Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #234

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #234

…an Atlantic Ocean away from those snippily cruel London critics, who would not blink twice at the opportunity to carve up the performance of these rank amateur Americans…

KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001

Indeed, they will be able to deliver their lines in front of assembled loved ones in what is billed as “Tallahassee Night” for A Kiss for Cinderella. Every single local talent, from extras to actors, is to be front and center, stage one, in the glare of the spotlight. Some of the provincials never thought they would get a chance to appear in this immensely popular production, but Sir James is a consummate professional and an Atlantic Ocean away from those snippily cruel London critics, who would not blink twice at the opportunity to carve up the performance of these rank amateur Americans.

So committed is Barrie in this whimsical tale of fantasy and live theater that he even puts his own son on the shelf, in favor of James Ferrell, who is to be surreptitiously inserted during the play, at the second appearance of the nameless, nonetheless, handsome Prince. Fresh off his celebrated victory for the women’s rights movement, it should be easy to fit a glittery shoe on his own real-life wife, while looking the part of dashing royalty.

The front two rows of spectator boxes at Florida State University’s Lewis Auditorium are dominated by a who’s who of these life and times:

Row One

George Lewis and wife

Fairy Tale-001

Martha Ferrell

George Eastman

Harv Pearson and Judith Eastman

Cinderella Author C.S. Evans

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks

Row two

A.O. and Maggie Lou

Laura Bell

Sheriff Cyril Odz

Jacques Francoise and Jacob Haley

Colonel Billy Mitchell

Tallahasse Mayor Holmes

Most everybody else in town can, if only briefly, be seen on stage, including the ever popular Flying Bleaker Brothers, who don’t jump as high as they used to, don’t travel as much as they used to, but as court jesters to Cinderella’s Prince’s kingdom,  they fit the bill to a tee.

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  Fairy tale backdrop aside, that was truly a magical evening, one well earned. It had been a long couple of decades, fraught with good and bad, tragedy and triumph, honesty and deception. And for the people of the panhandle of Florida and those they have touched, the world will never be the same. The times in which they live seem to changing so quickly, especially when you compare 1920 to the second half of the 19th century, when they were borne.

Vertical-001

Vertical-001   Addition by subtraction may be the best way to describe it. The automobile has altogether replaced the horse and buggy. The airplane has supplanted the dream of flying. Regional skirmishes now become world wars…

Worldliness has taken the place of sound moral innocence. When innocence is collectively lost, it can only be recovered a little bit at a time, one soul at a time.

For Alpha Omega Campbell, the times that he knows and places he goes, have gone from purely clear and simple to a 180 degree turn that leads to a future changing before his very eyes. In November of 1920, he learns that Camille Diaz has given birth to a daughter, Angela Ophelia. He had to have been really overwhelmed.

Just one month earlier, his dear Maggie Lou gave birth to a daughter, named for her mother Laura Bell. This beautiful little child is curiously light skinned, beyond what one would ascribe to the Cherokee influence of his wife. He was overwhelmed then.

  Listen closely and you can hear the careless whispers.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #234


page 219 (end ch. 12)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #227

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #227

…April 1920 has begun with casting for the minor parts, a charming custom that helps add local flavor to the production…

Casting Call-001

True to his word, especially now that the Atlantic Ocean is free of enemy submarines, Sir James Matthew Barrie is bringing his play, A Kiss For Cinderella, to the United States; Tallahassee specifically. This is quite a coup for a Southern city with a population of less than 70,000. The news has spread quickly through the theater world, leaving New York’s Broadway wanting, immediately establishing Florida’s capitol a destination of some note.

The buzz about the April 10th 1920 premier is all around, well except for Martha Ferrell, whose buzz is mainly a bug up her behind, claiming still that it is Barrie’s doing that her husband was taken from her (even though he was a adulterating, lying, “will” changing man). Everybody else is very excited about this fairy tale translated for the stage, which will be the Auditorium on the Florida State University campus.

Stepmother-001    April has begun with casting for the minor parts, a charming custom that helps add local flavor to the production. There is plenty of talent in these parts, or at least people who think they have it. Auditions are well attended, with some being the last person you would think has any leaning for the stage. Some will need an extensive make-over, like Phoebe Love, who has actually won the part of the evil stepmother, displacing the actress who was traveling with the production and not at all pleased by the demotion. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. It may be the only time you will witness Phoebe acting contemptibly mean.

Stepsisters Cinderella

“Stepsisters returning home after the ball” by Arthur Rackham

Others are cast as extras, and a chosen few are understudies, ready to step in if a star falls ill or loses his or her voice. Agnes is one, learning the role of Euphronia, not the role she coveted, but at least she would be the prettier of the evil stepsisters. ‘Drat! Wouldn’t you know that Abbey would get the part of Cinderella?’ Herb Love is the natural choice for the Baron, so that would mean if circumstances were right, it is he who would let Cinderella’s stepmother bully and belittle her, equally out of character.

James Barrie has chosen his son, Matthew for the part of the prince, not so much nepotism, as Matthew is an actor of good repute and he is lucky to have corralled him for this one month engagement.

Baron Cinderella

@CostumeKen

King, queens, princes, step family and extras work long hours rehearsing stage blocking and speaking parts. Barrie is a stickler for perfection and even though he did not write Cinderella, C.S. Evans did, his adaptation is crisp and demands much of his actors.

And the costuming——whew——-Cinderella has more than a dozen changes herself, quite an arrangement of rags and riches. But for the sake of a happy ending, in this case many happy endings, it is well worth the effort.

 


Alpha Omega M.D.

Cinderella

Aschenputtel by silhouette animation shadow master Lotte Reiniger

Episode #227


page 212

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #105

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #105

… Their riverboat got washed up onto Delta mud, very early into the storm surge and no one can get to it at least until the enhanced tide recedes…

Democrat-001

The Tallahassee Democrat is emerging as the print voice of Florida’s capitol city. It is in no way aligned with the political party of the same name. It is inspired rather by the inspired notion of government for and by the people; elected or replaced on the merit of their service.

    The young editor, freshly graduated from Florida State’s School of Journalism and the son of the paper’s owner, Fulton Allanson III. That would make his son, Fulton Allanson IV. He is filled with optimistic idealism and a deep love for the city of his birth, education and vocation. He has promised himself to be a defender of the truth, therefore the people who buy their newspaper.

John Ferrell is a contemporary and friend of Allanson the third. He has made it to a room filled by typewriters and people pecking them furiously; in a glassed-off office, on hand to deal with a story of regional and global ramifications.

        The younger speaks to John’s questions about New Orleans. “The storm slammed the Mississippi Delta hardest, at the mouth of the Gulf. That is not a heavily populated area, but there were several river boat cruise ships out and they did not fare well. We obtained one ship’s manifest lists your son and daughter, adopted Smythwick… I mean, well James’ wife, you know.”

“Yeah, I do, but can you tell me what happened to their boat? Tell me straight now.”

It got washed up onto Delta mud, very early into the storm surge and no one can get to it at least until the enhanced tide recedes. There is no method of transportation able to navigate the shallow water and insufferable muck. Whoever stayed with the ship, not tossed out or foolhardy enough to board a lifeboat, is likely still alive.”

“When can you find out of the fate of my children?” pleads Ferrell to the elder Allanson.

“We have our hands full here, John,” he reminds, but we happen to have a correspondent in the Delta region and he is already checking local connections there. He followed James and Abbey around for a while, then covering the Tallahassee Junior Women’s Club outing. He’s got to find out their fate as well, somewhere in Louisiana.

Mississippi River Delta

“Agnes was supposed to go on that trip, but she has not been feeling well, since the wedding that is.”

“Yes I noticed.” The Allansons had attended, knowing of which he speaks. “She should be happy she stayed behind. The rest of those socialite girls will not be straying far from the Panhandle any time soon.”

Any survivor of this most radical atmospheric outburst will count their blessings.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #105


page 96