Ben Schneider turned 40 last night out in Red Hook.
Benny doped into town from Chicago-ways back in 1998 or so, coming out of Theater Oobleck, Neo-Futurists and a bunch of other Illinois tribes. Met him at the Theatorium (R.I.P.) doing The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett... and knew I was watching a genius at work. Ben toured the world with the beautiful and talented David Calvitto in the 2002 version of C.J. Hopkins' Horse Country, baffling and annoying dozens of people in theaters large and small.
I cast him for one reason, and I told him so I can tell you.
It's not that he's subtle, or brilliant or good-looking. It's not his years of training or his beautiful voice. It's that Ben, onstage, refuses to die. Ben Schneider is a born performer and he'll stand out there all night long, in front of silence, hostility or complete indifference, and he'll find a way to make it work.
He will not die. And that's the only thing that a performer needs. All the rest is funny voices and art.
Heard from a realtor that there are at least three bids in on the Liberty. One is a restaurant and they're at a fairly advanced stage in negotiation, so the realtor says, "You have a lot of uproad ahead of you."
Let's go up that road, friends.
Ann and Susan split the Big Prize by seeing through my hokum and knowing that there ain't now nor never been a Las Vegas, Mississippi. I don't think a Spanish-speaking human has stayed a full night in Mississippi since Ponce De Leon, so they sure as hell never hung around long enough to name a town.
Susan and Ann share a 50% off coupon for any family-sized order from Petey's Rib and Cold Soda Shack, located in downtown Alligator.
The coupon expired in 1987, but Petey's a reasonable man.