By Abbey Snow
The Virgin Valley Theatre Group is currently performing the comedy, “Audition for Murder,” at the Mesquite Community Theater. The play features two ladies who become stranded at a small community theater where auditions for a play are taking place. The auditions get out of hand when some theatre group members mysteriously start dying, and a race to solve the murders begin.
The play, “Audition for Murder” was written by Howard Voland and Keith McGregor, and directed by Glen Bjornson.
The story starts when Grace Sharp (Teri Nehrenz) and Doris Brooks (Miriam Samuel) were driving on an icy road, on their way to visit Grace’s sister Bernice Sharp-Squash, (Joan Pelliccio) and accidently slid into a ditch. Both women went searching for help and came across an old community theater. Auditions for a play are taking place and the entire Benson family is involved in Aunt Sue’s production.
After a less than welcome advance, in comes Hap (Denis Feehan) who constantly pursues and harasses Doris during the whole play. Hap is hard of hearing and misunderstands everything others say, which causes his responses to ensure some comical errors in conversation.
When the first murder is discovered, being a retired nurse, Doris examines the body concluding that the victim fell and hit their head.
Agreeing the police should be notified, the group decided to wait for a police officer, Rory Toppman (Mike Schultz), to stop by as he always did when he saw the community theater participants there.
Grace take control over the initial investigation and continues to question everyone to find out their whereabouts when the victim died.
Peter Grogan (Chad Calmelat) brought up the fact the Benson family had some previous deaths.
“This hasn’t been a very lucky year for the Benson clan, has it?” said Peter. “This is the third death this year. One almost wonders…who is next? Stepmother? Jeff, perhaps?”
The play becomes escalated as all start fearing who will be murdered next while trying to figure out who the murderer is. Things twist and turn in a hilarious but suspenseful way keeping the audience entertained and on their toes until the end. Solving this mystery ends up being a lot more complicating than perceived, and the results are completely unexpected.
Other cast members include: Gary Williams (Jeff Benson), Kimberly Gilbert (Rhonday Benson-Squash), Carol McConeghey (Margo Benson-Stevens) and Judy Edgington (Helen Benson-Grogan). Susan Shultz is the stage manager who wrangles the herd and Janet McDonald costumed the bunch. Shultz also has a walk on part playing the role of Susan Benson.
The last two performances will be on Oct 27 and 28 at the Mesquite Community Theatre, 150 N. Yucca St., with showtimes at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $16 per person.