THE musical comedy murders of 1940


photos courtesy of Keystone Theatrics

"The play takes place in a mansion in Chappaqua, New York in December 1940, specifically, the library. The mansion is owned by Elsa Von Grossenknueten, and her maid, Helsa Wenzel. In the opening scene, we see Helsa is killed by a masked figure. We also see Elsa talking to a police officer, Michael Kelly, about some sort of undercover scheme. Both are unaware of the maid's murder. The next morning, we see Helsa again, only now her entire personality seems to have changed overnight. The guests Elsa has invited soon begin to arrive. They have been invited for a backer's audition to the Musical White House Merry-Go-Round. The first of the invited guests is an Irish tenor named Patrick O'Reilly. He's quickly followed by a bombastic theatre director named Ken De La Maize, and a beautiful young singer/dancer named Nikki Crandall. Nikki is followed in by a young (and bad) comedian named Eddie McCuen, who takes an instant liking to Nikki. While talking with Nikki, Eddie realizes that everyone coming (including Marjorie Baverstock, the producer, and Roger Hopewell and Bernice Roth, the writers) were all part of the creative team that made Manhattan Holiday, in which The Stage Door Slasher murdered three women. Eddie instantly wants to leave, and tells Nikki that she should leave as well, but he decides to stay after Marjorie and Elsa enter and woo him into staying. Roger Hopewell and Bernice Roth arrive and meet the performers, and the group gets started with their work. After things get underway, Marjorie is murdered and the body of Helsa is discovered. After a series of dizzy conversations, multiple trips through secret doorways leading to a labyrinth of hidden passageways, a power outage in the mansion, multiple crimes, and criminals are revealed. Eventually after much murderous mayhem the Stage Door Slasher is revealed and captured through deciphering Bebe's coded notebook." - Wikipedia 


  • Helsa Wenzel

  • Elsa Von Grossenknueten

  • Michael Kelly

  • Patrick O'Reilly

  • Ken De La Maize

  • Nikki Crandall

  • Eddie McCuen

  • Marjorie Baverstock

  • Roger Hopewell

  • Bernice Roth