2nd Story Theatre's third summer show done in rep with "The Mousetrap" is "The Murder Room". If Monty Python asked Agatha Christie to commission Noel Coward to write a vechile for Abbott and Costello, you'd have "The Murder Room" The script by Jack Sharkey is a spoof of British mystery thrillers. There are all the elements of a classic English whodunit, the stodgy upper crust, irreverent servants, the spooky old house in the deserted countryside, dark nights, the persistent police force, mistaken identities and very little violence. Giving away too much of a description of the show will ruin it for the audience. Ed Shea picks the best 7 people for this madcap roles and infuses them with high energy that keeps the audience laughing all night long.
The comic routines are reminiscent of "Who's on First" by Abbott and Costello. Ed gives his cast some clever slapstick routines to keep the audience in stitches all night long. The hilarious costumes are by Ron Cesario especially funny are Mavis' outfits including one that looks like Auntie Mame while the gorgeous cottage set is by Trevor Elliott. The story revolves around Mavis Templeton Hollister and her husband, Edgar Hollister. They are newly weds. Something mysterious happens at their cottage and a police inspector, James Crandall and his constable Abel Howard arrive to question Mavis and her maid, Lottie Molloy who isn't afraid to speak her mind. Add to the madcap adventures, Susan Hollister, Edgar's daughter from his first marriage and her American boyfriend, Barry Draper from the South. Mavis is distressed to learn upon Edgar's death, the bulk of his estate will go to Susan. There are numerous plot twists, scene-ending cliff hangers, new revelations with a great deal of zany humor. The seven member cast deliver their rapid fire lines superbly and are outstanding in this farce.
I will describe the talented cast members and try not to give away many details about what their characters do. Sharon Carpentier commands the stage as Mrs. Hollister in this Cruella DeVille type character. She is a hoot as Mavis. Al Terego does a wonderful job as Edgar who appears and disappears at various points in the show. Susan Bowen Powers plays the sassy maid and shows off her acting skills with many tongue twisting lines. Jim Sullivan mesmerizes the audience as Abel Howard. He is a whirling dervish as this character who falls down the cellar stairs, finds a poisoned cat and rides a woman's bike to follow the cat. Jeff Church is marvelous as the very Scottish, James Crandall who rolls his r's all night long and has a very funny brandy drinking scene. Ashley Hunter Kenner who is a gorgeous brunette, plays Susan who doesn't have brain in her head. One of her funny lines is "I don't know if forgetfulness runs in my family because I just don't remember. Ashley is comical as this dim bulb gal. Tim White's Southern accent is hilarious as he continually calls Lottie, Lettie. He is very debonair as Barry, trying to woo his dumb girlfriend. So for a very funny farce that will kill you with laughter, be sure to catch "The Murder Room" to find out what all the craziness is all about. It is the perfect way to spend a hot summer night in an air conditioned theater.