Waiting for Man Man — At the Firebird, Monday, October 17

HONUS HONUS from man man at the Firebird 10-17-11

Meghan McGlynn

ACT I

We are in a dark room in a nondescript building in St. Louis. As the lights fade in, we see 5 men sitting on a stage. They are HONUS HONUS, POW POW, CHANG WANG, TURKEY MOTH, and JEFFERSON. They all sit in silence, but this is broken when HONUS HONUS begins to tap his foot repetitively on the ground in a way so it is clear he is anxious about something. A pair of gold sequined slippers rest atop an amplifier; POW walks over to them, peers inside, and seeing nothing, retreats to his drum kit.

HONUS HONUS

Still tapping to an unknown rhythm
Last night… something occurred to me. Something important.

POW stands, sits again.

POW POW

Important? I better sit down for this.

POW positions himself, facing HONUS, prepared and ready for something.

HONUS

It wasn’t a dream. It was a revelation, although it felt like a dream as soon as I woke up and I realized it was different than a dream, more like a glimpse into the…into…

TURKEY MOTH

A flask.

CHANG WANG

Inside a fall.

POW

That is important. We need to paint our faces. Doesn’t everyone need to paint their face?

JEFFERSON

In light of this news. Yes, I believe we need to. In fact, it may be a matter of life –

T. MOTH

and death…don’t forget death. It gets a bad rap. And nothing. “Nothing is everything.”

CHANG

In a very high voice
Deeeeeeaaaaaath! I say do it….d-d-d-d-d-do it!

HONUS

That’s it. It was about life and death, but less about death, more about the end of life as we know it… something important about the end of life.

POW, T. MOTH, CHANG and JEFFERSON begin to put war paint on their faces. Soon, they are all looking each other over, making scary faces.

CHANG

Looks at HONUS HONUS and turns to the others
He’s absorbed. Eaten by piranhas. Koalas maybe. He’s too far gone.

T. MOTH

Look at him. Pondering life… What a waste!

HONUS

It was meant for all of us, this message, not just me. It is bigger than just me.

POW

Hits a drum hard
Bigger than this!?!

CHANG

Hits a metal pot
Than this!?!

HONUS

Stands up, jumps, sits down
Bigger than anything you can imagine!

JEFFERSON

Infinity. If you imagine infinity then your brain begins to unravel like a dropped ball of string. Only the string accelerates towards a… towards something… where is it going?

T. MOTH

Nowhere. It goes nowhere, it just keeps getting longer, an endless string, imagine…

JEFFERSON

Towards the event!!!! The Event Horizon!

HONUS

It was hurtling towards this event horizon, this thing.

POW

And we were hurtling with it. “Anything that’s anything becomes nothing. That’s everything.”

ACT II

The men still sit, pondering the meaning of the dream. HONUS picks up a bowl full of silver spoons and slams them to the floor with a loud crash. He then begins singing about a picnic: “I’ll trip a life fandango / I’ll dangle from your elbow / It’s how you envelop me / between chaos and beauty…”

T. MOTH

If a string were stretched to infinite proportions than what about a hot dog?

JEFFERSON

An endless hot dog of infinite proportions!

T. MOTH

A GOD dog!

CHANG

You all forgot the meaning of this thing. Get back to the start or else you will lose the string. HONUS, don’t let them lose the string of it, man. “Only time will tell.”

HONUS

I want the string inside. That’s what it meant… that the string led to something inside.

HONUS dangles keys ominously in front of the audience, then collapses on the floor in a heap.

POW

Be careful HONUS. We have to respect the readers.

They all pause and look skyward. CHANG begins to bang on the copper pot while playing the flute as if he has four arms, while POW POW hits his drum with quickening intensity, and HONUS begins to rock back and forth as he plays his synthesizer. From the wings of the stage two other men, COUGAR and BLANCO, appear like ghosts waving horns in the air before blowing them with furious abandon.

CHANG

For the listeners!

T. MOTH

For the dancers!

ALL TOGETHER

For the people!!!!

The band continues through its set, playing and jumping, dancing, screaming, inciting. From the mists comes the audience, first one then others, leaning against the stage, moving heads in unison to primeval knocks and synchronized wails and a deep rolling Waits-like tenor led by HONUS and peppered with the screeches of terror and surprise and release. The sounds of a thousand kazoos with saxophone accompaniment rise into the air. A circus atmosphere abounds and confetti flies into sweaty young faces, sticking to beards and wild hair. It is a well-orchestrated orgy of perverted sounds. And when it is over, the audience is left standing there, waiting for more.

Setlist

Feathers
Piranhas Club
Mister Jung Stuffed
Top Drawer
Dark Arts
Haute Tropique
Rabbit Habits
Easy Eats or Dirty Doctor Galapagos
Shameless
The Ballad of Butter Beans
Doo Right
Push the Eagle’s Stomach

Encore:
Big Trouble
Life Fantastic
Engwish Bwudd
Van Helsing Boombox

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