Cast for ‘The Music Comedy Murders of 1940’ announced

Published 9:45 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The library of a grand Chappaqua house, just north of New York City, sets the stage for Waterworks Players summer production of John Bishop’s “The Music Comedy Murders of 1940.”

Co-Directors Scott C. Chapman and Caitlin Linkins direct the cast and Michelle Fenton stage manages this hysterical comedy that is based on several 1940s mystery movies, including “The Cat and the Canary,” and the longest running play, Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”

As the play begins, we see a murder by a masked figure (Dionna Welton-Boxley). Elsa Von Grossenknueten (Maryska Connolly), with the help of her maid, Helsa Wenzel (Penny Dorsey) ready the mansion for a backer’s audition to the musical “White House Merry-Go-Round.” Elsa, along with Sergeant Michael Kelly (Billy Tucker) of the New York City Police Department, have devised a plan to catch the infamous Stage Door Slasher who, during the Broadway flop “Manhattan Holiday,” murdered three women.

The first of the invited guests is Irish tenor Patrick O’Reilly (Elijah Logue), who is followed by a bombastic theater director Ken De La Maize (Jordan Whiley), and a beautiful young singer/ dancer Nikki Crandall (Kolby Logue). Nikki is followed in by a young (and struggling) comedian named Eddie McCuen (Randall Linkins), who takes an instant liking to Nikki.

While talking with Nikki, Eddie realizes that everyone coming to visit, including the producer Marjorie Baverstock (Jeffrey Hudson), and the eccentric Composer, Rogina Hopewell (Jeanne Strunk) and gypsy Lyricist, Bernice Roth (Leigh Lunsford), were all part of the creative team that made “Manhattan Holiday.” Eddie instantly wants to leave, and tells Nikki that she should leave as well, but he decides to stay after Marjorie and Elsa enter and woo him into staying.

After things get underway, there are a series of dizzy conversations, multiple trips through secret doorways leading to a labyrinth of hidden passageways, a blizzard trapping them in the mansion, and a power outage. Eventually after much mayhem, secrets are revealed about “Manhattan Holiday’s” slasher.

The Creative Team includes: Waterworks Players Artistic Director Dudley Sauve; Scenic Designers Scott C. Chapman and Moffatt Evans; Costume Designer Maryska Connolly; Lighting Designer Scott C. Chapman; radio voice and Sound Designer Chris Brochon; Technical Directors Moffatt Evans and Billy Tucker; Production Manager Caitlin Linkins; Props Master Geraldine Mongold; Fight Choreographer Randall Linkins; and Graphic Designer James Early.

Performances are at 8 p.m., July 22, 23, 29 and 30, with a 2 p.m. matinee July 24. Tickets are $12 and can be ordered online at waterworksplayers.org or reserved by phone at 434-392-3452.

While the cast will be unmasked during performances, audience members are encouraged to wear a mask or equivalent face covering (nose and mouth) to the performance. The Waterworks Players are following CDC guidelines, with the goal of providing a safe environment for our return to live theatre.

If you have any questions about the show, please contact us via our Facebook page or at info@waterworksplayers.org.