By Danielle Rice || Arts & Leisure Editor
Snow, shrieks of terror, and lots of laughs filled the packed theater as the Green Room Theatre Club put on Drop Dead!, a comedy/murder mysterythis past weekend. The play follows a group of actors that are rehearsing for a murder-mystery play, when actual murders start occuring to the actors. The show was directed by F&M student, Shelby Kaplan, with the original script written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore. All the proceeds from the show went to a non-profit organization that is funding research for angiosarcoma.
Drop Dead! begins with the start of the play the actors are rehearsing; however, the audience is unaware of this “play-within-a-play” aspect until the take is cut. The play’s story focuses on a family whose father was murdered, causing his grown children, Alexander (Zach Rubin) and Bette (Caitlin Geller), to come home. Alexander brings home his fiance, Penelope (Cheyenne Hughes), and they are both greeted by the butler (Andrew Rosica) at the door. We soon meet the detective (Lauryn Harper) who is investigating the father’s death, and the mother, Lady Barrington (Liliana Noble). Everything seems to be going wrong in the rehearsal, such as Brent Reynolds, who plays Alexander, not being able to pronounce his fiance’s name, and Constance Crawford, playing Lady Barrington, missing her cue to enter the stage because she couldn’t hear the other actors.
When the play is cut, the audience gets a feel for the actors themselves, and meets the overzealous, emotionally-invested director, Victor Le Pewe (Skyler Rella) and obedient stage manager, Phillip (Paolo Caglioti). We meet P.G. Banks (Sam Lippi), the producer, who is involved with Penelope’s character, Candy, as well as the playwright, Alabama Miller (Emma Hawkins), who is horrified to see the play she wrote performed as it was. Strange things start happening when a sand block falls from the ceiling and P.G. Banks is found dead. Everyone involved in the play becomes a suspect.
The play continues to be run through, and the murderer in the play is revealed to be Bette, who admits to killing her father because he wouldn’t share his cheese with her and her mother because of her jealousy that everyone else in her family had someone and she was alone. The drama escalates in real life too, when the playwright, Alabama, is killed as well as Constance Crawford, who plays Lady Barrington. Candy is finally taken and held at gunpoint by Phillip, who is revealed to be the killer.
It was overall, a dramatic, fast-paced play with comedic, over-the-top characters. All of the acting was great. Lilana Noble garnered many laughs from the crowd as Lady Barrington with her inability to hear the other actors, causing them to scream loudly, and her constant confusion of the butler with her son. She even came out in a headset, set up to hear her lines read from backstage. The two months of hard work F&M students put into the production paid off to make a hilarious, entertaining, and well-done show.
Sophomore Danielle Rice is the Arts & Leisure Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.