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Playoffs Serial:

Basil and Dick

written & directed by J. Bailey Burcham

The same old song and dance. The same old thong and pants.

8 Episodes
11/10/18 - 2/16/19

Episode One (11/10/18)

Summary: Backstage at a modern vaudeville-style variety show, dancing comedian Basil and drag queen Dick - who has recently adopted the stage name "Richard the Great" - find themselves on the same bill. The two know each other of old, and at first there seems to be no love lost between the two, who trade insults while also largely ignoring Trevor, the insensitive stage manager, who is overly amused by a juggler who gets burned when he accidentally drops his flaming bowling balls on his face. As Basil and Dick bicker, we learn that Basil had been  married to a woman - but when Dick asks after her, he tells her that she passed away. Dick softens, as does Basil, who admits that he could never love her the way she deserved, because he truly loved another... Dick. The duo are suddenly tender with one another; they dance together, some old soft shoe they used to do together; it ends with a triumphant tap dance from Basil. Dick gets his call to go on stage. Basil asks if he'll see him after the show, but Dick awkwardly apologizes - he has to leave right after, as Trevor is his ride home. As Dick heads for the stage, the two bid each other a fond and sad adieu, not knowing if they'll see each other again.

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Photos

Photos by Jessie Bias

Episode Two (11/17/18)

Summary: At the following week's show, Dick is happy to see Basil again, glad he came back. Within minutes the two are sniping at each other, but they catch themselves and back down. They acknowledge that they were always a volatile coupling, but they do seem to want to get back together. They nearly kiss - but Dick suddenly says he's seeing someone else. Basil, abashed, claims he just wanted to get their old act back together, not their relationship. As things get awkward again and Dick prepares to leave, Basil suddenly kisses Dick. Dick, clearly wanting this but unsure, says he'll see Basil at rehearsal. After he leaves, Basil does a celebratory tap dance.

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Photos by David Rodriguez

Episode Three (12/1/18)

Summary: Basil breathless arrives for rehearsal with Dick a little late, apologizing profusely. After a complete non-description of their act, Trevor is excited to see it. Basil says how much he's been looking forward to this. The two nearly kiss again - and then Basil opens a window to how troubled their relationship had been when he says, "Choke me." This startles Dick enough to shake them both out of it, and they begin rehearsing their old act. Partway through, Basil start playing the spoons - which is apparently a bridge to far for Dick. "No spoons!" he shouts, "You know what they do to me!" But the real issue is that when Basil up and left all those years ago to find fame and fortune in New York, he said that Dick was an inconsequential nobody who would never amount to anything - something for which Basil has never apologized. Since then, Dick - who pointedly tells Basil to call him Richard - has found someone stable who loves him and has rebuilt his career; he has love, and fans who love his work. And now Basil has just waltzed back in and turned everything upside-down. Trevor interrupts to tell Dick that he's needed to emcee the show. Dick goes on stage, and a deflated Basil, after a moment of desultorily attempting to rehearse a tap dance, leaves the theater.

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Photos by Jax Ball

Episode Four (12/8/18)

Summary: Trevor is startled to see Dick out of his drag clothing - and that he's at the theater on a Thursday instead of his usual Saturday performance. Dick says he just needs some time to himself, but then Trevor is even more startled to meet Jimothy, the person Dick's been dating - because she's a woman. And it turns out this "stable" relationship Dick's been talking about is a ballbuster who Dick is lying to on two fronts: she has forced him to swear that he's given up his drag act, and she says she'll kill him if she finds out Basil is back and he hasn't told her.

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Photos by David Haverty

Episode Five (12/15/18)

Summary: Basil is rehearsing, excited for his impending rehearsal with Dick - though Trevor reminds him to call Dick "Richard," his current drag name - and the first one in a long line of drag names to actually be acceptable (following such gems as "Jizzney Princess" and "Pam from HR"). Trevor also tells Basil there's a prize now for best act. Basil meets Tilly, a somewhat addled contortionist and singer who flips out when she learns that Basil is Dick's partner, because Dick beat her for the prize last time, and this year, she's determined to win. Basil is then saddened when he received a call from Dick saying he's ill and can't make it to rehearsal - but Jimothy can clearly be heard in the background calling him back to bed.

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Photos by Jessie Bias

Episode Six (2/2/19)

Summary: At the next rehearsal, Trevor informs the duo that the theater has hit hard times, financially. They've had to rent out to another production. And if they don't sell out every ticket for the upcoming contest, the theater will have to shut down. Dick wants to sign up for the contest but Basil isn't sure. When left alone, Basil asks Dick where he was last week. Dick lies and claims he was sick, and Basil becomes upset. He knows Dick was with Jimothy. Dick counters that Basil has lied to him and abandoned him in the past. Basil begins to tap dance - angrily. "What do you want? Do you want me to dance for you?" Basil says he'll perform with Dick - but Dick has to show up for every rehearsal, or Basil will walk. Dick agrees - and Basil suddenly gives him a passionate kiss, and says "I love you." After they both take that in for a moment, they promise they'll see each other at rehearsal.

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Photos by Lana Rae Jarvis

Episode Seven (2/9/19)

Summary: Trevor is jazzed when Basil and Dick - the act that made this theater famous - agree to headline the talent contest. But after he leaves, Dick comes to a realization: if they headline, then Jimothy will find out that he's still doing drag. Basil tells him to forget about Jimothy. Dick is scared, but Basil persists, and Dick is drawn to him. Invigorated and renewed, the two prepare to rehearse the old act.

Photos

Photos by David Rodriguez

Episode Eight (2/16/19)

Summary: Basil and Dick show up to rehearse, but Dick's wearing dark glasses - hiding a shiner that Jimothy gave him. Trying to get Dick to leave Jimothy, Basil finally, desperately explains why he left all those years ago: while planning on leaving town, his wife had realized that Basil would never leave her for Dick - and that Basil would only truly be happy with Dick - so she committed suicide to set him free. But Basil was too devastated and left town instead. Dick is aghast at this story, and ends up storming out, angrily telling Trevor as he leaves that he's not going to perform in the show after all. "WHAT did you SAY to him?" demands Trevor, telling Basil he's doomed the theater. He storms out, leaving Basil alone...

Video

Photos

Photos by David Rodriguez

Cast

Adam Stern-Rand Basil (Eps. 1-3 & 5-8)
Nick  Morganella Richard the Great (Eps. 1-8)
J. Bailey Burcham Trevor (Eps. 1-8)
Cj Merriman Jimothy (Eps. 4-5)
Pam Quinn Tilly (Ep. 5)