QUINCY — Mystery and mayhem – and a touch of murder – come to the Quincy High School stage this weekend. The curtain goes up on “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the QHS theater.
Tickets are $5 per person and are available at the door.
Reclusive Sam Slaughter (Jerry Hodges in the QHS production) is the best-selling mystery writer of 1938, and the show based on his books – broadcast from his mysterious mansion, Slaughter House – is the most popular in all of radio. What his adoring fans don’t know is that Sam is a cad, a bounder and an all-around bum.
He’s just fired Audrey (Brynn Niewenhuis), the star of the radio show. He’s supposed to be dating Cleo (Kelsey Ramsey) but he’s also got Molly (Paige Lubach) on the string, and he promised both of them Audrey’s job. He drives his agent Hillary (Bethany Safe) and his producer Pete (Taggert Hodges) crazy, not to mention Fielding the butler (Kyle Mills) and his secretary Esther (Avery VanderVeen).
Who’s the mysterious lady (Briana Melburn) who suddenly shows up, making all these cryptic statements? And wait – what happened to Sam? He disappeared. Where’d he go?
Some of his greatest fans (Vanessa Hernandez, Anne Safe and Ivania Chavez) will be on hand as All Is Revealed during a live performance of the radio show.
The drama club “wanted to do a murder mystery,” said producer-director-drama club advisor Tracy Higgins. “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” has plenty of murder, dart guns and rare poisons, mysterious disappearances and reappearances – all the classic elements of a classic mystery.
Since the drama club wanted a murder mystery, the play was a good fit because it has a large cast, Higgins said. “I had so many students interested in being in the play.”
The QHS drama club puts on two plays a year, one in the fall, the second in the spring. Higgins said the club has to choose its dates carefully, since many of the students in the drama club are involved in other activities.
The play is being presented during the break between fall and winter sports – but practice started this week, so the cast has had to factor that into rehearsals.