It’s been some time since I’ve posted anything SNM related on this page. It’s also been some time since it was a recap, but considering I had one of those magical nights that keep me coming back, I figured this last Monday night would be a good one to talk about.
#41. Strange number. That was supposed to have happened on my birthday, a while two months prior, but it just didn’t feel right this year. Was I finally burned out from the McKittrick. Had I seen everything in the hallowed halls? I took most of the summer off, always thinking in the back of my mind that I needed to return, but never quite feeling the urge. After all, this has been the summer of hell for me, and why drag my own personal demons to one of my favorite places. Something in the atmosphere changed last week, and without hesitation, I dialed up the old interwebs machine, found myself on the SNM page and soon had a ticket for Monday August 25.
I found myself waiting in line with the lovely drinkthehalo and her friends Cameron and Ami. Once inside, the old familiar magic of the Manderley embraced me, though I recognized no front of house members or bartenders. It truly had been some time. I was getting a little anxious about my lack of familiar faces when Maxamillian and Violet entered and soothed my nerves. It truly felt like old times again.
My plan was to follow my usual instincts and rush down to the ballroom to figure out my who’s who of the night. Paul Corning was being rather devilish as James, however, and was throwing white masks of the elevator in random intervals. I believe we went from 5 to 3, back to five, then I finally got off on four. Plans instantly ditched, and I surveyed High Street while I had it all to myself. Agnes den. Empty. Fulton’s shop. Empty. Mortuary. Empty. Detective Agency. Empty. I stepped into the Speakeasy and watched James Graber shuffle a deck or two while polishing the old cardboard bar. Still no one else in sight, performer or white mask. I went back into the hall in time to catch the Agnes/Malcolm duet in the detective agency. Zach Martens and Kenna Tuski. This was the first time I watched this scene by myself. It’s lovely when you catch these moments as a private audience member. It becomes your own special 2:1. It was hard to choose, but I couldn’t leave Malcolm without a ghost to see during his conjuring in the back office. He offered me an egg that ended up crushed and all over my pants before the actual 1:1 started. After Duncan’s death knell rang, I rushed after him, fully decided to follow his full loop, but halfway down the hall as I was rushing after him, I had to stop as to not run over poor Agnes who was crossing the hall. High Street was still empty, and she grabbed my hand and pulled me into her bedroom for my second 1:1 in the first ten minutes of the show. Kenna has a sensuous side to Agnes that I had never seen before. I wanted to follow her a loop, but the rave music was beginning, and I had still felt so isolated. I knew there would be some more white masks in the rep bar.
The witch quartet was 75% new for me this night. I had previously seen Chelsea Bonosky as Sexy witch, but new to me were Jessie Kovarsky as Boy Witch (who I had seen as Marshall and the Grocer in TDM), Tara Franklin as Hecate, and a new actually bald bald witch, whom I later found out is named Stephanie (don’t know the last name, sorry) Paul Zivkovich strolled in shirtless and the crazy went down. I must say that Jessie wins at Boy Witch. And I am very interested in following both him and the new Bald Witch in the future. After the rave, I decided to catch up with Fulton, as I had not yet seen him. To my immense pleasure, John William Watkins (one of my personal favorites) was in the role. As much as I wanted to leap after him and follow for the rest of the night, I made a quick decision to come back to him for his final loop. I circled back around the watch Hecate harvest Agnes’ tears, and soon found myself in her lair, throwing back a shot of salty goodness. Hecate gave me a quest, and it was down to 2 to check on the Porter.
Oh Will Seefreid, why did you and your beautiful cheekbones ever leave. He still had the ability to summon up a tear and splash it all over the note he writes to Hecate at the exact moment he writes the word tear on the page. I brought my paper boat back up to High Street, but Hecate was doing her walkabout, so I knew it was no time to interrupt. Instead I followed Speakeasy on his loop. Even though the show had been playing for about fifty minutes, I still found the floor to be mostly empty. Grabeasy took me into his den, shot back some whiskey and performed a new card trick. It’s nice because I had the old one figured out. Jack of Diamonds met Jack of Diamonds and suddenly I’m shoved against a wall and told I done good. I caught the end of Hecate’s cabaret and delivered her note. She brought me back into her lair and seemed to confuse me with Agnes, and also gave me one hell of a stain on my hand.
"out out damned spot"
It actually lasted straight through the next two days, no matter how many times I scrubbed my hands in the sink and shower. I was beginning to feel a little Lady Macbethy by the time it finally all came off.
From there, I decided to catch the ballroom, and find a character to stick with until the final loop, when I had already decided on the JWW Fulton. Before I could get down there though, I had to stop and watch Will’s Porter, as I don’t know if or when I will ever witness it again. His room reset is such a pleasure to watch. Before I knew it, the ballroom scene was over, and it was time to deliver Banquo, Miguel Anaya for the night, his prophecy. The phone booth dance with Jessie was erotically charged and heartbreaking. I couldn’t leave the poor Porter to his own devices, and he reached out for help so I took his hand.
OMFG, Will still does the leg thing but it is SOOOOOO much more intimate than before. Here is a performer who was gone for almost a year, but came back and owned his part and even upped the ante. The lipstick on my cheek was just as hard to scrub off as the blood all over my hand.
At this point I needed some small refreshment before my final loop with Fulton, so I retired to the Manderley for a beverage. Then to Paisley Sweets, where I filled my pocket with Cinnamon Imperials for the rest of the night. I wandered from room to room until I saw Fulton bring a white mask into his parlor and then I took up a spot in Agnes bedroom to wait for him to emerge from the Narnia closet.
First, some history with JWW. I seem to hae some affinity for this performer. Up until this night, I had only ever seen him as Speakeasy, and I would always find a loop spent with him would recharge my energies if I was feeling down. I had downed quite a few shots with him, both in the backroom and as a winner of the shotgame. He even gave me a special 1:1 in the taxidermists bathroom, which I am not sure anyone else ever experienced. It was all about Grace. I also had a preternatural ability to get the Speakeasy walkdown when JDubs was in. I was devastated when he left, and to be honest, when I heard he was back in the show, it was one of the prime factors that made me book a ticket after so long.
Fulton emerged from the cupboard and calmly made his way back into his shop where he took up some sewing. It was business as usual, until Agnes visits and sends him on a goose chase while she steals his money. Poor naive Fulton. Even still, things are fine until Bargarran pulls him into the mystical underworld of witchcraft and sorcery. JWW took us down to lost luggage, which I have never seen happen before. There was a bit of business there with finding his overcoat before heading back upstairs for his umbrella. I slowly paced after him in the graveyard until he turned to acknowledge my presence and hand me his umbrella while he buried the bird skull (or whatever that thing is). JWW’s Fulton is a pious man, at war with his own cunning magical abilities and the darker forces which are abound in the McKittrick. The last segment of his loop becomes more frantic as events spiral out of control around him. In the end, I was hoping for one last 1:1 to cap my night off, but it was too late in the night. Instead, Fulton grabbed my hand and waled me down to the hanging. He pulled me through the crowd to the front, where I had an excellent view of Macbeth’s dire consequences.
Back in the Manderley, JWW peeled off my mask and thanked me. I whispered “thank you” back, and then added a “welcome back”. He smirked and then walked off, adding the perfect ending to a magical night.
Overall, the night was very empty and very well behaved. I only noticed one instance of awful audience behaviour, and almost immediately after it occurred, I saw that selfsame audience member get pulled to the side by one of the bouncers and escorted off of the current floor we were all on. While smaller audiences certainly don’t bode well for the show, it leads to a more enjoyable evening for me!!!