The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
by City Theatre Company
Apr. 28 - May. 14
Mystery, murder, and mayhem is the entertainment choice of the spring theatre season! And this time it’s complete with Nazi saboteurs, secret passageways, flickering lights, and well, the blizzard of the century. That is indeed the case as City Theatre Austin continues its 17th anniversary season shooting squarely at the funny bone with John Bishop’s comedy thriller The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.
With characters like Elsa Von Grossenknueten, Helsa Wenzel, Ken De La Maize, and Marjorie Baverstock, how can a show go wrong?
Comedy thrillers have been around a long time with such popular examples in films, plays, and novels as Charade, The Thin Man, and The Lady Vanishes. Hailed by critics and audiences, Musical Comedy Murders is just that…a comedy about a musical, with a lot of thrill, wrapped up in a murder mystery. It is an ingenious and wildly comic romp poking antic fun at the more ridiculous aspects of show biz and the corny thrillers of Hollywood's heyday. The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop, in which three chorus girls were murdered, assemble for a backer's audition of their new show at the estate of a wealthy "angel." As the composer, lyricist, actors, and director prepare their performance, bodies start to drop and accusing fingers point in all directions. A cross between Agatha Christie and Charles Ludlam, seasoned with a dash of Noises Off, 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" - 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.
"I can't work in this environment! These people have no respect for an artist! I'm very drunk." – Bernice Roth, Lyricist in Musical Comedy Murders
John Bishop, the playwright, and screenwriter behind the work, was a longtime member of the acclaimed off-Broadway Circle Repertory Company in New York and later founded the Circle West Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Once described in the New Yorker as "one of our best dramatists," Bishop had two of his plays produced on Broadway: The Trip Back Down, a drama about a washed-up stock car driver and Musical Comedy Murders. Bishop had several of his plays produced nationally including Borderlines, The Great Grandson of Jedediah Kohler, Winter Signs, and The Harvesting. He passed away in 2006.
Beginning his seventeenth year as City Theatre Artistic Director, Andy Berkovsky leads the production with the design team of technical advisor Kevin Smith, set designer Kakii Keenan, and costume designer Bert Flanagan. They are joined by the incredible cast of Bobbie Oliver, Michael Stuart, R. Michael Clinkscales, Lori Cordova, Darren Scharf, Jake Maspero, Holley Garrison, Mindy Rast-Keenan, Michelle Malia, Aaron Hernandez, and Sebastian Garcia.
City Theatre is celebrating its 17th anniversary season of live theatre entertainment. CTC is an Austin-based, not-for-profit arts organization and is sponsored in part by the Austin Creative Alliance and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin. Founded in 2006, the company has been recognized by the Austin Critics Table Awards, the B. Iden Payne Awards, the Central Texas Excellence in Theatre Awards, BroadwayWorld Austin, Central Texas Live Theatre, and has twice been voted “Best Theatre Company” by Austin American-Statesman’s Austin 360. CTC is dedicated to providing a quality, reputable, and diverse public theatre and stage entertainment experience that is accessible to all artists and the entire Austin community. CTC continues to offer its student and group discount ticket program for any show. Put a little theatre in your life!
April 28 - May 14, 2023
1507 Wilshire Blvd.
Austin, TX, 78722
April 28 – May 14, 2023. Thursdays - Saturdays 8:00 pm. Sundays 3 pm.
Genesis Fellowship Hall. 1507 Wilshire Blvd. Austin, TX 78722.
General Seating $15-$18. Center Reserved $20-25. Group and student discounts.