By Niree Noel
Semi-lauded American mezzo-soprano Andréa Lloyd Webber (of unconfirmed relation to Andrew) and her piano-playing portmantologist Yon Yonson (phD, unaccredited) are the artistes-en-residence at Paradise Stream, the Poconos’ most romantic couples' resort. Their show Spring Must Be Sprung, A Song Must Be Flung has long been on our must-see list. So when they invited Spring Street Social Society to a special two-night engagement, we were thrilled at the opportunity to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event.
Now if you’ve never been to Paradise Stream*, there’s a secret candle-lined path through a gray stage door just around the corner from Union Square that magically transports you to that Pennsylvanian lakeside haven. Within, you’ll find a well-appointed bar stocked with a plethora of spirits ℅ Tamworth Distilling, Von Humboldt’s Natur Wasser tonics and Blue Lion liqueur, and Prizefight Irish Whiskey. Cocktails flowed freely–from a spiced-up tamarind-based take on a Paloma (aka a Taloma) to a smokey take on a Blood & Sand–as guests mingled in the entrance hall of the resort’s community center.
Red velvet-draped bistro tables arranged around a stage beckoned guests to take a seat. Gracious hosts Patrick and Amy welcomed our headliners, tantric pottery enthusiast Andréa and open swinger Yon. Yon took his seat at the piano (which he had rolled to the venue himself (perhaps explaining the neck brace (perhaps not))) as Andréa made her grand entrance a few cues late. What followed was a spectacular bonanza of surprise announcements, guest appearances, and seriously impressive feats of musical virtuosity.
An unexpected book launch party celebrating the self-publication of Andréa and Yon’s new tome, The Same Stream Twice: The Same Stream Twice! A crash course by the founder of the Von Vögel Institute herself, Frederika Haus von Vögel, on how to own a room (with outsized vocals and a larger-than-life personality that adds gravitas to even a silent reading)! An acoustic guitar interruption by activities counselor Martin Block! A devastating revelation by activities counselor Martin Block that he was actually assistant activities counselor! Additionally, underage (Martin, NO!)! A spirited game of bingo resulting in the birth of future Broadway starlet Amanda Shechtman! An egregious oversight on one or more of the authors’ parts in forgetting to bring any actual copies of The Same Stream Twice: The Same Stream Twice!
Embracing the very essence of camp, our performers displayed a dizzying, impressive level of ingenuity and artistry, deftly transitioning between performance styles, whispering staccatoed consonants here, shrieking operatically there, banging on the piano with expert control and racing fingers up and down keys and/or strings–all the while accurately and thoroughly outlining the rules, regulations, and FAQs of Paradise Stream. Familiar melodies cascaded into each other (for example, the genius combination of Hello Dolly’s “Ribbons Down My Back” with Khia’s “My Neck, My Back”), ensuring an endless stream of uncontrollable giggles from the crowd.
When it was all said and done with, the spotlight dimmed and the performers ushered backstage, Patrick and Amy took to the stage once more to leave guests with very apropos parting gifts from our friends over at Maude: quickie packs of condoms and petite bottles of lube ideal for weekend getaways, or perhaps a sensual romp at Paradise Stream. (Psst: all of Maude’s products are designed and produced to be inclusive and safe by power founder duo, Eva Goicochea and Dina Epstein.) As we shut the doors on that abandoned art deco hall, so we shut the doors on that ephemeral evening, leaving just the lingering echoes of laughter within.
* For legality purposes, we must make it clear that this event did not actually take place at Paradise Stream.