The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
(a non-musical presentation)
By John Bishop
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Directed by Jeffery Seneca
Production Dates: September 16th - October 9th 2016
Audition Dates: July 18th and July 19th, 7:00 p.m.
Callbacks will be July 20th if necessary
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 that follows when the infamous "Slasher" makes his appearance and strikes again - and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors, and director prepare for 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.
Please prepare a one to three minute comedic monologue and be prepared to read scenes from the script.
Cast: five women and five men - ages 20's to 70's.
Helsa Wenzel: Helsa is the German maid of the Grossenknueten estate. She is killed in the first scene of the play, only to be impersonated by her twin brother, Dieter. The actress who plays Helsa also appears at the end of the play as "Katrina, the cook from Koblenz."
Elsa Von Grossenknueten: Elsa is the owner of the mansion and is the financial backer of many musicals. Elsa summons the group together in an attempt to find out who murdered her "friend" Bebe McAllister. She is extremely eccentric, and her grandfather was a spy. She claims that espionage runs in her blood.
Michael Kelly: Kelly is an undercover cop. Elsa appeals to him to help solve the mystery of the Stage Door Slasher. Kelly's tough, no-nonsense attitude puts him at odds with the zany Elsa and the dramatic types that visit.
Patrick O'Reilly: O'Relly claims to be an Irish tenor. Eventually, O'Reilly claims to be "Tony Garibaldi" an undercover cop with a Bronx accent -- only to reveal himself as a Gestapo Agent named Klaus Stansdorff, sent to find German defectors.
Ken De La Maize: Ken is a "typical" director, speaking of theater as a "pure art." he also has an annoying habit of name-dropping, constantly citing the various celebrities he has worked with over the years. Everyone always claims to have seen the films he makes, only for him to reveal that they have not yet been released.
Nikki Crandall: Nikki is considered a typical chorus girl - but she is eventually revealed to be Ensign Nicole Crandall, of US Navel Intelligence. Her secret mission was to find the Germans who were to sabotage American war efforts. She is also interested in solving the mystery of the Stage Door Slasher.
Eddie McCuen: Directly based on Bob Hope, Eddie is the out of work comedian. He has an obvious attraction to Nikki the whole play. He's afraid of everything and uses humor to mask his true cowardly nature.
Marjorie Baverstock: Marjorie is a Broadway producer. Think New York upper class Broadway groupie. She constantly flatters everyone around her, and speaks in elevated language; her "new word" is "divoon."
Roger Hopewell: Roger is the composer and Bernice's writing partner; the two have had a string of Broadway hits. The American Fop, Roger enjoys teasing Ken about his artistic ways, but flares up whenever someone insults his musical style. he also knows how to deal with Bernice's many quirks.
Bernice Roth: All the time is Martini time for Bernice. She is Roger's writing partner. Bernice is very odd and emotional, frequently losing her composure and screaming. Think hippie meets gypsy meets drunk uncle (aunt).