the cajoling, pleading, and repeated attempts at blackmail failed,
The Spare Parts finally organized an intervention, in an attempt
to convince Miss Irwin to come out of seclusion and direct this
show. Since she had ignored the phone calls, deleted the emails
and refused to answer the door to the Western Union man (and, in
fact, had pelted him with cigarette butts from the second-story
window), they realized that drastic measures would be necessary.
late one night in early July, they organized their ambush. Using
items from the costume department, they gathered the necessary tools
for their assault. Wearing nothing but red high heels, silver Speedo's
and platinum-blonde, finger-wave wigs, the desperate band of miscreants
waited in the dark at Miss Irwin's home (contractual obligations
prevent us from disclosing the location), and waited for her to
emerge from her well-guarded fortress.
that eventually she'd have to come outside to recycle the Johnny
Walker bottles, they huddled together behind the 30-gallon trashcans
and settled in for a long wait. While there, they rehearsed their
plan over and over again, knowing that even the slightest deviation
from the original script would cause the paranoid Miss Irwin to
turn on her heels and bolt back inside to the warm, sweet safety
of the amber elixir and a pack of Camels.
hours of readjusting one another's wigs and reapplying their makeup
they had almost given up, toying with the idea of abandoning their
vigil, when a dim light switched on and the back door locks could
be heard relinquishing their formidable task of protection. When
the door finally swung open they could barely see their prey in
the dull glow of the 25 watt bug light, but the clinking of empty
scotch bottles confirmed for them that it was she who they sought.
The elusive She-Devil, the mad redhead, the shrieking banshee herself,
filled with self-doubt the group collectively froze, seized with
the fear the maybe their frantic endeavor may result in a horrible
blood bath. Would music soothe the savage beast? They could only
hope. And so they girded their Speedos, and readjusted their wigs
one last time, and emerged from the darkness that had protected
them. Trying not to trip in their four-inch stilettos, they lined
up in the fashion of a chorus line directly in front of Miss Irwin.
the most nervous one of all the volunteers was the one charged with
the responsibility of hitting the Play button on the tape player
they had brought with them, the integral part of their devious plan.
Once lined up, their bead trained on their target, they suffered
that one, terrifying moment of stillness. Miss Irwin, stopped dead
in her tracks at the sight of this colorful group of entertainers,
would only hesitate for a moment before striking. They knew that
it was now or never. After what felt like an eternity, the silence
was broken by the unmistakable sound of the Play button engaging.
watched, in heart-stopping anticipation, as the scene played out
before their eyes. The familiar chords of "Non, Je Ne Regret
Rien" came wafting out of the tiny speakers. Miss Irwin's eyes
widened. A measure later, the powerful vocals of Piaf caressed the
night air as our brave group of performers mouthed the words with
Irwin crumpled. Still holding the recycling, she clutched her breast,
then fell to her knees. Soon the tears came, and when she was finally
outstretched, nay, prone on her patio floor, they knew that their
mission was complete. They had broken her down and would now be
able to reasonably speak to her about directing the show. Still,
there was a sadness to it all, and there were those in the group
who, to this day, feel disturbed at having felled such a beautiful
and enigmatic creature.
objective accomplished they breathed a collective sigh of relief,
turned off the tape player and gathered up the still-weeping Miss
Irwin to take her indoors. They established her on her well-worn
sofa, secured pillows under her aching head and, once satisfied
that she could reach the ashtray from her reclined position, retired
to the theatre for a well-deserved appointment with a jar of cold
creme and some tasty Jello shots.
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