his feelings. 

 They are all just in his head. 
The feeling in his heart is his clue. 

 All the members of her gang disappearing buy one. 
Plootie stands alone.

*                      *                     *

Barnaby, Riff, Henchbuck and Paddy share a drink, 
while they deal with the fact 
that the women carried out the heist all by themselves. 
Henchbuck was sure that they were all going to be shot. 
Barnaby says that they carried it out in silence, 
but they always need to talk. 

Paddy says that they didn’t get the whisky, 
the women, or the theatre back, 
but they have themselves and their friendship.

*                      *                     *

 Daisy and Geraldine celebrate. 
They did it! 
Plootie goes to the Hoboken Pantages. 
He finds Xavy there with them. 
 Geraldine and Daisy are drunk. 
They tell him that they stole whisky from someplace, 
but he can’t tell anyone. 
Plootie says that they aren’t real. 
He needs to pour the whisky all over the theatre. 
 He does and lights a match. 

 The Pantages starts to burn. 

*                      *                     * 

 Paddy sings a goodbye song 
to all of this dead gang members 
called When Irish Eyes Are Closed. 
His surviving gang members join in with unintelligible lyrics. 

The actors apologize 
to anyone who ever knew, heard of, or stood by 
someone that was Irish. 

*                      *                     *

*  Directed by Matt Alden *
*   Lighting by Brad Fischer   *

*   Music by Paul Morgan Donald   *

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