All performances, auditions, and rehearsals take place at
The Theater at Drew United Methodist Church 28 Gleneida Ave., Carmel, NY 10512
unless otherwise noted.
All of these characters are over-the-top and require a certain level of physical stamina for this fast-paced show (ie. carrying bodies, quickly slipping in and out of secret passageways, pratfalls, etc.)
HELSA WENZEL - Helsa is the maid of the Grossenknueten estate. She is killed in the first scene of the play, only to be impersonated by her homicidal twin brother, Dieter. The actress who plays Helsa also appears at the end of the play as "Katrina, the cook from Koblenz.” Actress/actor must be comfortable appearing on stage wearing period appropriate undergarments.
ELSA VON GROSSENKNEUTEN - Elsa is the eccentric 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 thinks that the idea of chasing after a killer is great fun. Her grandfather was a spy, and 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, and Kelly at first pretends to be her butler. Kelly's tough, no-nonsense attitude puts him at odds with Elsa and the dramatic types that visit. He eventually reveals his identity as a New York police officer, much to Elsa's dismay. In the second act, he is kidnapped by an unseen figure and disappears into a secret passage, and is later found with his hands tied and a gag in his mouth.
PATRICK O’REILLY - O'Reilly claims to be an Irish tenor, but he is very suspicious, especially with regard to the mysterious Helsa. The two engage in a physical brawl. 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. Nikki confronts him, but before he can reveal the truth, Helsa stabs him through a copy of Moby-Dick in the second act, killing him.
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. Ken is eventually revealed as the Stage Door Slasher, and explains that his hatred of ballet dancers stems from his father, who ran off with one and abandoned his mother. He attempts to kill Nikki, along with Elsa, Roger and Bernice. Eddie ends up thwarting him, and he is taken away to prison, rambling about how he knows Louella Parsons.
NIKKI CRANDALL - Nikki is considered a typical chorus girl — but she is eventually revealed to be Ensign Nicole Crandall, of United States Naval Intelligence. Her secret mission was to find the Germans who were sent over to sabotage the American war efforts. She is also interested in solving the mystery of the Stage Door Slasher, and helps to break the code in Bebe's notebook. Ken almost kills her, followed quickly by Dieter Wenzel. Eddie saves her twice, prompting the two to fall in love at the end.
EDDIE McCUEN - Directly based on Bob Hope, Eddie is the out of work comedian that ties the different story lines together, and goes from being cowardly at the beginning of the play to heroic at the end. He is attracted to Nikki, but fumbles when he tries to talk to her. He was a replacement for an actor, and thus has no connection to Manhattan Holiday. He is the one who realizes the connection between the Slasher case and the party, and later helps to defeat Ken and Dieter, both by knocking them out with a cognac bottle. These brave actions unite him with Nikki. He has an obvious attraction to Nikki throughout the whole play, and ultimately ends up saving the day and getting the girl.
MARJORIE BAVERSTOCK - Marjorie is a Broadway producer. She constantly flatters everyone around her, and speaks in elevated language; her "new word" is "divoon." She is accidentally killed by Dieter at the end of the first act (in the dark he thought she was Elsa); strangely, no one seems to notice, despite the fact that there is an enormous sword through her back. Eddie, Ken and Kelly bury her dead body in a snowdrift in the beginning of the second act..
ROGER HOPEWELL - Roger is the composer for "White House Merry-Go-Round", and Bernice's partner; the two have had a string of Broadway hits. Roger enjoys teasing Ken about his artistic ways, and makes snide remarks throughout the play, but flares up whenever someone insults his musical style. He also knows how to deal with Bernice's many quirks. Towards the end of the play, Roger reveals a surprising knowledge of ciphers, and helps Nikki and Bernice break the code in Bebe's notebook.
BERNICE ROTH - The perpetually thirsty lyricist, she is Roger's partner. Bernice is very odd and emotional, frequently losing her composure and screaming. When Marjorie fails to respond to the second act opening number of "White House Merry-Go-Round", Bernice is hugely offended, despite the fact that Marjorie was dead at the time. She spends the entire second act attempting to "fix" the play, even when she is held hostage by Ken, O'Reilly, and Dieter. In the finale, she is struck with inspiration toward a new work that takes place in the heartland of America – a cowboy play called Nebraska. This is a spoof on the play Oklahoma!.
Friday, May 5
Saturday, May 6
Sunday, May 7
Friday, May 12
Saturday, May 13
Sunday, May 14
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.
All auditions are at Drew Methodist Church, 28 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY 10512
To audition for any show, please send an email to BrewsterTheaterInfo@gmail.com with the name of the show in the subject. Include your full contact information.
Audition Sunday , February 26th - 1-4PM.
Email BrewsterTheaterInfo@gmail.com for an audition slot.
This is NOT a musical, but a clever and funny murder-mystery.
Please prepare a two minute comedic monologue. We will also have sides for you to read.
The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
Written by John Bishop
Directed by Christopher Gladysz