The Red Deer Players are gearing up to present an intriguing murder mystery as their first theatrical outing of the season.
Lifeless in Las Vegas opens on the Scott Block’s Centennial Stage on Nov. 19th at 8 p.m.
Additional shows run Nov. 20th-21st at 8 p.m. as well, with another on Nov. 22nd at 2 p.m. These shows will include dessert and refreshments.
There will also be a show at the Springbrook Multiplex on Dec. 5th at 8 p.m.
“We are also doing a large production at the Golden Circle,” said Albert Azzara, the play’s director. Tickets for that show – set for Nov. 27th – are available at the Golden Circle office.
Meanwhile, the action all takes place at Wizards Casino in Las Vegas.
As the Player’s web site puts it, “On Nov. 19th a man will die. Seven people had a motive to see him dead, all could have had the means and opportunity and now must defend themselves. He’ll die many times again before the play finishes its run. The question you need to figure out is Whodunnit?”
Azzara, who is also starring in the show, describes it as a ‘structured improv’ – there are several scenes that have been mapped out, but things are also essentially created by the actors as they go along.
He plays the investigator in the story, so he will be asking the various suspects in the recent murder a bunch of leading questions – which will lead to all kinds of fun, interesting and perhaps even surprising results.
Rounding out the cast are David Weiss, Lionel Lustgarden, Glynn Humphreys, Jennie Beal, Hannah Humphreys, Lorraine Stuart, Hannah Humphreys, Holly Pettitt and Lawrence Hobbs.
The show is being produced by Susan Humphreys.“It’s similar to the home kits that you can get,” he explained of the show. “It’s also a lot like that movie Clue, so it’s over the top, so there will be lots of weird characters.”
Glynn stars at Tony Bonello who manages the Wizards Casino. Weiss plays the part of Dr. Julius Prescott – a successful plastic surgeon at a private clinic in Los Angeles with “an exclusive clientele including politicians and screen celebrities.”
Lustgarden plays Nick Lucopoulos, a Greek businessman and a professional gambler who drops by Vegas every couple of months, and Stuart plays the part of Clara Smith who is in her 70s but doesn’t feel a day over 40. “She arrived in Vegas yesterday and this was her first time in a casino.”
Hannah plays the part of Cookie Daniels – a model and actress who who came to Vegas with her fiance and Beal plays the part of Brigitte Damien who owns a private escort service in Vegas. Finally, Pettitt plays Katie Morgan who is a dealer at Wizards Casino.
Meanwhile, it’s been a hoot to put together, with constant revisions and the process of exploring different ways of how particular scenes play out. “That’s how fluid this has really been,” said Azzara. “Last night we were rehearsing at St. Luke’s church so it felt like Murder in the Cathedral,” he said with a smile.
“We start out half an hour before the opening of the play with cast members in the audience talking with people,” he added. “We’ll be talking with them and then I call them up onto the stage and I start asking them questions like, ‘Could you tell me word for word what happened when you met him in the hallway near the casino?’ Then we might have a flashback.
“And then at the very end, we will line up the suspects and ask the audience, who thinks it’s so and so? Whoever gets the most applause gets arrested – and then we let them know if they are right or wrong.”
Murderers of course will be switched around from show to show as well to keep everyone on their toes. “It will change every night.” Azzara said there will also be a surprise during the show’s intermission as well.
Meanwhile, membership in the Red Deer Players is open to people of all ages who are interested in theatre who want to participate in the group’s activities, and who share their objectives and values.
“We aim to be an active community theatre group participating in diverse theatrical activities for our own enjoyment and for the entertainment of the wider community,” notes the web site. “We provide opportunities for people of all ages to participate in, and be entertained by, diverse theatrical activities.”
Red Deer Player’s next main stage production will be Mass Appeal by Bill C. Davis. The show will be directed by Lori Lane with the assistance of David Weiss.
Nine performances of Mass Appeal will be staged at the Scott Block theatre from Feb. 5th to Feb. 20th. “The wry comedy-drama focuses on the conflict between a complacent Roman Catholic pastor and the idealistic young deacon who is assigned to his affluent, suburban parish.”
Meanwhile, tickets for Lifeless in Las Vegas by calling Sue at 403-749-2856 or visiting www.reddeerplayers.com.