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Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016

'Here's killing you' -- with laughs

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Private investigator Jack Barlow (Morgan Underwood) is torn between singing waitress Ginger (Sharon Kay Edwards, left) and socialite Mrs. Forsythe (Dianne Clanton) in "Here's Killing You, Kid!", a comedy murder mystery being presented by the newly-formed South of Broadway Players.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
It would be difficult for me to do an objective review of "Here's Killing You, Kid!", the first production from the South of Broadway Players, since I was the lead in a production earlier this year with the same director and several of the same cast members.

What I can do it tell you a little about the play and how much I enjoyed it, and urge you to support live theater in Bedford County in all its forms -- at local high schools, the Fly Arts Center, and alternative settings like dinner theater.

The South of Broadway Players, a new not-for-profit theater group, will present "Here's Killing You, Kid!" opening this Friday at the Duck River Restaurant on Elm Street. Additional production dates are Oct. 14, 21, 27 and 28. The group hopes to co-exist with other local theater efforts; in fact, two of the cast members for "Here's Killing You, Kid!" will also be in the Bedford Players' production of "Arsenic And Old Lace" coming up in December at the Fly.

"Here's Killing You, Kid!" is a comedy murder mystery by James Daab. Wes Campbell directs the production, with Dianne Clanton producing.

The play is set in Bigelow's Bar & Grill some time in an idealized version of the film noir 40s. Rookie private investigator Jack Barlow (Morgan Underwood of Tullahoma) begins each scene with an appropriately noirish monologue.

"There's something crazy about this joint," says Barlow to open the play.

But bartender Charlie (Martin Jones, a pressman here at the Times-Gazette) is quick to point out Barlow's lack of experience.

Barlow is soon drawn into a case involving a missing archaeologist and the mysterious "Majorcan Monkey," a statue not unlike the Maltese Falcon of movie fame. Soon, a murder has been committed, and everyone's a suspect -- socialite Mrs. Forsythe (Clanton), bar owner Mr. Bigelow (Carl McClanahan), singing waitress Ginger (Sharon Kay Edwards) and over-eager cub reporter Harry (Chris Potts). Director Campbell plays Lt. Bentley, a police officer intent on sorting out the whole sordid business.

During the break before the last scene, audience members will be asked to guess "whodunit."

The play is broad, silly fun in the best sense, with deliberately over-the-top performances, and a great song by Sharon, who will have a concert later this month with pianist and organist Nate Strasser. For the dress rehearsal I attended, I had to bring my own meal, but I think dinner and this show would be a fine way to spend an evening.

Showtime is 6:30 p.m. on each of the dates. The cost is $25 per person or $40 per couple, which includes both the meal and the entertainment. Alcoholic beverages will be available. To make reservations, call 685-5080.

For more information about the South of Broadway Players, contact Campbell at (931) 247-3481 or email SOBPlayers@group.facebook.com.

--John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette and covers county government. He is also the author of the self-published novel "Soapstone." His personal web site is lakeneuron.com.

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John I. Carney
Loose Talk / Charge Complete
John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette.