July 29th, 2012


To Those Who Have Fallen Before Us.

Okay, before I talk about Sleep No More, let me write about my Saturday morning, particularly fordmadoxfraud's Stories of Our Youth campaign. Well, first thing I did was get my act together & go to the gym. I didn't take a shower before hand, so I still had Coney Island on my legs! Then Jenny & I walked over to Bar Reis, where we play David's game. We got dumplings & ate them while waiting for the rest of the crew to show up, at which point Jenny left. "You know you aren't tricking me into playing Dungeons & Dragons, right?" The group was down Emma's halfling psion Dilly, but we gained Rasheem's human bard. With James' elf ranger & Alicia's human thief, that meant everyone except skycornerless's elf druid had at least some thief skills! Which is good, because I think we just became anarchists? Or revolutionaries at least. I was playing my elf thief, Curulókë of the Smiling Parliament, from Barovia. We've sort of decided as a group that elves are creepy, so I embrace that-- especially since I'm a Ravenloft refugee. Anyhow, we were out to protect a caravan, which...well, we...didn't protect. Instead I used the "secret password" toast I'd heard from following a disgruntled union worker-- "to those who have fallen before us!"-- on a similarly unhappy inn keeper, & we got all conspiratorial. I invented a game using coins for pieces, & now I'm realizing I might be invented...the White Lotus society from Avatar: the Last Airbender? Anyhow, while I was acting all conniving, James' ranger Oney & Alicia's thief Aeryn were out...scaring the guards off the caravan, looting it & setting it ablaze. Hilariously committing us to the path of the popular uprising. My character is listed as True Neutral but I've better summed him up as "communalist," so it is totally in character. I support weird political schemes, whatever they might be, top down or bottom up. Anyhow, trying to rendezvous with the rest of the party, but failing my spot checks, I accidentally stumbled upon...the elf king Melendryk? Missing King of the Laughing Wood, a community with political ties to my character's Smiling Parliament. Also, James' character's father? Since he's just Zuko, with a facial scar & everything. We rescued him from being killed by goblins-- I found him first & used my "move silently" skill to stalk the goblins & then my "backstab" to shoot arrows through their skulls from behind, so the points came out of their eyes. I left then, but I think the game ended soon afterward, as well.
iron throne

When Shall We Three Meet Again?

Last night we went to go see Sleep No More for the second time. This month was saw an immersive Much Ado About Nothing directed by one of the original Punchdrunk alumni, we saw Alan Cumming's one-man Macbeth, we watched the movie version of Patrick Stewart in Macbeth which I had seen in person a few years ago, I'd had some more Shakespeare in seeing Twelfth Night in the park, heck, I'd even done some improvisational storytelling that morning. I think I might have seen one of the Manderly DeWinters at Uncle Vanya for that matter. We were ready! I didn't become one of those "I'll read the Sleep No More wiki & walkthroughs & then I'll snipe all the one-on-ones!" because I want to experience the thing in the spirit in which it is offered, & for that matter because that is cheating. Jenny & I weren't really on the same page all evening-- we got dinner at Half King, & then drinks waiting to get into the show, but I was antsy & felt ignored. We we just bickering; we weren't on the same wavelength. She looked super cute though.

My first impression on returning to the Manderly was-- "did they start selling more tickets for each event?" The first time I went the Manderly had a very eerie but very welcoming speakeasy vibe; this time there was more of an air of a...waiting room. People weren't getting "into character" as audience members. Maybe it is the doom of popularity-- the event becomes a tourist destination-- but I was thrown a little off-kilter. Luckily, my first circuit was pretty perfect. Going in, my plan was to follow each of the three witches for one of the cycles-- the performances happen three times, in the whole McKittrick-- & the first scene I came across was Macbeth murdering Duncan. Great! I followed Macbeth to the bathtub scene with Lady Macbeth, & then from there to the witch's rave. Really awesome-- the Hecate was exactly like Black Lodge Laura Palmer which was chilling-- & then I followed the Bald Witch out. The Bald Witch is my favorite, partially because I have a wee bit of a crush on Kelly Bartnik, but this time Omagbitse Omagbemi was playing her & she was still my favorite. Totally different interpretations of the character but both really awesome; I very much like the Bald Witch. As we walked around she sort of caressed my cheek or took my hand, trailed a hand along my shoulders. I was her familiar spirit! When the ball room sequence happened, she took me aside & danced with me. I am a brute, a Frankenstein, & not graceful, but I tried my best.

The dancing in the ballroom has most of the characters present-- definitely most of the Macbeth characters, & some of the Rebecca ones, too-- & thus it was mobbed by audience members. I want to say "faceless spirits," but that shamanic transformation was just...lacking. I don't want to sound like a snob here-- I fully think that anyone regardless of their background can be a perfect masked ghost-- but I think the masks encouraged more pushing & shoving & rudeness then they created an ethereal disembodiment. The crowd seemed competitive, seemed to be struggling against the fluidity of the show, seemed to oppose the enjoyment of the other audience members. Selfish. I was parted from the witches, & besides-- there is so much overlap that I decided to take a different tactic. More of a "catch as catch can," where I would follow a character until they met another character...& then I would follow whichever had less people following them. It led to me watching the Bell Hop sleep on the couch for a long time. Ha! I also found someone who asked for help, so I ran around trying to find a black mask to help them for a bit. Evan Rachel Wood was there as the Nurse, & I think I saw her, but I didn't follow her.

At nine o' clock I went back to the bar to meet up with Jenny. I didn't really want to-- I was in the thick of things!-- but I like her, & we had planned too. We left together immediately & dove back in. I know I said not to try to go with anyone, not to try to stick with anyone...& I reiterate that call. It was a bad plan. We would have been better served splitting up; there were scenes I'd seen that she hadn't, & vice versa. I knew she hadn't seen the witches esbat, so we headed to that just in the nick of time. While I was there, the Taxidermist jerked my sleeve & I followed him. Bye Jenny! I really like the Taxidermist, I've discovered. He's always lurking on the edges of the supernatural scenes, for one. Two, I saw him bring the Sexy Witch back from the dead, & nobody else has seen that but me so far. Three, when he plays around with bones & the tools of his trade I flashback to my years studying anthropology & forensics. I identify with him, I guess. I followed him for a while, watching him work, until he took my arm & led me away-- I thought to a one-on-one, but instead to the banquet scene, & the death of Macbeth. The Manderly after the show was incredibly crowded, but we had reservations to Gallow Green. We went up there & had a few exhausted cocktails before heading home. Pretty sure I had a dream about it before it even opened. A lovely garden but pretty crowded. Since the cover price is just a twenty dollar minimum, it might actually be worth it to go there after work for drinks some time.