TR:nA dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. Butnone man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions:nGuy Noir, Private Eye.
(THEME UP AND OUT)
GK: It was December, and I was in New York, on the run from people who are mad at me, including my cleaning lady back in St. Paul, Minnesota --n
SS (ON PHONE): Ever hear of a Christmas gift, Mr. Noir? I've been cleaning your apartment for three years and I'd like to see something in an envelope. Let me suggest a figure. Two hundred bucks. Otherwise, I am out of here. So pay up, ya old weasel. (SLAMS PHONE DOWN)
GK: I had found myself a sublet in an eighth-floor walkup in Brooklyn and I'd found work through an old private eye pal named Pootie Williams.
FN (BROOKLYN): Hey, you want work, I got work. Call up these caterers here ----- these guys do big holiday dinner parties on Park Avenue ----Upper East Side ----- slip em a fifty and get the seating charts ----- I got clients who are very sensitive about who they're sitting next to.n
TR (KISSINGER): Allo, this is Henry Kissinger. Listen, I'm going to a party at Bloomberg's and I do not want to sit anywhere near Bill Clinton, okay? (CLICK)
TR (CLINTON): Hey Pootie---- it's about the dinner at Bloomberg's----- could you make sure I'm sitting next to Gwyneth Paltrow? Okay? Thanks. (CLICK)
TR (GORE): Hello, this is Al Gore speaking. At the Bloomberg dinner, could you put me as far away from Rupert Murdoch as possible. I would appreciate it. (CLICK)
TR (BLOOMBERG): Hello, this is Mike Bloomberg. Could you make sure I am not sitting by this man. (CLICK)
FN: (DEEP UNINTELLIGIBLE)
GK: So I spent my days rearranging seating charts, making sure that the rich and powerful can eat their poached salmon in peace, and then I met a waitress for a caterer who was also a dancer.
ER: Waitressing is something I do to meet people, Mr. Noir. It's not about money. It's about gaining experience to make myself a better actor. Acting is not about technique, it's about humanity. Every life experience one has ----- waitressing, bartending, dog-walking, babysitting, telephone sales, office temping ----- it all goes to make one a richer and deeper human being. I believe.
GK: That's a wonderful way of looking at it, Miss----
ER:nDendron. Rhoda Dendron. And this is my agent, Larry.
GK:nSo you're a dancer.
ER: I am an actor who dances, Mr. Noir. Dancing is not about technique, it's about humanity----- it's----
GK: Right, right. You're rather thin---- are you all right?
FN:nDancers are like orchids, Mr. Noir. They survive on air. Now and then a sip of water.
GK: And you said you're in the Nutcracker?
FN:nIt'sn not THE Nutcracker, it's one of the Nutcrackers. In Newark. The Nutcracker On Ice. She's fantastic.
GK: I see.
ER: They put me in the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I'm an actor. How am I supposed to be a sugar plum?
FN: She ought to be Clara.
GK: I see.
ER:nThe woman they cast as Clara is terrible. I know ---- I'm her understudy.
FN: Rhoda can do Clara. She is Clara.
ER: I feel her pain. She is terrified by the Christmas tree and she is a feminist and that's why the mice come after her. They're men. Except they're mice.
GK: And what about the Sugar Plum Fairy?
ER:nThe Sugar Plum Fairy is a male fantasy of women, it's a way of creating a mystique, a candy figure, so as not to have to face up to Clara's real needs and her ---- her humanity.
GK: Okay, but how can I help?n
FN: The woman they gave the Clara role to is older. Like Older Older. Thirty-five. And she's had work done.
GK:nAnd Clara's supposed to be a little girl----
FN:nThe audition notice said, "Female, 21 or younger."
GK: I see.
ER:nShe lied about her age. Make her go away. I don't care how you do it. I want that part. That part belongs to me.
GK: I'll see what I can do, Miss Dendron.
FN:nI am prepared to pay you a thousand dollars if you get Rhoda the role.n(STING) In cash.nBut the deadline is tomorrow. Can you do it, Mr. Noir.
GK:nA thousand dollars is not something I would feel right about turning down, Larry. Sure. I'm on the job. (STING) So I headed for Newark to see the dress rehearsal of the Nutcracker that night.
(NUTCRACKER MUSIC, SOUND OF SKATING)n
TR (RUSSIAN): You!!!! You candy canes!!!! Stand up straight----- you look like spaghetti noodles. Terrible!!!! Terrible!!!!
SS: How am I doing, Maestro Romanoskovienovich?
TR (RUSSIAN): Ahhhhh, Clara. You are beautiful. Could not be better. ---- You! Sugar Plum Fairy!!!!
ER: Yes, sir-----
TR (RUSSIAN): I told you----- add weight. We do not want a skinny sugar plum. You're not a String Bean Fairy. You're a Plum. Plums are round, no??? And no high kicks ----- this is not West Side Story----- this is Nutcracker!!!!
SS: Maestro Romanoskovienovich, what can I do------?
TR (RUSSIAN): Please. Call me Vladimir.
SS:nVladimir, what can I do----- what am I feeling when I take the nutcracker in my hands?
TR (RUSSIAN): Ah, my darling---- you did it so wonderful.nEvery time I cry. You are perfect. Come---- let's talk----- in my dressing room. (BRIDGE)
GK:nI slipped out the backndoor after the rehearsal and I waited for Clara to come out. (WIND, SHIVERING, LIGHT TRAFFIC AMBIENCE) The program gave her name as Gloria Inexcelsis. But Eileen was her real name. Eileen Dover.
(DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS)
GK: Miss Inexcelsis?
SS:nOh hi. You want an autograph?nLet me grab a pen.n
GK:nNo.nThe name is Noir, Miss Inexcelsis. I'll get right to the point.
GK:nWhen I do a search on the name Eileen Dover, I come up with some interesting results, ma'am.
SS:nWho are you? A cop? What you want from me?
GK: You were in a show called Va-Va-Voom in Atlantic City, Miss Dover. You went to Las Vegas and you did Red Light Sesame Street with the Love Muppets. You danced as Big Bird and you removed your feathers.n
GK:nYou were in Red Light Sesame Street On The Strip for eleven years, Miss Dover.n
SS:nWhat do you want from me, mister?
GK: I think the producers of Nutcracker On Ice would be interested to know that their Clara danced topless as Big Bird and sang a song called "N is for Naked" and the Cookie Monster came out with a couple of Ding Dongs-----
SS: Please. Don't take this away from me. Have a heart. I've wanted to be Clara since I was eleven years old.
GK: How would you feel about hundred bucks, Miss Dover?
SS: Why didn't you say so? Of course. The part is yours. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: I met Rhoda Dendron in the Russian Tea Room and she ordered a White Russian and gave me a check from her agent Larry for a thousand dollars ------
ER: I can't thank you enough, Mr. Noir. I skated the role of Clara last night and it felt so right-----
GK: Thanks. I notice the check is dated December 18, 2012, Miss Dendron.
ER:nOh, I'll have Larry fix that. Anyway, I'm wondering if you could do one more thing for me. I see no need for the Sugar Plum Fairy. The girl who replaced me is ----- well, she's fat. People are laughing at her. I can do the waltz. (SHE HUMS THE WALTZ OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY) See------ (SHE DANCES, AS SHE SINGS)
GK: I just wonder if we shouldn't rewrite this check, Miss Dendron.
TR (RUSSIAN): Excuse me, do you wish to order?
GK: Mr. Romanoskovienovich?
TR (RUSSIAN): Yes?
GK: Aren't you directing Nutcracker On Ice over in Newark?
TR (RUSSIAN): I was, yes, but I was fired. Last night. They want to go in a different direction. Away from Tchaikovsky and toward Chi-cago. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: I went back to Newark to see the opening night and it was a very different Nutcracker.
We've got the sugar plums, we've got the mice.
We've got the Christmas tree, it's all on ice.
See how my wooden jaw opens and shuts.
I crack the nuts, I crack the nuts.
GK:nSo you're terrific as Clara, Rhoda.nYou feel creatively satisfied?
ER:nI'm taking Clara in another direction. She's sluttier now - waiting under the Christmas tree for whoever. I love it. Standing ovations every night.
GK: I still haven't gotten the check from your agent, Larry.
ER:nHe's busy---- he'll get to it------ meanwhile, I've got another job for you.
GK: What's that?
ER: I'm looking at doing more ice shows and there's one called "Freedom On Ice"---
GK: A patriotic show----
ER:nNo, it's based on the Jonathan Franzen novel.
GK: I thought that was about the troubles of a family in St. Paul, Minnesota.
ER: Well, they sort of adapted it. They adapted the family out and they put in an Ice Palace and a Christmas tree and a manger scene and an Irish stepdancing routine and Betty Crocker.
ER:nRight. Can you get me the role of Betty Crocker?
GK: I can try.
ER:nThere's a giant pie crust and she twirls around and she peels apples.
GK: Sounds interesting.
ER: My agent will pay you a thousand dollars.
GK: I'll see what I can do.
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets. But on the 12th floor of the Acme building, one man is trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.nGuy Noir, Private Eye.