‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ set for Lake Tahoe Community College campus | TahoeDailyTribune.com

‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ set for Lake Tahoe Community College campus

People will drop like flies in LTCC’s Duke Theatre when "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940," written by John Bishop and directed by Susan Boulanger, takes the stage March 11-20.
Courtesy Photo |

Mystery, chaos, and laughter will abound as the Theatre Arts Department at Lake Tahoe Community College presents the wildly funny send-up of the Hollywood murder mystery, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940,” written by John Bishop and directed by Susan Boulanger. Performances span March 11-20 in the Duke Theatre on LTCC’s campus, located off of Al Tahoe Boulevard.

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” is a fast-paced and deliriously funny who-done-it play about the creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop, in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher.” They assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house contains sliding panels, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people — all of which figure diabolically into the mayhem that follows when the infamous slasher returns to strike again … and again! As the composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare their performance, a blizzard cuts off all escape, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag victims behind swiveling bookcases and accusing fingers point in all directions.

An ingenious and wildly comic romp that enjoyed a long and critically hailed run both on and off Broadway, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” pokes fun at the more ridiculous aspects of showbiz 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.”

LTCC’s cast brings familiar and new faces to the Duke Theatre stage. Frank Riley is the bumbling detective intent on finding the “Slasher;” Carolin Hansa is the owner of the mansion who is obsessed with espionage, Chris Taylor is the artsy director with a bad habit of name-dropping every celebrity he has supposedly worked with, Fritz Schlottman is the flamboyant and slightly neurotic composer, Pam Taylor is the high-strung lyricist who always has a drink (if not the entire bottle) in her hand, Diana Evans plays the overly dramatic producer, Jered Stowell is a seriously struggling comedian and Samantha Bender is the spunky chorus girl who brings out the best in him, Elliott Smart is the Irish Tenor with a questionable dialect and Ashley Wallick is the maid who ends up murdered — or does she?

Performances of “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” are March 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees March 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. High school and college students with a valid student ID card can see the show for free on Thursday, March 17. Free tickets for this performance are not available in advance.

Tickets for “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” are $10 for general admission and $5 for seniors, groups of eight or more and students with a valid student ID. Tickets may be purchased in advance at LTCC’s Bookstore Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The bookstore is located in LTCC’s Main Building. Call 530-541-4660, ext. 227, for more information. LTCC’s Box Office will be open for ticket sales one hour before all performances. The Box Office can be reached at 530-541-4660, ext. 207.

For more information about this production, visit http://www.ltcc.edu/theatrearts or http://www.facebook.com/ltcctheatrearts.

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