It's Halloween! Twelve years ago, I married a mortal woman and was able to remain in the land of the living. The dark ceremony involved an excellent butter pecan cake and collective “Thriller" dancing under the influence of Oregon pinot noir. Now, we have a seven year old so apparently I'm leaving the house later today dressed like a skeleton king. I have no control over costume selection. This is somehow my life but I'm pleased.

We did have a fun kid-free few days in Seattle, where the two Lewis Carroll-themed plays I co-wrote with Terry Podgorski for the immersive theatre Cafe Nordo finally opened this weekend after an almost two-year global pandemic delay. People laughed and enjoyed themselves while dining on exquisite food from chef Erin Brindley. There was no tomato throwing, which is all you ever ask for as a playwright.


And, yes, I said TWO plays — both running together. Down the Rabbit Hole is a Fosse-esque musical cabaret adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and The Feast of Queens is a spooky, sassy update of the sequel, Through The Looking Glass. There's a madcap tea party, a sultry “Walrus and the Carpenter," a battle royal chess match, demonic knights, and an assortment of Eat Mes and Drink Mes. However, there's only ONE Alice. Our star, Rachel Guyer-Mafune, is in both shows simultaneously. This might seem to defy the laws of physics, but she's up for it. The rest of the cast is also amazing and a delight. I could think of no better company to make this joyous return to theater.

I want to base my next play entirely around the Red Queen's shoes.Rebecca Cort in the Judy Garlands at Cafe Nordo/Costume design by Katrina Hess

The White Rabbit's jacket inspired my inner Joel Grey.Bo Mellinger at Cafe Nordo/Costume design by Katrina Hess


If you're in the Seattle area, please check out one or even both of the shows. They're a lot of fun. Follow this link for some pre-opening portraits. Seattle Defined's talented photographer had dinner with the Queens before venturing down the rabbit hole.

Now, I need to run off and make an anniversary steak dinner for my wife before enjoying my annual holiday double feature of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. My son joined me last year and wonders why everyone gives Frankenstein's creation such a hard time.

This is now your Halloween Open Thread. Let's see some cool costumes in the comments!

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."

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