Undertow 4/27/18
  Undertow. If we knew we were going to live this long we'd have taken better care of ourselves. Tonight is the big night! (Unless you're reading this after Thursday, in which case the big night was Thursday.) Downton Stabbey, a show what I wrote, debuts at Iron Pier Craft House (upstairs from Cabanas Beach Bar & Grille) to a sold out house! If you miss it, you should feel sad. But not too sad; we do it again May 31st. At its core, Downton Stabbey is a throwback to the style of theater I cut my teeth on in the 1990s. Fast-paced, a little absurd and stuffed with jokes (a few of which are even funny). There's also a little singing and dancing. Very little dancing, in my case. More like rhythmic rippling.
 The plot, such as it is, involves a murder and the reading of a will. Simple, right? You'd think so but you'd be wrong. The show is an homage to the comedy of my youth; Monty Python, Mel Brooks, Fawlty Towers and Beatles movies. Jaysus I'm old. Anyway, it's also a murder mystery, meaning a few lucky guests might walk out with a prize of moderate value, assuming anyone can figure out what the hell is going on long enough to solve the mystery.
 Downton Stabbey is brought to you by the Iron Pier and TKO Productions. TKO is the fledgling production company I've started with my partner Kevin Ebner. (BUSINESS partner, wise guys.) I'm the T, he's the K, the O is... just kind of there. This show is the first step on our march to global domination. Over the course of 2018 we hope to produce another live show or two, develop several online properties, and start production on our first feature film. (We'll also make a commercial for your small business.) Exciting times.
 Kevin is not only my production partner but a pretty fair-to-middlin' actor himself, tackling several roles in the play. He's also our resident hunk, so even if he forgets a line, which is often, at least he's still cute. (BUSINESS partner, I said.) But sorry, ladies, Kevin is spoken for by the fetching Amy Plantarich (sounds like it's spelled) who plays a couple parts of her own and managed to herd these cats into something resembling choreography. Amy daylights at the Wetlands Institute, making sure the land is still wet, or some such. Lil' Becca Sundstrom brings sassiness and class (classassiness?) to her roles, and also said nice things to me at Billy Joel Night a few weeks ago, flanked by her sisters Ashley and Debbie, forever securing a place in my heart. Me? I only play one guy. But I play it, like, really good.
 But the crown jewel of this cast, and I still can't believe we got him, is Chris Nagle. You read that right; Chris. Nagle. CHRIS FREAKIN' NAGLE! Yes, the same man whose dulcet tones lull you to sleep as you drive home from work listening to 94.3 WIBG, is bringing some much-needed pedigree and luster to our little show. Chris, aka The Pleather Mist, hit the Wife Lottery when he married Shannon Baker (Channel, according to his autocorrect) a few years back, and they've now got a little one at home eating up all their food and money, and another little one on the way. When I offered Chris the part he said, "God, yes! Please! Anything to get me out of the house!" Then I made him wear a dress. These are the facts as I know them.
 If you would like to toss your support to TKO Productions, I've got a Patreon where you can pledge a monthly donation. (We're a non-denominational outfit, we'll accept any denomination.) $1 a month can really make a difference. Patreon.com/terryoke1.
 Special shout-out to Iron Pier and Cabanas managers Debbie Felice and Donna Russo who, for the last two months, have let us in after hours, in the cold, on their days off, to allow us to rehearse our little show. That's it. No jokes, no snark. We're just really appreciative of your time and patience. And all the free booze. (Kidding, Payton Bowman! Just kidding. We paid for most of it. [still kidding].)
 And one more yelp to Cabanas ace sound man John Fullerton, who has joined our little troupe as light and sound designer (somehow less, and yet more, glamorous than it sounds). John owns South Jersey Sound & Recording (and has to produced some pretty sweet videos of Love Me Dudes and The Strangers because he's a filmmaker, as well). So if you've got a bunch of original, mediocre folk songs you'd like to record, John will charge you a reasonable rate to do so! (That's a pull-quote right there, John.)
 I'm going to miss rehearsing this show. 50% because of the camaraderie among the cast, 50% for our post-rehearsal beers at the Ugly Mug, aka Chris Nagle Gets To Talk To Adults Hour. Amber and Kaitlyn pour a fine martini, and Dwight Dunbracco is always happy to see me. I can tell because his lip twitches. (He's stoic, is what I'm saying.) Check out his band, Escape Plan, with Michael Dowe and Geoff Moran. They play an eclectic mix of songs and always let me sing one of them. The 4/20 party at Rio Station last Friday was a real blazer. (Heh.) It was the first 2018 appearence of karaoke super couple Bill Hofer and Princess Ginger (nee Janice Franks). She is a classy lady who's always dressed to the 9s and sings an array of torchy jazz songs. And he's Bill. (I kid because I love.) Not only are they truly good friends, they are truly good people, as evidenced by their recent adoption of an abandoned hurricane puppy in St. Croix, where they spend their winters. Kudos and woof.
 The lovely Maryse Selit, also popped into the Rio on Friday to sing some songs and try out the new late night menu. She and her husband Howard (a tall drink of water in his own right... wow, this is my gayest column ever) have been regular karaoke visitors for about a decade now. (She sings, he listens, and they both recommend the Cuban Burger.) Maryse is recently retired from entertainment law in New York and is now pursuing her dream of being a singer and... wait a minute... I smell a sitcom, Parker Smith!   
 But without doubt the highlight of the evening was Rick Rutherford, Jr. and Liz Franco's supple, moving rendition of "What Does the Fox Say?' by Ylvis. If you ever want to see a speaker melt, hand Ricky a microphone. (That's a volume joke. He's loud, not bad. And sometimes sounds just like a fox. A fox that fronts a death metal band.)
 I still can't believe I live in a world where the Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champs.
 YouTube Statistics of the Week: I am currently at 42 subscribers and 67 hours of consumed and need 1000 and 4000, respectively, to start making money. Come on, people! It's almost like you don't want me to be an internet millionaire. youtube.com/TerryNOBrien.
 Lastly this week; two years ago last Saturday I was sitting in the empty dining room at Elaine's, streaming XPN radio, writing a new show, when I heard the words I'm still not sure I believe. "Breaking news out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prince is dead."
 I'll be back 4 U next week.