Quill, St. Joseph Church
Church Day School of LaPlata is very grateful to the Port Tobacco Players
for bringing Murder in Elsinore to our parish hall. Young and
old alike were thrilled by the performance. The young children became
very involved in the audience participation and want to know when we
will be inviting Port Tobacco Players back to put on another murder
"The show was well received by our customers. They enjoyed the interaction with the actors. The event was successful from our standpoint, our customers are looking forward to the next show. You and your staff/fellow actors were extremely easy to work with. It was a pleasure having you and the Port Tobacco Players here at the Officers' Club."
Is This a Clue I See Before Me?
Hail to Murder in Elsinore, Southern Marylands home-groan, audience-participation murder mystery based loosely on Will Shakespeares Hamlet. True, the Bard of Avon (who preceded the Avon Lady by a few centuries) may well be disquieted in his grave at how well his signal drama is being spoofed on area stages by playwright/thespian Timothy C. Treanor.
Take the performance of this roadshow Oct. 19, home, for a change, at the Port Tobacco Theater in "La Platelet," as detective Dirk Deadly (Treanor himself) calls the county seat. The lineup started with one J.K. Chittering (Jim Stewart), a juddering member of the chattering class who was masquerading vaingloriously as Hamlet. Doing various battle with him were Dame Edith Pugh (Ann Chess) in turn Gertrude and Ophelia; Charles Shramp Scamp (Michael Mildenstein) doubling as Claudius and Polonius; Oberon Dome (John Wesley Emerson) as "Everybody else," including Laertes; and an overlay of direction-less director Uta Thwickett (Susan Earle), unproductive producer Colleen Cibber (Janice Crongeyer) and the speechless Sound Man (Joe Bowes). Plus the aforementioned Deadly, played expansively by a tuxedoed Treanor.
In the intermission after Act II, alerted by Dirk Deadly, the program and a Crime Scene Report sheet, some in the audience quizzed the cast about the murder or moseyed on stage to examine the evidence. This included a toy football imprinted with "word," that earlier was passed back and forth by Charles Shramp Scamp and Oberon Dome. (Password, get it?)
So, asked the Crime Scene Report: Who was the real killer, what was the motive, how and when did he/she do the job? All the cast was fair game--or was it that they were fairly gamey? Heaven forfend, but the plays the thing, and in Act III Dirk Deadly prowled the stage and plumped adages from his book, PRACTICAL DETECTING FOR DUMMIES. Not least: "The most important clue is the one that doesnt exist." Finally, a cantankerous "chamber of truths" was wheeled out to telling effect, the Crime Scene Reports were collected, tabulation was conducted out of sight (why did one think of Florida?) and lo, a Ms. de la Cruz won the prize for most clever solution and a young Mr. Jordan won for correct answer--details of which, of course, cannot be revealed here. Mr. Jordan, who won a pair of tickets to a main stage show at Port Tobacco Players, told this reporter that his choice was "just a hunch."
Hunchkin, munchkin, toil n rubble, the evening came to a jolly end with the cast in a farewell greeting line in the lobby. To update Will Shakespeare, Let the good times roll.
Eli Flam, Washington Post Reviewer
last updated July 1, 2003.