Today we say thank you and best wishes to SNM-NYC original cast member Ching-I Chang, who we are told gave her final performance last night. A reader submits the following account:
Tonight was Ching-I Chang’s last night. I was soooo sad (I’m the same anon who wrote in last week saying that she was underappreciated amongst the fan blogs). I noticed that Jordan Morley was in the audience, and he followed her all three cycles (as did I). I didn’t know that it was her last night until after the second banquet scene, after she moved the trees, she and baldie (Hope Davis) and Jordan (in the white mask) gathered together and hugged each other. Then when she danced with the speakeasy (Jeffery), instead of handing her a card, he handed her a rose. Then I knew that it was her last night, so I definitely had to follow her the last time. During the last rave scene, the nurse and matron came down to watch. During her solo after the rave, baldie stayed to watch. After her solo, instead of exiting through the doors to the staircase nearest the rep bar, she went by the other way and met Lady Macbeth (Leslie Kraus), who hugged and kissed her for about half the length of High Street. I was extremely fortunate to get her very last walkout. She is an amazing performer, and I hope you would give her a well-deserved tribute for the more than two excellent years in the show. Thank you very much! It is a very very very sad day for me. She was my first ever 1:1 and will always have a special place in my heart.
Anonymous asked: if sleep no more and the drowned man ran simultaneously in new york, how do you think fandom would be divided? feel free to use a pie chart.
Obviously some people will find themselves torn amongst these categories.
There are 52 cards in a full deck. I mention this because last night was my fifty-second time at Sleep No More, but alas, I only have 51 cards, because there was one time I met someone for a drink in Manderley and just stayed in there for the show without ever getting my room key. This bloodied king that Jordan Morley slapped on my face once will have to take the place of the missing one. Anyway, I knew I was in for a host of delights because one of the lights wasn’t working in the maze (read: it was on) so I was already chuckling by the time I got to Manderley. The woman behind me was chuckling too. “Hey, I’m just following you guys,” she said. Get used to it, honey. And intercourse.
Mans in Bar. There were some new men in the bar, well, new to me at least. Victor was there, assiduously avoiding contact with basically everyone, and another fellow, who I was later told is named Paris. But more about this later, because once Victor stood up to call the cards I knew I’d come back to the bar soon to spend time with him and his slithering, sexy voice.
I came in a little bit later than usual, so I missed what was apparently an electrical malfunction that caused the first ballroom sequence to happen in pitch blackness. Shame, that would have been kind of awesome / dangerous. As I came into the lobby I was very happy to see Jesus Christ Will Seefried climbing over the countertop and inching his way towards Mister Mayfair Himself Austin Goodwin. In lieu of the old and flawless Paul/Austin pairing, Will/Austin is the best thing the lobby can offer you these days. When I am dreaming up scenes for my immersive German nightmare, I have Austin cast as Moritz Stiefel and Will as Melchi Gabor, so I like seeing them work together for real.
I made it as far as cabaret with Boy Witch, but that’s when he ditched me, owing to his blindness, and intercourse. He scortched a whole bunch of us. So after that I camped out with the Porter, who had the most horrifically runny nose I’ve ever seen. Mind you, as a swimmer, you see a lot of gross things coming out of noses, so he was clearly having a really rough time of things. Heartbreak does that.
So, here’s the thing about Jesus Christ Will Seefried: I think he remembers all the 1:1s he does, and is constantly trying to one-up his previous performances. This was the fourth time I’ve seen it, and he seems to always have some new trick to add and up the ante. It’s like he gets home from work and writes up his 1:1s, like on a tumblr or something, and stops and thinks, okay, when this guy comes back, this time I’ll do X with his legs and he’ll be totally shocked, amazed and blown away! But I’m glad for the effort, whatever it looks like; it leads to these incredible, A+ performances.
Well, I started to cry after all that, because it was really good, and I’m unemployed and generally a mess these days anyway. So I went back to the bar to collect my thoughts and have a drink with franceskoncan. By this point the mans, Victor and Paris, are chatting away with Django Conwick, so I decide to see if staring at Victor gets his attention. No dice. So I start talking about them and say, loudly, “well that one is apparently named PARIS,” and that did the trick, he came over to say hello.
Paris is from Paris, it turns out; he was the Light in the City of Lights. But you have no French accent, Frances observed. Paris explained that he’d been caught in flagrante delicto with Mrs McKittrick and that Mr McKittrick had made him the offer: die for your transgression, or come to New York and work for me for ten years, so here he is; Mr McKittrick insisted that he learn to speak precisely as the Americans do. We inquired about his affair with Mrs McKittrick and he explained that he was a fingerpainter by trade; but that to do portraiture he has to touch his subject, and get a feel for all its curves and nuances in his hands. Well, she began to get a bit warm, and intercourse, and well now here he is. He doesn’t paint much anymore, but it’s not entirely off the menu. I told him my associates would be in touch. And then someone dropped a drink all over themselves.
Victor stood up to introduce the Django Conwick quartet (now with more clarinet) and noted that a wave of handsomeness greater than his own was about to crash across the stage. We laughed and he was very glad someone appreciated the comment. I took this as an excuse to chat him up at the bar while he waited, seemingly interminably, for a scotch. He said that he likes to watch, he’s a bit of a voyeur, and asked me what my favorite thing is? I told him being slammed against a wall and/or being smeared with lipstick. So, the opposite of watching, he said. Anything that doesn’t leave a mark probably isn’t worth doing, I said, and that even voyeurism will leave a mark if you do it right, which Victor agreed with.
So, when I audition husbands this season, please note that Victor and Paris both need to be near the front of the line.
Between JCWS and Paris and Victor I was pretty discombobulated and struggled upon re-entering the show. Paisley Sweets was fully stocked with the absolute worst kinds of candies, Malcolm was mobbed by happy girls, and it was a bit too late to give Erik Abbott-Main’s Macbeth the full attention he is due. This is obviously the guy some folks have mistaken for Paul Zivkovich, because they do look a bit alike, now that Erik has more beard. Another time, I guess.
There wasn’t much time left so I came back to the lobby, liking as I do to end wherever I started. Mrs Danvers (Emily Terndrup) had a handful of white chocolate chips and was holding them out for anyone who wanted them to take a few, so, that was a nice relief after hearing Frances’ upsetting story about having them washed down the drain. I did my usual lobby loitering, because if I’ve learned anything over the last two years, it’s how to trawl for the Porter to walk you out. But there was a stern, short woman with her arms crossed standing right in front of him and leering, so I figured he’d escort her instead. We came down to the ballroom and there was a woman on her phone, and I saw him dealing with that and then lost track of his location. Oh well. Hanging happens and as soon as the noose gets fitted on Macbeth’s neck, I feel hands clasping my shoulders. The chair is pulled and I get thrown forward. Ahh the Porter, you in fact never fail me. JCWS also gives good walkout.
Manderley was hopping until quite late. About 30% of the reason I was excited to be there yesterday was the chance to witness a reconciliatory conversation about a fight that never happened in the first place, and it did not disappoint in its awkwardness and charm. And then suddenly everyone was Facebook friends again, which was all anyone wanted (and Austra). Plus Diet Coke. And intercourse.
Anonymous asked: Please elaborate on your Green Man experience :)
There are some actual recaps of the various theatricalities out there so I won’t presume to do that job as well as it’s already been done, save only to add that the restaurant dance used a Fever Ray song which made me really happy.
Honestly, it was a good old-fashioned McKittrick Hotel dance party. This was my first time in the restaurant space - I’m guessing the hallway doesn’t always have grass - but it was really beautiful. The rooftop of course is the rooftop, I think the element they’ve finally mastered is appropriate music - the live music they had at Herb Festival and Green Man was spot on.
I feel like the last year worth of special events have been a process wherein the show has been separated out. In the beginning, the special event parties were inextricably bound to the show; there were separate party tickets, but the real experience meant seeing the show and then staying for an afterparty. But thematically this didn’t always feel as coherent as one might have liked, and long-term readers will surely recall that we had some discussion over how much of it was selling out, and to what extent shoehorning an extravagant New Year’s kickline compromises the artistic integrity of Sleep No More and the story that it tells.
After some iteration and clearly a lot of thinking and planning, the show is now its own thing, and the Hotel has appropriate space and amenities to have parties concurrent with performances, inhabiting the weird - and separate - world of the Hotel per se (in New York and closed in 1939) apart from the Hotel in dramatis (somewhere timeless in Scotland). Personally, I think this is great - though I would count myself among those initially bothered by the growing breach between the two. I think this allows the show, which remains the focal point of my interest on the premises, to remain true to itself, and the sidebars to be phenomena in their own right. A good balance seems to have been struck.
Here’s someone I know I’ve never taken a moment to single out and praise. Leslie has given us a gripping Lady Macbeth, and an absolutely exquisite interpretation of Agnes.
My own personal favorite recollection of her, though, is from the “final” Paul Zivkovich Macbeth performance (which of course, was not his last). Everyone started filing out at the end of the show, and it was quite emotional - I’ve told the story of the tribute at the final banquet before. I was in tears, as were many of the performers, including Leslie. She saw me clumsily wiping my eyes beneath the mask, took my hand and squeezed it tight, and walked me up to Manderley. She took my mask off and hugged me, and I just kept saying “thank you,” knowing I couldn’t say it enough, glad as I was for that moment.
Here is additional thanks to this fantastically gifted performer!
Reader Donho writes:
I attended the 4/20/13 show with friends. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but wanted further insight into the show and actors. I balked at the $20 offering of a program guide after the show. As with most other shows in NYC, the program should be included, especially with a $100 ticket! Anyway, I submitted and bought the guide. I don’t know when it was printed??, however we were extremely disappointed to discover only a few of the actors in our show were in the guide!@!! My recommendation - skip the guide, it’s a waste of money, and they should warn you it is way out of date.
Yeah, it’s probably badly out of date right now with all the cast transitions. Heck, even the web gallery isn’t up to date anymore.
Anonymous asked: Which original NYC cast are left?
Heavily edited after I thought harder - In addition to the aforementioned who remain from Boston (and were also present at the start in NYC), I believe it’s just:
Folks… I’m sorry I couldn’t get any advance confirmation of the rumor, but it appears that yes, tonight was Careena’s last show (at least, for some time. You all know by now what ‘last’ means at the McKittrick).
I don’t really know where to begin with this one. There have been so many moments over the last two years that this show has been pure animate magic, and Careena was responsible for so many of them. This is someone I literally can’t imagine the place being without.
Careena: Thank you for Hecate - which is shorthand for ‘thank you for Sleep No More.’ It is a stunning creation, and I hope you are very, very proud of it, and the journey the show has taken, from Boston to New York, and the incredible family of artists it has sewn together - in this, your work and dedication are ever visible. You have always borne the spirit of the show so gracefully and generously, so utterly and fully. From those of us in the fan community, bound by the magic of this creation, know that we are forever grateful to you, the hotel’s iconic enchantress, for the spell you’ve woven. Thank you for enchanting us. We will see you again soon.
Also: Iceland sometime. Yes.
Hope the linking works. Long, excellent article about Sleep No More in Chilean newspaper El Mercurio’s travel section Domingo.
“Lo interesante de Sleep No More es que no hay dos experiencias iguales, entonces incluso para los que ya la han visto cien veces la cosa sigue evolucionando”, dice por teléfono Arthur Karpati, uno de los productores.
Evan Cobb es un ejemplo perfecto del fenómeno que describe Karpati.
Para un círculo de fanáticos duros, Cobb es conocido como el bibliotecario no oficial del McKittrick Hotel. Esto, debido a Scorched the Snake, el sitio que creó en agosto de 2011, donde se dedica a estudiar con detalle granular los secretos y noticias relacionadas con Sleep No More.
And sometimes Paul Zivkovich plays the Porter.
Turning 50 was eventful.