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 1 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, and both The Garden Cabaret (TGC) and The Dark Side (TDS) have been closed for more than three months. Both are excited to re-open to the public to continue entertaining their various clientele with exciting new cabaret shows. The presidential election 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 . . .
Scene 1: Myself and my fabulous cast—including Adam McCall, William Chu, and Alex Abercrombie—put on our incredible new show, and what will be the opening number of the musical I'm writing: "The Garden of Eden Spectacular: Part 1." It's very enthusiastically received, both by the socially-distanced audience in attendance at TGC tonight, as well as on social media; the event having been live-streamed on FaceGram.
Scene 2: As I sit down in my dressing room after the show, a death threat is posted in comments on FaceGram. It's the third such message I've received in as many months, and I suspect someone is stalking me, but I don't know who or why. I only have one enemy, as far as I know, and that's my arch-nemesis, Lobida. I'd decided not to tell anyone else about the previous death threats, as I hadn't wanted to make a fuss, but with this third threat I now realize I need help. I'm on the doorstep of becoming more in the public eye, with a publicity firm set to launch me and my new musical into the stratosphere of fame any moment. My goal has always been, from the very first hint of interest in a career on the stage, to use any exposure and celebrity to champion the rights of LGBTIQA+ individuals, though in more recent years there's also the desire to speak openly about the possibility of true freedom that's inherent in spiritual awakening. This latest death threat, however, puts me into a tailspin, and gives rise to a flurry of doubts about whether I can continue on this current trajectory into the limelight. A part of me wants to be seen and heard—that would be Angel—but a big part of me just wants to hide away from the public eye, keeping all my secrets to myself—Angelo. The hiding is not so much for fear of my life, but for fear of being publicly humiliated: "Can I Really Do This?"
Scene 2a: Meanwhile, in the male dressing room, Alex and William rib Adam for 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 Garden of Eden Spectacular." Alex reveals that he has a twin sister, and that he looks just like her when wearing his costume and makeup. Adam is beside himself with excitement, and begs Alex to arrange for them to meet. Alex says he'll arrange it for the following week: "The Girls of my Dreams."
Scene 3: Adam, Alex, William, myself and the ensemble leave TGC on their way to Bernard's Bookstore for tonight's E-VAG meeting. We all start to sing and dance to our usual going home song: "I'm Feeling Joy Today." I stop them and excuses myself to go home as I'm not feeling so good. The others continue to sing and dance along the New Eden streets.
Scene 4: The Partisan National Convention is being held at the Lincoln Center, but is also being broadcast on huge screens all over the city, given that public gathering numbers remain reduced due to COVID. Adam, Alex and William stop to watch the broadcast on the screen in Tompkin's Square Park. Ken Abercrombie is officially named as the Partisan Party candidate for the November presidential election. Ken gives a less than humble acceptance speech, then controversially names his wife, Faye, to be his vice-presidential running mate. She gives the closing speech of the convention where she outlines her Prescription for Peace: "Let's All Get Along," which is greeted enthusiastically by most. She then calls Ken back to the stage but he's already left to be with his mistress, Lobida, at TDS, where their daughter, Eve, will be singing publicly for the first time tonight. Faye is furious. In private backstage she signs to herself: "He Would Be Nothing Without Me/The Power Behind the Throne." William exclaims, "I like her, she can stay; but him, he's gotta go." The others agree.
Scene 5: The Eco-Vigilante Action Group (E-VAG) convenes at Bernard's Bookstore for the first time in many months. William and Mrs Chu announce that Ken Abercrombie is to be the next target they want to take down. He is widely suspected of many crimes against humanity—most notably polluting the planet and tax evasion—but E-VAG also suspect he has some more sinister secrets that are yet to be discovered, including some rather unusual sexual practices which revolve around Ken's notorious mistress, Lobida. The plan decided upon is for Adam to audition to be a backup dancer for Lobida at TDS where he can hopefully access material that E-VAG can use to blackmail Ken: "What We Are Gonna Do." Initially Adam declines the suggestion, but Bernard and Mrs Chu convince him to do it. Adam is given a pair of diamond stud earrings, one of which contains a microphone, the other a camera: "Why Not Be the Hero You've Always Wanted to Be?" Mrs Chu then announces that she's been asked to be the vice-presidential running mate for James Brody, the Egalitarian Party presidential candidate: "The Political Stage."
Scene 5a: A little later in Bernard's office nook, Bernard finally gets around to telling Adam, after 21 years, that his mother is alive . . . and in New Eden City. Adam can't believe it, is angry at Bernard, but also overjoyed that he will be re-united with his birth mother, whom he believed from early childhood had died in child birth: "You're Mother Is Alive/I Can't Believe It."
Scene 6: Later the same night, Lobida performs her new show, full of sin and sex, to the crowd at TDS: "Cunnilingus." At the conclusion she's triumphant, and feels invincible. Ken witnesses the show through the one-way mirror in 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 their BDSM scene Lobida receives a cryptic message on FaceGram 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: "I Will Humiliate and Annihilate."
Scene 6a: Eve then sings her first solo, starting backstage looking in a mirror, then onstage to the crowd of TDS: "Pain."
Scene 7: The following day, I—dressed as male, Angelo—share the death threats with my lover, Amir, at our East VIllage apartment. Amir sympathises with me, but also advises me to meet with Bernard and Mrs Chu to share the news with them. Amir feels I need to receive some guidance as this is not something to be taken lightly, or kept to myself: "Take Good Care, My Lover."
Scene 7a: I meet Bernard and Mrs Chu in Central Park, and share my dilemma with them. Bernard and Mrs Chu both act as 'True Friends' for me while I expose my conflict. They ask me piercing questions, and then guide me into a trance where I discover the moment I first left myself, the moment I left love, and they support me to return home to love; I vow to stay true to that: "Will You Stay True to Love?"
Scene 7b: At the conclusion of the session, Mrs Chu reveals to Bernard and myself her radical idea of eliminating political parties and having a dual, Utopian, presidency. Reprise: "The Political Stage."
Scene 8: Adam and Eve awaken in their respective bedrooms, dress, and walk to the gym. As they walk they are both handed a note by a beggar that asks: "What do you really want?" They each express their desires to the audience. They bump into each other as they're entering the gym, and there is some flicker of recognition. Reprise: "Don't Forget Me." Later they each see the other checking themselves out in the mirror across the gym, but don't know the other has seen them. Adam doesn't yet know that Eve is Alex's sister, but he senses some magical possibility and is enthralled, drooling almost. Eve sees Adam admiring his own reflection and assumes he is just a self-absorbed narcissist like all the other men she's had relationships with so far in her life. She is disgusted, but also somehow paradoxically attracted to Adam. Reprise: "The Girl of My Dreams/He's Just Like All the Others."
Scene 9: Adam meets Yantra at TDS for his audition. She's immediately suspicious of him, and tests his integrity. Lobida arrives and is instantly enamoured by Adam; she hires him on the spot. Yantra is pissed off: "The Man for the Job." Eve arrives at TDS for a rehearsal, sees Adam coming on to Lobida, and is again repulsed but intrigued. Reprise: "He's Just Like All the Others"
Scene 10: Meanwhile, at the Abercrombie's Penthouse, Faye and Ken have a major blowup over his continued relationship with Lobida. Faye threatens to expose Ken and his many secrets then leave him, again, but he convinces her to stay quiet in exchange for more power and status once they're in the White House: "Secrets." This blackmail tactic is how Faye became Ken's VP running mate, by leveraging Ken around his relationship with Lobida. Actually, Faye has her eyes on becoming president herself: "I Won't Share the White House."
Scene 11: Later that night, at TGC, I—dressed as female, Angel—and my fabulous crew put on another show, another number from the musical: "Aphrodite, Goddess of Love." It's a rapturous success. As we're taking our curtain calls, a bomb explodes backstage, resulting in chaos. I'm completely devastated. Reprise: "Can I Really Do This?"
Scene 12: The following day, Ken is approached by the beggar on his way to work and is handed a note with the question: "What do you really want?" Ken is stunned by this question, and vows, direct to the audience, to be successful in his presidential bid and in his life: "To Succeed at All Costs; Failure Is Not an Option."
Scene 12a: Bernard finds a note in his pocket that says: "What do you really want?" He sings a solo, joined partway through by Mrs Chu and myself — dressed as male, Angelo—: "I/We Want a Better World." We sing about peace, freedom, truth, quiet mind, open heart, etc. I'm inspired again, and I vow to continue with my musical despite the death threats and the bomb.
Scene 13: Faye goes to TDS and confronts Lobida, threatens her, but Lobida dishes up more than Faye bargained for, and she leaves with her tail between her legs. Reprise: "I Won't Share the White House/Don't Threaten the Devil."
Scene 14: Later the same day, Bernard has arranged for Lobida to come to Bernard's Bookstore to meet Adam. The arrangement had slipped his mind and she turns up unexpectedly, but Adam is not at home; he's in the middle of intense rehearsals at TDS for his first show with . . . Lobida: "I'd Hope to Meet My Son."
Scene 14a: As she's leaving Bernards' Bookstore, Lobida and I—dressed as female, Angel — bump into each other. I become enraged, and confront Lobida about the VoTW humiliation as well as the death threats. We have a huge argument, which is filmed and aired live on FaceGram. I'm devastated and shamed, and I go into hiding in my boudoir at TGC: "Stop Bullying Me/ Stop Bothering Me."
Scene 14b: Lobida and I—me dressed in my Mickey Mouse outfit—sing from our respective boudoirs a song about fame and notoriety, which Lobida loves, and which I'm terrified of: "I Want the World to Worship Me/I Want the World to Forget Me," or "I'm the Darkness in the Light/I'm the Light in the Darkness."
Scene 15: Adam is the centrepiece of Lobida's performance at TDS tonight: "I Want to Devour You." In the middle of the number Adam and Eve's eyes lock, the rest of the performers go into slow-motion with dimmed lighting. Adam and Eve, now in spotlights, reprise: "Don't Forget Me/I Remember." Following the performance, Lobida takes Adam to her boudoir and begins to dominate him; they're both very excited. Reprise: "The Man for the Job." Adam's microphone and camera transmit the boudoir shenanigan's to BB.
Scene 16: The Following day, E-VAG (including William, Mrs Chu, Bernard, Adam, Alex, Amir, and Angel O — dressed ambiguously) ambush Ken and Faye outside Abercrombie Industries headquarters with a film crew. They accuse them of planet polluting, tax evasion, and sexual deviancy. He denies everything, of course, threatens to sue them all, and tells a lie about Mrs Chu being crooked, which the media lap up. He also sings aside to audience that they haven't yet discovered his biggest secret . . . thank God. At that moment, William has a heart attack, and is taken away in an ambulance: "Planet Polluters and Deviants/Finger Pointers and Hypocrites."
Scene 17: Later that day, back at TDS, Adam has an opportunity to snoop around Lobida's boudoir, and he finds images on Lobida's computer of her and Ken in compromising situations; he transmits the images to Bernard. As he's looking through emails, however, he's caught in the act by Yantra. She's enraged, and locks him in a basement room at gunpoint. Lobida returns, releases Adam, and is even more turned on by his chutzpah. They return to her boudoir where she ties him up and engages in more erotic bondage: "I Could Throw Away the Key/You Broke the Rules, Bad Boy!!." Eve witnesses all these events, but does nothing to assist Adam. She's starting to see his goodness, however.
Scene 18: William dies. Travels into realm of light beings, meets his father. Continues into the void. Mrs Chu and Bernard return from the hospital and announce to others at BB that William is dead. I'm shattered, and close TGC indefinitely. Reprise: "Can I Really Do This?"
Curtain down Act 1.
“That which does not die is awakened in the death of who the mind thinks it is.”
Act 2 of Beyond the Mirror takes place in early November of 2020. It's the week of the presidential and congressional elections. Adam is still being held captive by Lobida and Yantra at TDS, and he remains torn because he enjoys his BDSM sessions—including more and more dark activities—with Lobida like nothing he's ever experienced before. Eve has been spending more time at TDS, looking after Adam as his jailer.
Scene 19: It's election day, and everyone (except Adam and myself) are out on the streets and at the polling booths to vote: "It's Time To Decide."
Scene 20: Eve is somehow masochistically drawn to being the slave to the slave: cleaning him, feeding him, and tending his wounds. Adam, who is getting tired of being locked up, is conflicted about who to give his allegiance too, as well as wanting to escape: "Slave to a Slave; is this Love?"
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Thank you . . . Angel Stevie xx