The HOTEL KNOWS I can't resist its call.

81 times and counting.


lovethypenguin asked
So we've met a couple times, and as a fellow SNM fan-boy I sometimes find myself running out of things to do. I've had every single 1:1 multiple times by multiple actors. I can honestly say the only thing I haven't done is get abducted by the 5th floor Nurse and taken to the 6th or had my palm read in the Manderlay. I guess my question is, as someone who's been just under 100 times, what's your plan of attack? Do you just find some of your faves and stalk? Pillage Paisley Sweets?

Well, the 5th floor nurse has nothing to do with the 6th floor (not in the way you seem to be describing), so you haven’t been enough to have THAT point clear in your mind.  [wink]

Seriously though, I understand. It is definitely easy to fall into a routine and feel like there is nothing new to see. These days, my plan of attack is usually to focus on new performers (or old performers in new roles) as that is where the most obvious surprises come from for me.

The other thing I sometimes do is to intentionally go against my natural instincts.  For instance, if Boy Witch passes by and I am not otherwise engaged, my natural tendency is to follow him.  I can’t help myself.  Those instincts tend to lead me back to the same familiar scenes, so I try to mix it up by going somewhere else.  I am sometimes surprised when I stumble across a scene that happens at the same time as something else and I suddenly hear the bells signifying Duncan’s death.  I am almost always on the 3rd floor with Lady M when that happens, or downstairs with Banquo, so when I find myself on the 4th or 5th floors when that happens, it is a reminder that I am out of my routine.  And I like that a lot.

It seems that the general concensus about “how to do it” has really evolved into “FOLLOW A CHARACTER.”  That’s not bad advice.  But I have found that, after this many visits, my most startling moments come when I take a different approach.  For instance, start on the 5th floor and slowly work my way down floor by floor, or start ni the ballroom and slowly work my way up. This is how I experienced the show those first few times 3 years ago before I was spoiled by experience.  I especially do this when I am tired going in, on weeknights after working all day. 

If there are no new performers, and I find myself uninspired, I can always find fun in seeking out new angles to watch scenes—-  some of my favorite moments come from seeing scenes from a long distance away.  It’s hard to find those moments without the crowds swooping in and spoiling the visual effect, but it’s still fun trying.

Thanks a lot for getting the answer to my previous question! I have 2 more: If I am offered a drink during a 1-1 but drinking it will result in me getting really bad stomach pain, what’s the best way to let the cast member know this silently? Also: if I were to celebrate my birthday at the show, do they do anything special? Thanks!

There are three situations where you may be offered a drink—  Whisky, milk, or tea, depending on the scene.

I’m pretty sure you’re not asking me how to give the universal “no thank you” by holding up your hands, palms out, and shaking your head.  Cause, ummm, that’s pretty obvious.  Right?  RIGHT?!

I suspect what you’re really asking me is a combination of:

"Is it ok to decline?"  
"What happens if I do?" and
"Why would they serve milk when so many people are lactose intolerant anyway?"

So I’ll answer that as well…

Yes, it’s ok to decline.  

It is quite possible that the performer may, in character, react to your unwillingness to do as your told and improvise some sort of expulsion from the 1-1, in which case you are expected to walk around with a scarlet M on your breast for the remainder of the night, just like those people who refuse to take a performer’s hand when offered because they are scared. Well, not the scarlet M part, but I have heard of performers that have improvised an abrupt end to the 1-1.

I am not fond of milk myself, unless it’s very very fresh, and very very cold.  Neither of which seems to be the case with the watery milky liquid in the McKittrick.  But I will suffer for my art, and accept it when “offered.”  But I do know people who have legitimate issues with lactose intolerance or reactions, so it would seem an easy solution to use almond milk—  oh fuck, nut alergies.  Or Soy milk?  Or any number of alternatives.  Not to offend anyone with lactose intolerance, but could this be related to the recent allegations that the 4th floor smells like farts?

EDIT-  I forgot to answer the part about your birthday.  If you contact the hotel ahead of time they will work out some sort of package deal for you with champagne and a table, or something.  But it is not cheap.  I am very fond of inviting my friends to join me for the show (or at least the Manderley after the show) and making our own party.


Anonymous asked
Hi, I haven't been to SNM for few months. During my Wednesday night visit, I saw few fresh faces. Can somebody tell me who was playing the Porter and Macduff that night? Thank you.


Anonymous asked
What is Calloway's Salon? When does it happen?

Calloway was the Man in Bar character played to perfection by William Popp (who was one of the all-time greats as Malcolm).  His MIB was mysterious, quirky, a little off-kilter, and a master at random storytelling.

Somewhere along the line someone had the brilliant idea that Calloway could carry an entire evening of entertainment in the Manderley after the show, so the Calloway Salon was born.  And they are amazing!

For a while it was a monthly occurance with a variety of special guests and talent sharing the stage with him.  Poor Calloway apparently had an allergic reaction to shirts and always ended up topless minutes into his set, much to the delight of the crowds, and to Hans, the clueless german boy in lederhosen (played with scene-chewing perfection by Taylor Myers) who had the worlds biggest crush on Calloway.

Since Popp left the show last winter, he has made occasional visits back to the Manderley to keep Calloway alive and well in our collective consciousness, but it doesn’t happen nearly often enough.

if you follow the Manderley Bar at the McKittrick on Facebook  you will receive weekly notifications of all the post show acts that will be takign the stage each night, including Calloway’s Salon.

I would very much like to know which actress played Hecate last night (Monday)… Can you please help? Thanks!

Can anyone help?

Hello! I love reading your blog! I have seen SNM 3 times already but I am now moving to NYC for school and plan on attending with some regularity. For someone who has already seen the “bones” of the show what little bits would you reccomend I try to catch. Where/when do they happen?

Is there an intersting loop that not too many people tend to follow?

In terms of crowded-ness when is the best time to go? 

I would suggest you just start at the top of the character list and work your way through the whole list 1 loop at a time.  Do the major characters first loop (The Macbeths, The Macduffs).  

I also think  Danvers/Catherine Campbell is a great character to follow to get a glimpse of other story lines.

I like Sunday nights or week nights, personally.  But as I always say, it can be hit or miss any night.

Sunday July 2014: Finale


I mean, honestly, I’d have been happy with a regular, run-of-the-mill show. A Bulldog, a hoedown, a private party, and a few favourite scenes. A quiet goodbye. That’s all I wanted.

But it’s Punchdrunk. I should have known that these guys wouldn’t do regular or…

People have asked why I didn’t write more about my experience at the final weekend of THE DROWNED MAN. Frankly, it’s because I just couln’t put it into words.  But this recap captures so much of the experience of being there.  Not just the show itself, because I was clearly on a different path within the show.  But it captures the feeling in the air, the glee we felt when we spotted the long-departed badlands Jack, when we heard cheers coming from distant places in the studi when the crowd just couldn’t contain their excitement. The melancholy joy of waiting on the sidewalk with everyone sharing in something that just meant so much to us.

There are so many things I missed—  Rob’s Andy bar dance, the switching out of performers mid-show, the unexpected twist ending of Drugstore Girl and the Grocer’s storyline, and so much more.  But I got to spend a loop with Lily’s Andrea, and put make-up on Paul’s Fool one last time, and Lexi and Luna and Larry in Studio Three were on fire!  It was amazing.

Everyone was talking for months about what a shit-show it was going to be with insane super-fans crawling all over each other.  But it was lovely. It was magical.

The Drowned Lego



Now that The Drowned Man has come to an end I’d like to share a little project I’ve been working on. Well, re-share, really. I actually posted an earlier version, which you can see here, just prior to the end of the show. But this is a new and improved final rendition, incorporating additional observations made during that final week as well as the flood of additional images of the set that became available around the time of the final show. So if you’ve already seen this once, feel free to skip ahead to the pictures (links at the bottom of the post). If this is your first time, what follows is a lengthy explanation of just what the hell this ridiculous project is, exactly.

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This is without a doubt one of my absolute favorite things ever!

meanderingmouse asked
Are you aware of a new Lady MacBeth? I had not seen this actor playing any role in the show until this evening and she was intense. A small Woman with light colored hair whom is an insanely powerful dancer. This Woman had the perfect energy to play off MacBeth. Insane energy. Plain and simple. Wow. I forgot to take a pic of the cast board on the way out. Argh.

It hard to say who it was… shorter blond hair? If so, I suspect it was Anna Finkel. She is usually paired with Paul Zivkovich, and they are great together. Isadora (long light brown hair, very tiny woman) is also great.

EDIT TO ADD:  Someone just wrote a note that Sunday evening’s Lady Macbeth was Leslie Kraus.  Leslie has (or at least HAD) red hair, so I’m not sure if you were talking about Saturday, or if you just got confused.  And if it was Leslie, she’s not really new.  She was in the show for a while and left at the beginning of the year to join the cast of THE DROWNED MAN and is since back.