THE PLOT SUMMARY
“We all fear death, and question our place in the universe. The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.”
— Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) to Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.
Act One of Beyond the Mirror takes place in New Eden City in early July of 2020. New Eden has endured a number of months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. The official opening of my club—The Garden Cabaret—has been put on hold. My nemesis and mortal enemy, Lobida, has been forced to close her club—The Dark Side—for the past three months also. We're both excited to open/re-open to the public, and to entertain our various clientele with exciting new cabaret shows.
The 2020 presidential race is hotting up, with official nominations and running mates currently being finalised and announced. As summer kicks into high gear in New Eden, love is most definitely in the air, and the truth is most definitely being exposed at every turn . . .
Saturday July 4th, 2020:
I and my fabulous cast perform our new show for the grand opening of The Garden Cabaret (TGC). It's the first half of a two-part show I'm in the process of creating. Part 1 outlines the arc of the human story from Eden, through the allegorical fall and expulsion from the garden, up to the present day. It's enthusiastically received both by the socially distanced audience in attendance at TGC, as well as on social media, the performance having been livestreamed on FaceGram.
As I sit down in my dressing room after the show, a message is posted in the FaceGram comments: "Stop now, and close your stupid club forever, or everyone will know your secret!!" This gives rise to a flurry of doubts about whether I can continue on my current trajectory into the limelight. After some soul-searching I find the resolve to expose the secret myself; I compose a FaceGram post announcing to the world that I'm a hermaphrodite.
Meanwhile, next door in the male dressing room, Alex and William rib Adam for having just tongue-kissing Alex onstage . . . again. Adam's excuse is that he's having recurrent dreams about a beautiful girl who happens to look just like Alex looks when he's dressed as Eve in the show.
The final session of the Partisan National Convention is taking place at the Lincoln Center tonight. Ken Abercrombie is officially named as the Partisan Party candidate for the November presidential election. Ken gives a somewhat less than humble acceptance speech, then controversially names his wife, Faye Abercrombie, to be his vice-presidential running mate. Faye gives the closing speech of the convention where she outlines her Prescription for Peace, which is greeted enthusiastically by the convention members. Faye then calls Ken back to the stage, but he's already left to be with his mistress, Lobida, at The Dark Side (TDS), where their daughter, Eve, will be singing publicly for the first time tonight. Backstage after her speech Faye is enraged.
The Eco-Vigilante Action Group (E-VAG) convenes at Bernard's Bookstore (BB) for the first time in many months. Mrs. Chu announces that Ken Abercrombie is to be the next target E-VAG wants to take down. The plan decided upon is for Adam to audition to be a backup dancer for Lobida at TDS, where hopefully he can access material that E-VAG can use to blackmail Ken. Mrs. Chu then announces that she's been asked to be the vice-presidential running mate for James Brody, the Egalitarian Party presidential candidate. Later, in Bernard's office nook, Bernard finally gets around to telling Adam—who has believed his whole life that his mother died in childbirth— that his mother is alive, in New Eden, and wants to meet him. Adam is angry, but ecstatic.
Later the same night, Lobida performs her new show, full of sin and sex, to the crowd at TDS. Ken witnesses the show from the privacy of Lobida's boudoir. After the performance they engage enthusiastically in their domination ritual where Ken is the baby and Lobida the dominating mother. In the middle of the BDSM scene Lobida receives a cryptic Facegram message from her mortal enemy, Angel O . . . from me: "Leave me alone or else!!" Lobida has no idea what the message means, but she becomes enraged by the taunt none-the-less, and swears then and there to publicly humiliate me, and run me out of New Eden forever.
Ken and Faye's daughter, Eve, then gives her first solo performance to an unenthusiastic crowd at TDS, which puts her into an emotional tailspin.
Sunday 5th July, 2020:
The following day at our East Village apartment, my husband, Amir, supports me to inquire into the painful experience that's been triggered by the FaceGram threat.
Adam McCall and Eve Abercrombie awaken in their respective bedrooms, dress, and make their way to the gym where they accidentally bump into one another. There's a flicker of recognition, and something stirs inside them.
Meanwhile, at the Abercrombie penthouse, Faye and Ken argue about his continued relationship with Lobida. Faye threatens to expose Ken and his many secrets then leave him, but he convinces her to stay quiet in exchange for more power and status once they're in the White House.
Adam meets Yantra—the manager of TDS—for his audition. She's immediately suspicious of him, and starts to test his integrity. When Lobida shows up and meets Adam, however, she's instantly smitten by him, and hires him on the spot; Yantra is furious.
A few hours later, Faye arrives at TDS to confront Lobida. She tells her to back off, but Lobida dishes up more than Faye bargained for, and Faye leaves with her tail between her legs.
I meet Bernard and Mrs. Chu in Central Park and share my dilemma with them. They support me to find clarity. Mrs. Chu then outlines her radical idea of getting rid of the current hierarchical political system and her desire to trial a new way of governing, a synarchy, where the country would be governed by a council of transcendent 'non-leaders.' As we're speaking another FaceGram message arrives, this time a death threat.
Later that night at TGC we put on another show:"Aphrodite, Goddess of Love." It's a roaring success, but as we're taking our curtain calls a bomb explodes backstage resulting in chaos.
Monday 6th July, 2020:
The following day, E-VAG ambush Ken and Faye with a news crew outside Abercrombie Industries headquarters. They accuse Ken of planet polluting, tax evasion, and sexual deviancy, among other things. He denies everything and threatens to sue them all. William collapses to the ground clutching his heart. Bernard and Mrs. Chu give him CPR during which he has a near-death experience, but he returns. William is taken away to hospital by ambulance.
Later the same day, Bernard has arranged for Lobida to come to BB to meet her long-lost son. The arrangement had slipped his mind, however, and when she turns up Adam isn't there . . . because he's in the middle of rehearsals at TDS for his first show with Lobida.
As Lobida is leaving BB she bumps into me as I'm arriving. I confront her about the Facegram threats and the bomb. We have a huge argument which is filmed and aired live on FaceGram. I'm humiliated, and go into hiding in my boudoir at TGC.
Adam is the centrepiece of Lobida's new show at TDS tonight. In the middle of the number Adam and Eve's eyes lock across the club, they 'remember' their origin together and they fall in love. Following the performance, Lobida is so turned on she takes Adam to her boudoir and begins a bondage scene with him; Eve is horrified and disgusted. When Lobida exits the boudoir for refreshments, Adam snoop around and finds images and video files on Lobida's computer, but he's caught in the act by Yantra who is enraged, and locks Adam in the basement at gunpoint. Eve realises she's fallen in love with Adam but does nothing to help him.
William and Mrs. Chu arrive back at BB from the hospital; Alex arrives and reports that Adam has been taken hostage at TDS; I arrive and we all gather together and sing about the fragility of life.
Curtain Down – Act One.
“That which does not die is awakened in the death of who the mind thinks it is.”
Act Two of Beyond the Mirror takes place in early November of 2020. It's the week of the US presidential election. While much of the city has re-opened for the past few months, everyone is getting nervous as COVID-19 case numbers are on the rise once more.
Adam is still being held captive at TDS. He's torn between being addicted to the ecstatic BDSM sessions he's experiencing with Lobida—which are including increasingly more dark and dangerous activities—and the strong desire to escape and return to his family and his friends. Eve has been spending more time at TDS looking after Adam as his jailer, but she is yet to express her love for Adam as she feels she doesn't deserve happiness.
Bernard, Mrs. Chu, William, Amir, Alex, and the rest of E-VAG are desperate to free Adam, but they know—via his earring microphone—that he's safe so they're biding their time.
Following the bombing of TGC, I've been stuck in a deep funk, and have severe writer's block so Part 2 of my show is yet to be created. In the last few days, however, a welcome bubble of creativity has started to arise.
The big event on everyone's minds, however, is that Election Day is finally here . . .
Tuesday 3rd November, 2020:
Election Day, and everyone (except Adam, Yantra, and myself) are out and about, attending polling booths to vote, etc. Camera crews are filming and reporting on all the latest, including interviewing candidates and their family members.
I'm at home furiously writing Part 2 of my show, having finally been struck by inspiration. Bernard, William, Alex, and Amir arrive and report on what's happening outside.
Meanwhile, Eve slips away from the election day craziness and returns to TDS to tend to Adam. She is masochistically drawn to being the slave to the slave. Adam begs Eve to help him. She finally gives in and tells him she's in love with him. They hatch a plan to help him escape after tonight's show.
News flash: James Brody is missing after a helicopter accident, presumed dead.
Later that night, Lobida performs another show with Adam as the focus. When he's offstage for a minute he slips into Lobida's boudoir and pockets the hard drive with the evidence he needs on it. At the conclusion of the performance, Eve smuggles Adam out the back door of the club. He begs her to come with him but she declines.
Adam celebrates being free with his friends and family at BB. The election is too close to call. Bernard discovers that the hard drive Adam took is a dud planted by Yantra, and that they have nothing to defend their accusations about Ken with. Adam vows to return to TDS to retrieve the evidence they need.
Eve is in despair, and takes a handful of Lobida's Xanax tablets to try and numb the pain she's feeling. She wanders into Central Park in a disoriented state where I bump into her. I see Eve in all her pain, and I tell her a story about my life. This gives her hope for the first time in a long time.
Wednesday 4th November, 2020:
Another news flash: Ken is arrested. The election looks like it might be a tie. Mrs. Chu calls Faye and they meet privately at the Abercrombie penthouse to come up with a plan. Mrs. Chu spots a picture of her spiritual teacher, Evelyn Bourne, on the mantelpiece, and they connect on their shared passion for truth and freedom. Faye agrees with Mrs. Chu's plan of the Utopian Way.
That evening, Adam goes back to TDS for the evidence . . . and for Eve. The other members of E-VAG accompany him in disguise. As Adam is looking through Lobida's computer, however, he's caught red-handed, this time by Lobida herself. She ties him up and starts to play out a dangerous bondage scene . . .
The remainder of this scene will be kept secret for now as you don't want to know the whole story before you see this thing, right?
Thursday 5th November, 2020:
The events of the last day and the epilogue are also going to stay secret. Needless to say, things happen, and stuff gets sorted out, but who gets what, and who lives and who dies is very much up in the air...