The theatre department’s first play opened on Thursday, Sept. 29. “The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940’s,” written by John Bishop, has quite the misleading title. In fact, the production is not a musical at all. Despite the misleading title, the play does provide comic relief.
Bishop’s play, which was first perfromed in January 1987, moved to Broadway just a few months after its opening. It is said to be based on murder mystery movies from the 1940’s, including “The Cat and the Canary” starring Bob Hope.
“Even though none of us know much about the 1940’s, the play is hilarious,” sophomore Sierra Bores said. “Rehearsals are right on track and the cast are all comfortable with their wacky characters.”
In the play, character Elsa Von Grossenknueten, a backer for a Broadway musical, gathers the rest of the cast in a grand mansion for an audition. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. In fact, there were murders committed at the beginning of the play and Grossenknueten wants to get to the bottom of it.
However, the characters soon find themselves in the midst of a mystery as a murderer is revealed to be loose.
Bores plays Grossenknueten herself, an eccentric and mischievous woman who is just the right amount of creepy.
Marjorie Baverstock is a Broadway Producer played by sophomore Kylie Couture.
“She is very extravagant and extremely rich. She likes things to be her way and is not afraid to put up a fight.I absolutely love this character. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. It’s always fun to play a character that is so care-free,” Couture said. “I love that this play is a period piece. The lines reflect the way people actually spoke in that time. It is extremely well written. I’m also a big fan of mystery and comedy.”
Bernice Roth is an emotional lyricist, who is also a bit of a drunk and is played by senior Maddie Cain.
“Personally I love playing this character. She is eccentric and kind of loopy and my costume looks so different from myself so it is fun to be unrecognizable in a way,” Cain said.
Bernice is closely partnered with another character, Roger Hopewell, who is a composer and played by freshman Daniel Thornton.
“They are partners in their careers and have had many successful broadway musicals produced together. Their personal relationship is interesting because they definitely love each other and are the greatest of friends but they playfully mock and prod each other also,” Cain said. “We have become very good friends throughout this process as well as both being in Studio Box. We love each other and I definitely think you can see that in our characters’ friendship.”
Junior Brendan Osorio plays Ken De La Maize, the know-it-all director of the musical.
“Ken’s very pretentious and very proud of his work, and is one of the suspects in the Stage Door Slasher case,” Osorio said. “He’s an interesting character with a lot of fun dialogue and he brings a unique presence to the show.”
Osorio’s favorite part of the play is the ending, but he refused to spoil anything.
Some other main characters include Helsa Wenzel, a maid who resides with Grossenknueten, Michael Kelly, an undercover cop invited by Grossenknueten to help solve the case of the Stage Door Slasher, and Patrick O’Rielly, an Irish tenor.
If you like Clue-like murder mysteries, comedies, and the 1940’s, this play is the perfect fit.
There are shows Sept. 29th – Oct. 1st at 7:30 pm, Oct. 2nd at 2:30 pm, Oct. 6th – 8th at 7:30 pm, and Oct. 9th at 2:30 pm.