Centerstage presents ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’

Hilarious whodunit murder mystery playing Feb. 1-24 in Federal Way.

Centerstage Theatre presents the farcical murder mystery, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940,” a hilarious whodunit that will keep you guessing and laughing all at once.

Centerstage dares you to stop laughing long enough to figure out whodunnit in this play filled with sliding bookcases, secret passageways, bizarre characters and mystery galore. On a snowy winter night in a mansion in upper New York state, a group of people gathers to pitch a new show to a wealthy benefactress. But this isn’t just any group of people — it’s the same creative team whose most recent Broadway musical flopped — due to a string of highly publicized and highly inconvenient murders. Will the reconvening of this team bring magic or mayhem? Maybe both!

The show opens Friday, Feb. 1 and plays through Sunday, Feb. 24. Shows will take place on the following dates and times: Fridays, Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. (16 and 23 only) and 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 2 p.m.

The show brings together a dynamic and diverse cast and crew of arts professionals from all around the Puget Sound region. In the role of hostess and patron Elsa Von Grossenkneuten is the versatile Arwen Dewey, whose resume includes multiple professional singing credits as well as theatre. Stage and screen veterans Pat Sibley and G. Kent Taylor play the mysterious maid Helsa Wenzel and undercover cop Michael Kelly.

Seattle critical favorite Brad Walker returns to Centerstage after a multi-year hiatus to play endearingly struggling comedian Eddie McCuen. Joining the cast as the young chorus girl Nikki Crandall is Noel Pederson, (who also works at The Village Theatre as a marketing associate), and videographer Timothy Duval in the role of the Irish tenor Patrick O’Reilly. Eloisa Cardona brings decades of experience on and backstage as the ambitious producer Marjorie Baverstock, while popular South Sound actor Jacob Tice plays the director-who’s-worked-with-everyone Ken de la Maize.

Finally, rounding out the cast as the composer and lyricist pair Roger Hopewell and Bernice Roth are professional artists Colin Briskey and Colleen Bjurstrom, both exciting new additions to the Centerstage roster.

The show is directed by Centerstage’s Managing Director Angela Bayler in her first production role since her tenure at Centerstage began. Bayler’s theatre resume is extensive and varied, and includes direction, stage management and design at professional theatres across the country.

For tickets, visit www.CenterstageTheatre.com or call 253-661-1444.

Performances will be at the Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road, Federal Way.

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