The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

September 7, 2013

Murder takes a funny turn: Play reminiscent of screwball comedies

JOHNSTOWN — A murder mystery fan loses her head in this fast-paced farce.

“Let’s Murder Marsha” will have audiences laughing Sept. 17-29 at Mountain Playhouse, 7690 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown.

Written by Monk Ferris, this comedy is about a housewife so obsessed with murder mystery novels that she imagines those around her are plotting her murder. The play will be directed by Chan Harris.

 Marsha Gilmore, played by Ashley Puckett Gonzales, is convinced her husband and interior decorator are plotting her murder and tries to turn the tables on her would-be killers. Even Marsha’s mother and her maid’s date are not exempt from her wild assumptions.

The tables are turned on Marsha herself when her intended victims discover her plot and decide to teach her a lesson by actually pretending to be murderers.

Harris said “Let’s Murder Marsha” plays like a screwball comedy of the ’50s or ’60s.

“There is no time set in the script, but it seems to be like an urban, wacky comedy set in the late ’40s or early ’50s like ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ or an extended Lucille Ball episode.”

Harris has ambitious plans to set up the production as a radio play, without the actors standing around at a microphone.

“It will be a hybrid because I want to separate sight and sound and figure out how many props not to use,” Harris said. “There won’t be doors on the set, but the audience will see one actor making the noise while another actor mimes opening a door.”

Harris added he has a great group of actors who will play along with him as he explores something he hasn’t done before.

“The sound effects will add another layer,” Harris said. “The main character’s perceptions are not what is going on. She’s reading something into everything and

giving it a double meaning. This is the story of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This is an intense, smart, really funny show.”

Harris was excited to start rehearsals last week.

“It will be a lot of fun, like a huge puzzle,” he said. “We have the right people, probably the funniest people we could get or who have ever been seen at the playhouse.”

In addition to Puckett Gonzales, the cast will include Larry Tobias as Marsha’s husband; Sean Patrick Hopkins as the next door neighbor; Sarah Sawyer as a friend and colleague of Marsha’s husband; Charis Leos as the maid; Suzanne Ishee as Marsha’s mother; and Jeffrey Correia as the maid’s boyfriend, who is a policeman.

Puckett Gonzales is returning to the Mountain Playhouse for her fourth season and is looking forward to working with Harris and the cast whom she describes as having a ton of talent.  

“A farce is always fun to do,” she said. “Chan is taking an interesting approach to the piece, doing it as a radio play. Having worked with most of the cast before, it is fascinating to see how well we come together to create something completely new.”

Puckett Gonzales said she enjoys the imaginative side of her character because she herself is very pragmatic.

“Marsha is constantly in these flights of fancy with a vivid imagination and always drawing the wrong conclusions,” she said.  “The comedy is rapid fire and a very fast kind of theater.”

The play will be in two acts and last two hours, including intermission.

Curtain times will be 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and 3 p.m. Sundays.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads