Franklin Countys First News

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 comes to Vienna

The Vienna Woods Players in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.

VIENNA - On Aug. 2 and 3 the Vienna Woods Players will transform the Vienna Union Hall stage into the mansion library of a wealthy patron of the arts who hopes to reveal the murderer of three chorus girls by inviting suspects to audition for still another show.

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, written in 1986 by John Bishop and directed by Cheryl Herr-Rains, does include a few musical numbers and a few murders, but the emphasis is on comedy throughout. Hold onto your play program, as the who’s who of whodunit shifts rapidly; while suspects emerge and reveal hidden identities, more deaths complicate the plot, investigators track leads and romance progresses.

Although this is their first production as the newly organized Vienna Woods Players, much of the cast has been performing together for nearly 20 years. The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be presented Friday and Saturday, Aug. 2 and 3 at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door - $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets can be reserved until 6:40 pm (1:40 matinee) by emailing by July 31 with the number of tickets requested for which performance. The Vienna Union Hall is located at 5 Mountain Rd, off of SR 41 in Vienna.

Delaney Crocker is the housemaid, skillful with a meat cleaver. Elizabeth Bransky plays the attractive, wealthy and tough owner of the mansion. Chris Crocker chauffeurs the guests and keeps an eye out for suspicious activity. Tim Davis auditions as an Irish tenor, but eventually sings a different tune. Stephen Linder portrays a stage and screen director with a series of successes, except for the musical cancelled due to the chorus girl murders. Allison Kuhns auditions as a dancer/singer for the play, whose purse seems heavy enough to conceal a handgun, in case she were targeted to be the fourth chorus girl to die. Andre Nile is a comedian, eager to land a role in a musical comedy, but is wary of the darker side of the whole situation. Jan Collins portrays the producer/business manager for the musical, helping to draw in the murder suspects, while enjoying being a mover and shaker on the theater scene. Rocio Carey plays a famed songwriter lending an air of legitimacy to the proposed comedy, whose topical lyrics transcend the 1940s. Don Petersen collaborates with Rocio’s character as a musical team, but conflicts with the director’s arrogance. Nate Kane provides voice-over radio announcements, foreshadowing twists in the plot. Karla Arceneaux, Dodi Thompson and Janet Roderick are assisting with production. June Cauldwell assembled stunning costumes and Greg Cauldwell constructed a set elaborate enough to contain the mysterious interplay of suspects, murders and victims.

Do not miss out on this evening (or afternoon) of silliness, laughter and local murders. The Vienna Woods Players are a group of talented actors from Vienna, Mount Vernon, Wilton, Farmington, Rome and Portland, who come together to create havoc, mayhem and true Maine entertainment.

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