Central College News

Central College Theatre to Perform ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’

Featured: Central College Theatre to Perform ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’

April 24, 2024

Central College’s theatre program presents John Bishop’s “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” at 7 p.m. April 25-27, and 2 p.m. April 28, in the Kruidenier Theatre on campus.

C.D. Adamson, associate professor of theatre, shares the premise of this comedy featuring 35 students in the cast and crew.

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” revolves around the creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop, in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher.” The team assembles 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 that follows when the infamous “Slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again and again.

On stage, 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.

“In this production, the entire design team was composed of students,” says Ron Rybkowski, technical director of theatre and lecturer. “All the scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, hair and make-up are by students.”

Adamson will direct the play and Bryson McGowan, Class of 2024 musical theatre major from Urbandale, Iowa, will direct the music selections. The cast includes McGowan, Scott Martin, Class of 2024 art major from Moscow, Iowa; Kamryn Waymire, Class of 2024 musical theatre major from Elk Horn, Iowa; Travis Mitchell, Class of 2025 communication studies major from Otley, Iowa; Joslynn Moore, Class of 2025 kinesiology major from Corning, Iowa; Quintin Hull, Class of 2026 music major from Ottumwa, Iowa; Keely Krambeer, Class of 2026 communication studies major from Wadena, Iowa; Schultz Abbas, Class of 2027 undeclared major from Urbandale, Iowa; Eryn Lenhart, Class of 2027 undeclared major from Bondurant, Iowa; and Samuel Vis, Class of 2027 undeclared major from Ames, Iowa.

Tickets are $15 for the general public at central.universitytickets.com.