Monday, April 26, 2010

A Premiere for the Ages

Yesterday Broadway gave us a once-in-a-million show and the latest chapter in the Satin Strangler saga.

If She Did It is the new theater sensation based on defense attorney Horace Krouch’s New York Times bestselling book by the same name. The theater was filled to capacity and the pre-show buzz was palpable. Fans across the country were packed into movie theaters to watch the simulcast on “the big screen.” Pay-per-view television sales crushed previous records as customers were glued to their sets at home, and the internet carried the show around the globe.

The proverbial and literal stages were set to shock and awe. The buildup for this multimedia extravaganza by director Leopold “The Great” Leroux has been touted by the press and devoured by the public since the premiere date was announced. The electronic wizardry, closed-circuit televisions, and multidirectional live video feed interplay promised to make an indelible mark on the theater industry. Everyone was watching.

The curtain opened to reveal a single 20-foot high large flat screen television in the middle of the stage. A spotlight faded as color filled the screen. Based on rampant speculation, nobody would have been surprised to see the author, Horace Krouch, sitting at his office desk to greet audiences on Broadway and around the world as the screen came to life.

And that is what we saw – well, kind of.

A robotic video camera in Krouch’s office captured the lawyer for all to see, naked and dead, the subject of an erotic-gone-horrific scene come-to-life. Krouch’s ankles were bound to the desk chair where he was seated, and his arms were tied to a black satin stocking wrapped around his neck. His purple face and blank bloodshot eyes were haunting.

Theater-goers retracted in horror, but seemed to assure themselves that this was part of the plan. Director Leopold Leroux appeared equally shocked. He stood up in the first row, called 911, and reported a death at Horace Krouch’s office address. Friends helped Leroux back to his seat as hesitant and scattered applause spread throughout the theater and coalesced to an uproar.

“I didn’t know what to do at first,” Leroux told reporters after being questioned by police. “I had no idea what happened. I just knew he was dead. I asked Syd if we should stop the show, but he said keep rolling.”

“This is the risk you took with live multimedia theater,” Producer Syd Peerless said. “One moment everything is on script. The next moment there’s a dead naked body on the stage. What could we do? There would have been riots around the world if we cancelled the show. We just went on.”

And yes, the show went on – but only after the robotic camera zoomed in for a three minute close-up of Horace Krouch’s grotesque face.

New York City police rushed to the law office of Horace Krouch and found the lawyer dead, exactly as he appeared on screen. He was bound to his desk chair and wrapped in black satin stockings. The stocking tightened around his neck was the apparent cause of death.

The death might have been attributed to self-induced autoerotic asphyxiation if it wasn’t for another tidbit of evidence – a second victim.

Commissioner Chester Longaker reported that in addition to Horace Krouch, police found another dead body. The male victim was dressed in a wig and dress with tags from a Destiny Blande Look-alike company. His body was just inside the front door of Krouch’s office, with a large hunting knife sticking out of the chest. Police have not yet determined the name of the victim.

The If She Did It website crashed during the show due to high internet traffic, but not before all remaining tickets for this year’s shows sold out. There have not yet been any announcements of postponements for future performances, so it would appear that tonight’s show is still on.

What happened yesterday to Horace Krouch? Stay tuned to The Strangler Network for more information.


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