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Can you solve a mystery? Theatre Huntsville wants to know

MADISON – Theatre Huntsville wants to know . . . can you solve a mystery? The audience can apply their deductive skills to decide ‘whodunnit’ in “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.”

Authored by John Bishop, the play was performed first at Circle Repertory Company in their New York City theatre and later moving to open on Broadway on April 6, 1987. The playwright directed both productions, which shared the same cast. The play is based on several 1940s mystery movies, including “The Cat and the Canary,” one of Bob Hope’s first movies.

In the play, a wealthy backer assembles a theatre group for auditions. However, the real task is to unmask the ‘Stage Door Slasher,’ who killed three chorus girls.

The play is set in Elsa Von Grossenknueten’s mansion, along with her maid, Helsa Wenzel, in Chappaqua, N.Y. in December 1940. In the opening scene, a masked figure kills Helsa.

The next morning, guests arrive to audition for the musical, “White House Merry-Go-Round.” The guests include Patrick O’Reilly, an Irish tenor; bombastic theatre director Ken De La Maize; beautiful singer/dancer Nikki Crandall; and lousy comedian Eddie McCuen. Some guests were associated with “Manhattan Holiday,” the show that witnessed murders by The Stage Door Slasher.

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service. This production is recommended for teenagers and older.

Dex Edwards is Director.

Show times will be Jan. 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., along with Jan. 21, 27 and 28 at 2 p.m. The VBC Playhouse’s address is 700 Monroe St. SW in Huntsville.

To buy tickets, call 256-536-0807, or visit THtix.com. On show days, the ticket box office will open one hour before show time.

Ticket prices are $24 for adults, or $22 for students, senior citizens at least 65 years old and active-duty military personnel. For group rates for 10-plus people, call 256-536-0807 or email tickets@theatrehsv.org. For seating for individuals with disabilities, call 256-536-0807.

Concessions will be sold in the lobby.

Theatre Huntsville’s mission is to connect audiences to excellent and entertaining storytelling and creative artistic opportunities. Its vision is “to enrich our community through the shared experience of live performing arts as North Alabama’s premier regional theatre company.”

For more information, visit theatrehsv.org or Facebook/Theatre Huntsville.

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