The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
By John Bishop
Directed by Scott Mohon
Auditions: Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts
Monday, March 2 - 7:00 pm
Audition Requirements: All roles are open. Readings will be from the script. Scripts can be checked out for 3 days for a $10 deposit from Theatre Victoria’s office.
Call Backs: Call backs will be held if needed.
Notification: Roles will be offered by Thursday, March 5, 2015.
About the Play
An ingenious and wildly comic romp which enjoyed a long and critically hailed run both on and Off-Broadway. Poking antic fun at the more ridiculous aspects of "show biz" and the corny thrillers of Hollywood's heyday, the play is a non-stop barrage of laughter as those assembled (or at least those who aren't killed off) untangle the mystery of the "Stage Door Slasher."
THE STORY: The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious "Stage Door Slasher") assemble for a backer's audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy "angel." The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people—all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem which follows when the infamous "Slasher" makes his reappearance and strikes again—and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare their performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. However, and with no thanks to the bumbling police inspector who snowshoes in to investigate, the mystery is solved in the nick of time and the "Slasher" unmasked—but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time and a generous serving of the author's biting, satiric and refreshingly irreverent wit.
"…a kind of crossbreeding of Charles Ludlam The Mystery of Irma Vep and Terrence McNally It's Only a Play seasoned with a soupcon of NOISES OFF." —NY Times.
"…enormous fun…Its strength comes in part from the sheer diamond wit and diamante showbiz glitter of Bishop's writing. Even his corn is succulently served." —NY Post.
"…Bishop gives us a nakedly silly and relentlessly convoluted murder-mystery plot, with twist piled on twist till you have to give way and start laughing at the silliness…it's hugely enjoyable." —Village Voice.
"MURDERS is the intelligent person's kind of nonsense." —NY Magazine.
Character Descriptions – 5 women, 5 men
Helsa Wenzel -- the German maid. A humorless woman in her 30¹s later discovered to be Dieter Wenzel (Helsa¹s twin brother), an officer in German Counter Intelligence and former cabaret entertainer and female impersonator.
Elsa Von Grossenknueten -- the Host. An attractive middle-aged woman of solid Bavarian stock with a flair for the dramatic as well as the culinary arts. Espionage is in her blood.
Sergeant Michael Kelly -- the Law. A large middle-aged man, Sergeant Kelly is a New York City police officer -- Irish, of course.
Mr. Patrick O¹Reilly -- an Actor. A blue-eyed Irish tenor in his early 40¹s; a rather sinister- looking man who in fact is Klaus Stansdorf, a Gestapo Agent.
Ken De la Maize -- the Director. An attractive self-absorbed man in his mid 40¹s who likes to drop names. His tan and clothes are very Hollywood.
Nikki Crandall -- an Actress. A beautiful young woman in her mid to late 20¹s, Nikki is in fact an undercover US Navy Intelligence Officer.
Mr. Eddie McCuen -- an Actor. Mr. McCuen is a struggling young comedian in his mid-20¹s with an endless supply of bad jokes.
Mrs. Marjorie Baverstock -- the Producer. Mrs. Baverstock is anywhere between 30 and 60 years old; she dresses and carries herself like royalty. ³Simply divoon!!²
Bernice Roth - the Librettist. A woman in her 40¹s who dresses like a gypsy dancer. She is drunkenly ascorbic, and has absolutely no espionage in her blood.
Roger Hopewell - the Lyricist. The outrageous, flamboyant songwriting partner of Bernice, Hopewell can whip out quips with the speed and panache of a Noel Coward character.
Rehearsals will begin Sunday March 15, 2015 with a read-through
Anticipated rehearsals are Sunday-Thursday 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Technical Rehearsals (Production week) begins Sunday, April 19th
All cast members are required to be at all technical rehearsals
Performance Dates: All cast members are required to be at all performances
Friday, April 24 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 25 – 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 26 – 2:00 pm
Wednesday, April 29 – 6:30 pm – Brush Up Rehearsal
Thursday, April 30– 7:30 pm
Friday, May 1 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 2 – 7:30 pm
Technical Crew Call Dates
All Company Members are asked to participate in at least 2 crew calls other than strike.
Saturday, March 21 – 10:00 am and/or 1:00 pm
Saturday, March 28 – 10:00 am and/or 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 4 – 10:00 am and/or 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 11 – 10:00 am and/or 1:00 pm
Saturday, April 11 – 10:00 am and/or 1:00 pm
Saturday, May 2 - after curtain STRIKE--All company members are required to
participate in STRIKE