It was theater week for us this week. First Shrek, then Kelly performed in the Eagle Ridge play called, How The Other Half Dies. This is a play by Eddie McPherson about a woman named Sybil Chasteen (played by Kelly), who “in a desperate attempt to become a member of Harriet Hammer’s posh country club, invites Ms. Hammer to a formal dinner party on the same day that she discovers a dead boy in the trunk of her new car. While Sybil waits impatiently for the authorities, the corpse, sits propped up on her sofa as the list of murder suspects grows. The police, distracted by a few other cases, finally arrive only to find Sybil’s life spiraling recklessly out of control.” It’s a fun murder-mystery, comedy all in one.
Kelly loved her costume (not really). She needed to look old and frumpy compared to her other friends, April May, Cora, and Fannie. They all wore pretty dresses, skirts and had lovely hair. Kelly looked more the stereotypical librarian. haha, but she was great at it and always had to carry that white purse with her. When ever anyone called her “old”, she’d respond, “I’m not old!”
When doing a murder-mystery comedy, there always has to be the goofy inspector and his side-kick. This play had them both. Officer Knight (who’s dream is to become an inspector) and Officer Newbie. Lots of jokes were made about their names. Officer Knight’s first name is Jed, can you guess his middle initial? I…Jed I. Knight (rimshot!) Officer Newbie was a rookie. ha ha, another rimshot. These two guys were so funny together and really knew their parts. They played off of each other so well and made us laugh at their silliness. There was also a Dr. His name was…Dr. Pepper (rimshot!)
So Sybil is trying to tell these officers that she found this dead body in her trunk and eventually in a round-about way, they will solve her case but all of these crazy characters keep showing up at her house. She tries to get someone to help her get rid of this body before her dinner party, but ends up propping the corpse up on her sofa and pretending he’s a guest. They nicknamed him, Mr X. The boy who played this corpse was amazing. He never moved, blinked or even swallowed the entire play! We were keeping an eye on him for any movement. He really did seem dead! Shelly was sitting next to me asked, “is that a real person or a doll?”
The comedy continued throughout the play and Sybil just got more hysterical because all of these people were in her house and nobody seemed to care that a dead body was on her couch. Soon Ms. Hammer would be there and her life would be ruined and she will still be a nobody.
Jack the Ripper ran through with a butcher knife, only to fall in the love with the girl he’s chasing. Of course the next step was to get married. So they asked Sybil if they could get married that very night in her backyard. Sybil says no way, but then can’t say no to the couple in love and agrees to a wedding on top of all of this.
There was one character in the play that was absolutely hysterical. He was just known as “the stranger.” He kept calling Sybil on the phone and telling her that he’d be coming there tonight to claim what is his. She had no idea what this meant. He kept showing up in the funniest scenes and even asked for directions to her house one time. Sybil gladly gave out the information, then proceeds to say, “Oh no, what have I done.” So funny~
Finally Harriet Hammer (everyone kept calling her screwdriver, buzz saw, crow bar, mallet and power drill) showed up, with bodyguards, for the dinner party. She was the posh socialite that wanted nothing to do with these lame people in the house. Sybil pretends Mr. X is alive by throwing on sunglasses & putting a cigar in his hand. Ms. Hammer takes one look at him and says, “He’s dead isn’t he.” Sybil feels like a loser and tries to explain that the officers aren’t doing their job. When the officer/inspector announces that the dead body is Harriet’s brother, everyone on stage is shocked. That classic moment…haha
The play ends with Officer Knight questioning everyone and suspecting them all by telling us their motive to kill Mr. X, but in the end only one character is identified as the murderer. Then we finally find out what “the stranger” was after. He quietly comes out and rips off Mr. X’s mustache and says…”Mine, it’s all mine.” very strange indeed.
Kelly did such a wonderful job as the lead in this play. We are so proud of her! She absolutely loves being on stage and told me that she loves hearing the audience laugh. It’s so much fun for her to do these plays. We look forward to next year when she gets to choose a one-act play with her friend Johanna and they get to do all of the casting, directing and they will also perform in it. Yay Kel!!