|Popcorn with Truffles and Parmesan at the Roosevelt Hotel|
It has been quite awhile since the last sighting of the iO West Popcorn at the iO West bar.
One improviser, an acquaintance of the iO West Popcorn, who is considered to be mostly credible, said he thought he caught wind of the iO West Popcorn on a Harold night two weeks ago Tuesday.
Another improviser, whose credibility is on occasion called into question, said he was relatively certain he saw the iO West Popcorn either before, during or after a Sunday night sketch show.
More recently, and perhaps even less reliably, the buzz around the bar and surrounding areas is that the iO West Popcorn has been on location, shooting a feature in Brazil – a dramedy-martial arts-thriller set in the favelas somewhat high above Rio.
Whether that is fact or rumor has not been substantiated – until now.
I was fortunate enough to have a sit-down with the up-start yesterday at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, where his brother Popcorn with Truffles and Parmesan enjoys a lush, full-time gig.
It turns out that the rumor of a reel in Rio is patently false.
The iO West Popcorn has actually been enjoying (if ‘enjoying’ is the right verb) a life-changing stint in rehab.
In fact, our meeting at the Roosevelt Hotel was the first unaccompanied outing since the iO West Popcorn was admitted to Cliffside Malibu several weeks ago (his sojourn there paid for by his generous sibling) and, truth be told, I was a bit apprehensive about how he would respond to all the drinking around us, and at our table thanks to my own penchant for swilling criminal quantities of Veuve Clicquot. (Veuve is the perfect complement to salty finger food.)
“When will you be back at the iO West bar?” I inquired.
The iO West Popcorn just couldn’t say.
“Would you like to come back?”
“Absolutely!” he cried like a young actor who has just been asked if he would like to star in a dramedy-martial arts-thriller set in Brazil.
“How are you faring?”
He confided that he’s doing well, considering all he’s been up against. There have been so many transitions at iO West, what with new staff, new performers, reconfigured Harold teams, new bar management, new paint...
So much change to handle in such a short span of time.
And the counselors at Cliffside Malibu have implored him to take it easy and to just take life one bite-sized increment at a time.
And, ultimately, the iO West Popcorn did say that he misses everyone immensely. He longs to be back soon in the hands and gullets (and stuck to the back side of the uvula) of performers and staff, past and present, enabling their consumption of thirst-quenching beverages and assuaging their poor-actor hunger, as soon as his counselors, family and the man who spear-headed his intervention – bar manager Brandon Sornberger – says he is fit to do so.
We can only hope it is soon. Very, very soon.