Devotees of this interactive Off-Broadway play don’t just love the show. Some return hundreds of times, building an obsessive network of friendships along the way.
Jim’s favorite character in the McKittrick universe was, until her departure, the mysterious Annabella (played by Ava Lee Scott), who read fortunes both on the Manderley bar during shows and on the Gallow Green rooftop bar.
Jim came to know Ava Lee Scott outside the McKittrick, as a friend. But that didn’t stop him from developing a close relationship with Annabella. “For years,” says Jim, “a trip to the McKittrick wasn’t complete without sitting with Annabella — she read my [tarot] cards and gave me life advice, nearly all of which I took, and she was always right.” Indeed, he attributes his courage to plunge headlong into the arts directly to one of Annabella’s prophecies. His most memorable night in the McKittrick is the one when she told him that he should be an artist and stop being afraid to take the leap.
It’s easy to say that Annabella isn’t exactly real in the literal sense. But for performers, as well as audience members, the McKittrick’s characters can take on a life of their own. Ava Lee Scott describes how completely she became Annabella: “I immersed myself in studies of herbs, alchemy, anything and everything supernatural and spiritual,” she says. “I studied every night and day. It’s fair to say I, the actor, disappeared in living this role.”