FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS CONTACT: Larry Landsman
201-341-6476 ~ Publicity@bcplayers.org
Photos @ www.bcplayers.org
Murder is a Real Hoot! in the BERGEN COUNTY PLAYERS Production of
THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940
Written by John Bishop Directed by Steven Bell
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT TO BEGIN JANUARY 14, 2017 AT LITTLE FIREHOUSE THEATRE IN ORADELL!
ORADELL, NJ, December 28, 2016 - Bergen County Players (BCP) continues its 84th season with The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, John Bishop's riotous comedy whodunit, opening January 14th, 2017. The murder, mystery and mayhem is being helmed by veteran director Steven Bell of Hackensack, and will run through February 4, 2017 at the Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell. Tickets may be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours.
Set in December 1940 in the library of an isolated Westchester country mansion in Chappaqua, New York, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 brings together the creative team responsible for a recent ill-fated Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher”). The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and identities — all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem that follows when the infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again — and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director rehearse the backer’s audition for a new show, 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 revolving bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. The guests must plow ahead to solve the mystery and unmask the “Slasher” before it’s too late!
The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 was first performed at the Circle Repertory Company in New York City, later moving to Broadway in The Longacre Theatre where it enjoyed a critically-acclaimed run in 1987. Both productions were directed by the playwright and shared the same cast. The play is said to have been based on several 1940s mystery movies, including The Cat and the Canary, one of Bob Hope's first films.
A Life Member, Past-President, and Board of Governor, director Steven Bell of Hackensack has been active with the Players for over thirty years. He has directed numerous BCP productions, including The Drowsy Chaperone, Ruthless! The Musical, Urinetown, Modern Orthodox, Curtains, and The King & I, to name a few. Steven also served as musical director for various shows, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Aladdin, Man of La Mancha, Beehive, The Music Man, and Company. As a performer, he appeared in such shows as Follies (Buddy – Perry Award Winner), Anything Goes (Moonface Martin), City of Angels (Stine), Into the Woods (Baker) and Forum (Pseudolous). Steven teaches vocal music at Teaneck High School, and is the Artistic Director of the Teaneck Community Chorus.
The talented cast of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 includes Cassie Jo Romano of Nanuet, NY as Helsa Wenzel, Marianne Felice of Stony Point, NY as Elsa Von Grossenknueten, Arno Austin of Bergenfield as Michael Kelly, Paul Reitnauer III of Englewood as Patrick O'Reilly, Matthew Rofofsky of Fort Lee as Ken De La Maize, Elaine Thoman of Ridgewood as Nikki Crandall, Matthew Blum of Paramus as Eddie McCuen, Rachel Gordon of Paramus as Marjorie Baverstock, Jody Laufer of Fair Lawn as Roger Hopewell, and Mara Karg of Nanuet, NY as Bernice Roth.
The crew of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 includes: Michele Roth and David Luke (Producers), Mark Rinis (Assistant to the Director), Debbie Zika (Stage Manager), Ron Drobes (Set Design and Construction), Lynne Lupfer (Set Decor), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), David Arts (Stage Combat Choreography), Terri Caust, Bunny Mateosian, and Kahyo Eguchi (Costume Design), Christine Francois, Kellie Gleeson, and Joyce Ghia (Properties), Adam Feldman (Lighting Operation), Christopher Zika (Sound Operation), Katie Lupfer (Hair/Makeup Design), Steve and Barbara Mintz (Photography), and Marci Weinstein (Program Notes).
TICKET AND SCHEDULE INFORMATION
Calendar Listing: THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 OPENS SATURDAY, JANUARY 14 AND RUNS THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4. PERFORMANCES: Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm LITTLE FIREHOUSE THEATRE 298 Kinderkamack Road., Oradell, NJ. Free parking at the lot off Park Avenue one-half block north of theater. Tickets range from $17 - $21. For tickets, please call (201) 261-4200 or buy online at www.bcplayers.org. Student and group discounts are available.
The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season. The remaining Main Stage productions are Time Stands Still (February 18th to March 11th), Night Watch (March 25th to April 22nd), and Chapter Two (May 6th to June 4th). Remaining Second Stage productions include Patio/Porch, Impromptu (March 4th to March 5th), and Standing on Ceremony (June 10th to June 11th).
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To schedule press interviews, photos, press comps or for additional information, please contact Larry Landsman at 201-341-6476 or by e-mail at PUBLICITY@BCPLAYERS.ORG. Photos and press information are also available at www.bcplayers.org.
Photo Caption: Murder and mayhem abound at every turn in BCP's The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Moving walls, swinging bookcases, and secret passages add to the fun. All performances take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets may be purchased online at www.bcplayers.org, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours.