Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Evening at the Audubon

The Audubon Ballroom!

A monument to the success and ego of filmmaker William Fox, the Ballroom normally hosts vaudeville acts, but is also available for the dances and socials of wealthy Manhattanites. Tonight’s fare, however, is something quite different, for this evening playgirl Margaret “Mags” Whitcombe has rented the place out for the debut of her personal teacher, the mysterious Eastern monk, Ramanuja.

It’s a smaller affair than what is normally held at the Audubon; the queue of tittering flappers and dapperly dressed gents barely rounds the corner. Oh, the birds are roosting alright, but the doormen manage to move them along quickly enough to prevent any conspicuous accumulation of society types on the sidewalk. While the wait to get inside is very brief, a few snippets of conversation may be easily overheard if one bothers to pay attention.

". . . send a rope straight into thin air and have a monkey climb down with flowers for the dames . . ."

"Baby, those eggs don't know what they’re missing – this fella's as genuine as genuine comes I'm tellin' ya! I've seen it!"

". . . not gonna make it through the night – but don't'cha gimme no lines about flying Orientals."

". . . into a trance and spilled the beans on Cholly to Mags, Mildred, God, and Creation. Ol'Ramanoony did Cholly in right then and there – you shoulda seen the look on his face!"

"I’m here for the monkey show."

"She found him in San Francisco. Came out one morning with – oh, what was his name? You know, the banker – and he was just sitting there on her doorstep legs tied up Indian style, eyes rolled back in his head – oh, here’s my invitation."

A poster is sloppily pasted to the wall by the door. It occurs to you that Ramanuja might very well be at home among the magicians of Vaudeville after all . . .

(Ramanuja poster adapted by HomoDM from show poster for "Alexander: The Man Who Knows")


Thelonius Jones said...

Thelonius Jones paused under the Audubon's marquee to examine the poster advertising the evening's performance.

"The real thing huh?" He muttered to himself. "I'll believe it when I see it."

He stepped up to the will call window, smiling at the young woman behind the glass.

"Ticket for Mr. Jones. Thelonius Jones."

At least he hoped there was a ticket waiting. The thought that the telegram might be a hoax suddenly popped into his head.

da solomon said...

The woman behind the glass purses her lips and clicks her tongue. "One moment."

She looks downward, into some box or drawer below Thel's view. "Jones. Jay for Jones," she mutters to herself. "Jay for Jones, Jay for Jones. No - nothing by that name!" She brings her gaze back to Thel's. "I'm sorry, sir, there's nothing here for you!"

Teresa said...

Cati approached the Audubon, with Emma practically pulling her by the arm. As they reached the entrance, Cati stopped and did a double take.

"Whattya stopping for?" Emma asked. She was about to present the doorman with their tickets, but Cati was walking away, toward the call window.

"Why, you're that photographer," Cati said to the rumpled man, talking to the woman inside the booth. "The one who takes those fabulously outrageous occult pictures. What a hoot! Are you doing a story on this do?"

Thelonius Jones said...

"That's okay...I think there was some misunderstanding," Theo commented to the will call attendant.

He shook his head in dismay, Typical...even the tickets were a hoax

As he turned away from the window, he was taken aback when the young woman approached him and started asking questions.

"Um, pardon me Miss, but do I know you?"

He wondered how the woman had recognized him. His face was certainly not famous and while he did use his real name on his photo credits, he doubted if anyone actually paid attention to them. Maybe it had something to do with the new Leica camera dangling from his neck.

Then again, this woman could have something to do with the telegram he received...

"There was a misunderstanding. I thought I was going to do a piece on this show but.."

He let the rest of the sentence trail off rather than explain how he had been duped.

Teresa said...

"Well, no," Cati said. "You don't know me. But I saw you at the Henry Price lecture, oh, about nine months ago. You know, the one where he was speaking about how he exposes spirit photographers. Fascinating, really, though I didn't understand some of it —"

Emma cleared her throat loudly.

Cati flashed the man a bright smile. "I was seeing a journalist at the time, and he pointed you out to me."

"Are we going, or are we going?" Emma called out, her voice taking on a higher pitch than usual.

"Why, of course we are!" Cati replied. "This fella is coming, too." To Thelonius, she said, "So you don't have a ticket? Baloney! They know me here. Don't worry: I've got you covered."

She started to head to the door, then stopped and turned back. "By the way, I'm Cati Predoviciu," she said, extending her hand. "And what was your name again?"

Thelonius Jones said...

Theo shook the woman's offered hand.

"Thelonius Jones. Most people call me Theo."

He unconsciously adjusted his fedora with his free hand in a vain attempt to spruce up his looks.

"I appreciate your kindness, Miss Predoviciu."

He followed the young woman to the door of the theater, nodding politely to Emma.

"Ma'am...nice to meet you as well."

Monsieur Henri DuMonde said...

Monsieur Henri pushed back an immaculate cuff and glanced once again at his wristwatch. Millie B. was not just fashionably late, but simply late. He watched as a rumpled man with a camera around his neck (shocking what people thought was evening wear these days!) was approached by a pair of smart girls and turned to follow them inside.

A hand slipped through his arm. He turned. It was Millie, looking simply exquisite in her crimson.

"There you are, monsieur!" Millie gasped. "You jake?

"Mais oui," he said, patting her hand. "Très jake."

Millie's bright peal of laughter made several admiring eyes turn her way.

"Your accent sometimes just slays me, darling" she said, squeezing his arm.

They turned and headed in, finding themselves behind the two girls and the man with the camera.

(ooc: i hate that i can't edit, but must delete if i made a mistake!)