2008-05-10: Nice Song and Dance


Quinn_icon.gif Aspen_icon.gif Leah_icon.gif

Summary: At Imago Cabaret, Leah's optimism fails to influence Aspen; Quinn puts on a show.

Date It Happened: May 10th, 2008

A Nice Song and Dance

Imago Cabaret

New York City

Sunday night at the Imago. There is a placard both at the entry and by the stage announcing 'Quinn Lyons' as the opening act, with a rendering of a rather pale, slender woman with short red hair elegantly dressed in a tailored suit. It seems to be an all ages affair, with everyone from grandparents to children seated at the various tables around the stage. The show starts in a few minutes, and the star is at the bar, nursing a highball glass and chatting with the bartender.

With no lack of poise and perfection that can only come from a woman of so-called good breeding and money, Aspen St. James sits at the end of a row of barstools edged along the dance floor, wearing a satiny emerald green cocktail dress — scooped neck, V in the back — and sipping a martini. Her hair is more casual, left down, but from every brown curl to every twirl of her glass, there's nothing truly casual about this Imago Cabaret visitor. It's not her first time here. She's something of a sporadic regular; tonight, just as every time before, she keeps to herself, unobtrusively crowd-watching.

And there's a perky black haired woman coming through the door. Now all they need is a blonde. Leah has an overly cheerful word for the man there before she's bouncing towards the bar. In heels. She's dressed in a vibrant purple dress, cut in a simple halter style. A small notebook is held in her hand, with a little purple pen tucked into the spiral part of it. The bartender gets a bright smile as she scoots on a stool next to Quinn. "Can I have a rum and coke? Thank you so much." There even a flutter of eyelashes with it.

Quinn glances over, as someone sits beside her. Brows raise, then she pushes her glass over to the bartender with a, 'One more, for the road.' with a hint of humor. 'Maybe its a Frankie night.. I'm still deciding.'

After sip from her glass, Aspen realizes it was the last; giving the bottom a considering eye and looking this way and that around the club, as if to make sure no one is watching her, the woman in the green dress slips from her seat and walks to the bar on strappy heels. "Another martini please, exactly the same." Aspen's Londoner's voice interjects to the bartender as she slides up against the bar beside Leah and Quinn. Before she relinquishes her old glass, she neatly plucks the olives out.

Leah gives the bartender a big smile when her drink arrives. She sets the little notebook in front of her, taking a sip of the drink with a happy sigh. "Wonderful." Quinn gets a look and then a bright grin. "Oh! You're the woman on the sign! You're going to sing, right?" She asks with a rather bubbly tone. Aspen is looked over as well with a blink. "Where did you get that dress? It's wonderful."

Quinn glances to the poster, then to Leah. There's a flash of a grin, and she nods. "Yep, that'd be me." then leaves the other lady to answer the other question.

Aspen, who had been seeming to ignore everyone on either side of her — including Leah and Quinn to the left — as she waited for her drink order to be filled, now glances their way. Initially, Leah gets a vaguely repugnant look, but it gives way to curiously narrowed eyes. She hesitates before replying, "… Milan."

Leah doesn't seem to care about the repugnant look. She's too busy being annoying happy. "Oh! I know Milan has such amazing fashion. I'd /love/ to go there someday. Is it really great?" She asks pausing for a sip of drink before she smiles to Quinn. "I bet we'll all really love listening to you then." It's a good thing she's sitting down. That's likely all that's keeping her from bouncing. Sugar and caffeine in her drink. Rochelle would have a cow.

Quinn nods, watching now with a touch of amusement. Well, its not like she's not seen an enthusiastic fan before. She doesn't mind egging on a bit, as she says, "So, is there anything you would like to hear, particularly? I can't guarantee to know every song.. but I have a pretty wide repertoire."

Oh no. She engaged it. Now it's going to keep talking. A complete counter to Leah's pep, Aspen very slowly raises an eyebrow. "… Yes, it can be quite fantastic," she confirms without enthusiasm. Perhaps the performer will distract the girl long enough. One can only hope. Aspen slides an olive into her mouth and tosses her hair lightly, focusing on the bartender and reaching for her fresh martini.

"Um. I don't know. Just music?" And yes, the tone to that should have come from a blonde, if one believes in stereotypes. Leah turns her gaze back to Aspen with a bright grin. "I love fashion. New York City is a good place for it, but I'd love to visit some other great fashion cities in my life. You know?"

Quinn looks at Aspen with a hint of amused commiseration. Looks like Leah is more into the fashion than music. She takes her refreshed highball, taking a long sip. "Music.. I'll remember that." drawled in a deadpan way.

"Mm. Clearly," the Brit answers dryly, softened by a somewhat saccharine little smile for Leah. Manuevering a few bills out of the purse at her side for the bartender, she starts to turn, glass in hand — only to see that her previous seat has been stolen by a couple. "Great," she complains under her breath, momentarily in limbo beside the… well, there's a rhyming word that Aspen is thinking of.

Leah doesn't appear to catch any dry tones. Nope. She's just going to grin and sip her drink. "I never really remember the, like, names of songs. And believe me, you don't want me to try singing anything for you."

Quinn glances from Mary Sunshine over to Brit and says, "Would you have any requests?" bracing, somewhat, for the answer.

Aspen glances at Quinn, neutral, despite recognizing the performer; in turn, she glances to the stage. If anything, her expression is aloof, impassive to the fact that the show is starting soon. "A— request." She at least seems to consider it. In the interim, she lifts her glass up for a small sip. "…No, I can't say that I do." Unhelpful crowd.

"What's your favorite song?" Leah quizzes Quinn before she adds. "Because I think you should start with that. If you start and end with songs you really, really like, then you'll be happy to start the set and leave it in a good mood."
Quinn looks surprised. "My favorite? I don't think I really have one." said thoughtfully. 'I like all kinds of music, I couldn't really pick any one song. I guess.. I'll have to wing it, then." she grabs her drink, heading toward the backstage with her own cheerful, "Got to get ready for work."

Since it's a busy night, Aspen finds herself without many options as to where else to sit. As Quinn sneaks away to prepare, she's left beside Leah, and she quietly sits down on the barstool behind her rigidly. Poised, but not particularly at ease, she looks faintly perturbed at the world in general as she sips her martini.

Leah waves after Quinn. "Good luck! Break a leg! Only not literally because that would /really/ hurt." And then there's just Aspen to get the hyper woman's attention. "So, are you here for the music? Or the alcohol? Or something else?"
Despite her 'winging it' comment, there is a little set up to Quinn's gig. The orchestra plays in the interim, though.

Aspen folds one leg over her knee and sips her martini before responding to Leah in the slightest; it might even seem, at first, that she hadn't heard the young woman at all … or that she plans on ignoring her completely. Not so, although the reality is only marginally more indulgent. "Two of three," she answers in a quiet but matter-of-fact voice without looking Leah's way. "Not that it's any of your business."

And the look on Leah's face is like the one you might see after kicking a puppy. "I was just trying to be friendly. Don't you like to be nice to people?" And there's a rather optimistic look up at that.

The stage goes dark, the murmuring from the crowd getting softer, though not entirely silent as people realize the show is about to begin. The house lights lower just enough to create a more intimate atmosphere, as the candles give a golden glow. The footlights on the stage are set on low, leaving the back of the stage in shadow, and a spotlight comes on, shining directly on the front center stage. There seems to be a formally dressed man, straight from the 30's, with slicked down blondish hair and somewhat fine, patrician features. He is wearing a full tux, though without tails and top hat.

The voice is a smooth, rich tenor as he croons, "Will you dance every dance with the same fortunate man?" He looks back into the shadows, and a light beams, focusing on a couple in the background, dancing a graceful swooping waltz. "You have danced with him since the music began. Won't you change partners and dance with me?" a hand extended to the, so far, already occupied dancing woman.

Aspen looks sidelong at the optimistic young woman long enough to catch the likeness to a kicked puppy. It doesn't seem to phase her in the slightest, given that she idly watches the stage without a change in expression. "Not as a general rule," she says guardedly and takes another prim sip, focusing on the show.

Leah looks over to Aspen for a moment with a shake of her head. "You know, I had a character in a book that was rather like that. But I couldn't stand her. Just too mean. So I wrote a great death scene for her." And then Leah's gaze is pulled towards the show.

The music swells, other couples coming from the wings to fill the stage behind the singer with couples, the original one lost in the crowd. He seems to search frantically, singing out, "Must you dance quite so close with your lips touching his face? Can't you see I'm longing to be in his place? Won't you change partners and dance with me?" He moves into the crowd, and the shadows, perhaps to find his desired dance partner.

Leah's comment actually manages to draw the Brit's attention away from the show — Aspen whips her head around to give her an incredulous look. "You're an author?" She doesn't bother to hide the note of surprise in her voice.

Leah drops some of the giggliness for a moment to raise an eyebrow over to Quinn. "I write about werewolves, if that makes you feel better. And lately everyday superheroes. I've got a contract now for a whole novel about them after the next werewolf one. So yeah, author. Three books published and everything. Not just someone who writes in their basement and never lets any of it see the light of day then claims to be one. I actually sell." So there.

The man is lost in the crowd, and a woman emerges, the female dancer, or so it seems. Her voice is a silky alto, red hair in precise 30's style waves ending in a chin length bob. Thin, but well shaped lips, a long, narrow nose, perfectly arched thin brows, she would have fit in well in one of the musicals of that era as she continues, "Ask him to sit this one out. While you're alone, I'll tell the waiter to tell him he's wanted on the telephone." The dancers begin to dance in circles, perfect couples, as if they were figures in a music box. Except, as each partner turns in toward the others, they twirl away, and join with another partner.

"I implied nothing about basements." Aspen tips her head back and squints her eyes at Leah, pale blue and green and perceptive — and curious, at the moment. "Werewolves." Squint. She's distracted momentarily by the show, giving the dancers a similarly curious eyeing, but shifts her attention between the performance and the author. "And your name iiis…"

Leah turns her attention back and forth between Aspen and the show. "And that's not a personal question?" She quips before Quinn gets another bright smile. "Leah Bristol. I even use my real name for my books." Maybe it's all she can remember. Though really, she's a quite good writer, probably surprising for many people who've met her.

The singer's voice trails with her.. it seems the mike is more a prop than for amplification, as the bridge is reached and the music swells without vocals. The white silky evening gown stands out among the dancers, as she reaches out to a male dancer. He twirls her into the crowd, and partners change, and then there is.. the male singer/dancer in a waltz embrace with one of the dancers. As the dancer twirl, the dancers do change partners each time the figure goes into the shadows… male crooner/female singer, the switch made in, it seems, an instant. Only the obscuring shadows and figures of the other dancers covering the moment of the transformation.

Aspen's eyebrows lift ever-so-slightly at the name 'Leah Bristol' and turns her head quickly away from the author's direction. "Never heard of you," she says casually, brush-offish. Peering coolly over the edge of her glass mid-sip, she watches the change and twirl of the dancers. "Remarkable," she says under her breath.

Leah shrugs over to Aspen. "That's okay. Not everyone has. So long as enough people who are interested in reading modern fantasy stories have, I'll be able to keep paying the bills doing something I love." There's that cheery attitude again as she turns to watch the show.

The voices change as the figures do, a rather odd, but very well done duet. The audience can hear it quite clearly, lost in the dancers as they are. "You've been locked in his arms ever since heaven-knows-when…" The man comes forward to the mike, pleading, "Won't you change partners and then.." he is pulled back by the dancers, into the shadows, and the woman's voice is heard, "And then… you may never want to change partners again." as the light raises, revealing Quinn, rather androgynous figure she is with the woman's hairdo, in the tux, left alone with the dancers each returning to their own partners, reaching out to the audience as the music fades.

Aspen finishes her martini as if on cue the moment the song and dance starts to fade. Perfect timing. "Well," she says to Leah on what may in fact be a lighter note than she's boasted thus far, "Good luck with that, Ms. Bristol." As a general rule, she's not nice to people, she said as much, but the sarcasm is almost nil in Aspen's well-wishes. Curious. She slides from her seat, sets the glass on the bar, and starts to saunter over the dark crimson carpet toward the exit.

Leah raises her drink in a toast to Aspen. "Have a good evening!" She calls cheerfully after the woman. Kill 'em with kindness. Maybe. And then she'll pull out her little notebook, making a few notes as she watches the rest of the act before heading home.

There are other songs, of course. But the one thread through them is the rather intriguing ability of Quinn to do very quick, and thorough transformations of her appearance and her voice. Often almost in front of the eyes of the audience. From famous celebrities to sort of.. archetype characters.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License