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THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Student News Site of Berkley High School

THE SPECTATOR

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940: BeDrama’s ‘Knives Out’

This year for the fall play, BeDrama presented The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, a murder mystery/comedy with a quirky cast of characters, a suspenseful mystery, and shocking plot twists and turns. The show is very reminiscent of the 2019 murder mystery blockbuster Knives Out

Senior Stella Krzysiak plays Elsa Von Grossenkneuten, the rich owner of a mansion and host of an overnight audition for the musical White House Merry-Go-Round. Along with Krzysiak’s character comes a colorful cast of characters that participate in this mysterious audition. Senior Charley Burns plays Helsa, the maid at the Von Grossenkneten mansion who is hiding a terrible secret. Senior Jacob Gonzalez is Ken De La Maize, the director of this musical. Junior Montgomery Smith plays Eddie McCuen, a struggling comedian trying to make it big while also trying to charm senior Jordan Rowen’s chorus girl character, Nikki Crandall. Rounding out the cast is Nathan Raimi as the Irish Patrick O’Reilly, Aria Gassman as producer Marjorie Baverstock, and Sebastian Hames and Heiress Brame as songwriters Roger Hopewell and Bernice Roth. Finally, BeDrama newcomer and freshman Owen Chudler plays Michael Kelly, an undercover detective investigating a dark truth at the core of this audition.

Things take a terrifying turn when a ruthless killer known as the Stagedoor Slasher begins slaughtering the residents of the Von Grossenkneuten mansion one by one. Through shocking twists and turns as well as many laugh-out-loud moments, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 is an absolute pleasure for all ages.

One of the most creative aspects of the show was the staging. The lavish sets and costumes were some of the coolest that I have ever seen from BeDrama. The luxurious living room was not only gorgeous but filled with tricks and secret passageways that kept you guessing throughout the show. The secret passageways that appear throughout the show are one of the coolest aspects of this play. A character would lean against a wall and, suddenly, the wall would spin and reveal a passageway. The secrets keep the audience guessing throughout as to where a character would randomly pop out or a wall would suddenly move.

The lighting in this play was also one of the coolest aspects. One of the inciting actions of the plot is that the characters are snowed into Elsa’s mansion because there is a massive snowstorm outside. Vibrant blue lighting through a door creates a snowy effect that beams through the auditorium. The power goes out multiple times throughout the show, and, every time, the lighting would dramatically change, heightening the suspense and putting the audience on the edge of their seat.

Overall, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 was a hilarious murder mystery that accurately captured the vibe of films like Knives Out and Clue. Congrats to the all-star cast and crew for putting on this incredible show!

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About the Contributor
Aiden Aronoff, Copy Editor
Hey everyone! My name is Aiden. I’m so excited to be your copy editor this upcoming year! I am a senior and this is my third year on the staff of the Spectator. I’m a huge movie nerd and Detroit sports fan! I have my own movie blog, Sweet n' Sour Movie Blog, where I do movie reviews. I love hanging out with friends, watching movies (obviously!), being active, and reading/writing. Can’t wait for this year!

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