Get ready for murder, laughs and music with ‘Madcap Musical Murder’ at Millbrook

19Millbrook

MILL HALL — Is increasing the chances of winning a beauty pageant worth killing for? How about if the coveted title is “Miss Keystone Levee of 1988”?

If inquiring minds want to know, Millbrook Playhouse has the answers with its “Madcap Musical Murder” production, opening tomorrow at the converted barn theater, 258 Country Club Lane.

The interactive show will unfold at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Oct. 26-28 with 2 p.m. shows on Sunday and Oct. 29. An optional pre-show brunch is available for the Sunday performances at an additional cost.

For the last few years, the heralded professional theater hasn’t concluded operations with its season finale in mid-August. Under artistic director David Leidholdt’s leadership, Millbrook Playhouse continues to offer summer stock in the fall.

This original “whodunit” is penned by Shannon Agnew, a versatile veteran of Millbrook productions. Although often featured in musical comedies, Agnew did not appear in the 2017 lineup, but returned last month for a one woman fundraising show “Back In the Basement.”

Now in the murder mystery show, Agnew plays Judith Bower, an entrepreneur who sells kitschy products with “punny” titles.

Clearly, one of Millbrook’s most popular performers in the last several years is Marc de la Concha.

Often featured in the season ending Cabaret shows — usually playing characters from a lonely hearts advisor to a ill tempered chef in drag — de le Concha always draws hoots of laughter.

In this production, de le Concha plays Rose White, an award winning Avon Sales specialist.

Other contestants competing for the cherished crown are David Groccia and Aubrey Potash.

A featured performer in Millbrook’s 2017 attractions, Groccia plays Shelly Chambers, an amateur poet and Cabbage Patch Doll enthusiast, who may have taken her obsessions too far.

Aubrey Potash’s last appearance on the Millbrook stage was in “Smoke On the Mountain.” Recently, she was featured in Community Theatre League’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and another murder mystery dinner “Murder Under the Big Top.”

In this production full of twists and turns, Potash is cast as Gail Gardner, an aspiring Hollywood starlet.

Millbrook’s associate artistic director Matt Spencer wears two hats in this show.

Spencer is the show’s emcee Johnny Holmes, and also plays the black-hearted judge Steve Dust.

The audience also will do double duty, initially voting which of the four wacky “women” contestants will be crowned Miss Keystone Levee of 1988, and then also deciding who is the killer.

Reportedly, some lucky audience members may be tapped to assist each of the contestants in their talent presentations.

Keeping with the 80’s theme, popular hits from Madonna, Michael Jackson, Queen, The Police, Heart and Aerosmith will be sung by the glam gals.

David Leidholdt emphasizes that no two performances will automatically produce the same results, with different audiences likely rendering varying verdicts.

And perhaps with tongue-in-cheek, he adds, “The higher the hair, the closer to cracking the case!”

For more information, call the box office at 570-748-8093 or visit www.millbrookplay house.org.

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