2019 Fall Dinner Theater 

The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940

by John Bishop 



John Bishop’s The Musical Comedy Murders Of 1940, a non-musical farce, Directed by Mickey Morstad

Great River Arts is seeking a diverse cast of adult performers for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940! We are proud to cast both new and returning actors, and encourage everyone of all abilities, experience, and background to audition! Not into musicals? Don’t let the title fool you, this is a NON-musical play! 


The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher”) assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy financier. The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways, and a German maid who is apparently four different people--all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem which follows when the infamous “Slasher” makes their reappearance and strikes again--and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors, and director prepare their performance, and a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases, and accusing fingers point in all directions. The remaining survivors must solve the mystery before time runs out--but not before the audience has been treated to a side-splitting good time and a generous serving of the author’s biting satire and refreshingly irreverent wit. 


Sunday, August 25th - 2pm - 4pm

Monday, August 26th - 6pm - 8pm

Great River Arts, 122 1st St. SE, Little Falls, MN 56345

Callbacks will be Wednesday, August 28th @ 6pm if needed


Please bring the completed audition form to your audition. No need to prepare anything else, cuttings of the script will be provided.


Rehearsals will begin on Monday, September 9th and will run M - Th 6:00pm - 9:00pm, with some Saturday mornings/afternoons as needed. Tech rehearsals are Saturday 10/12, Monday 10/14, Tuesday 10/15, and Wednesday 10/16. Rehearsal schedule is subject to slight modification based on cast availability. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO ATTEND ALL TECH REHEARSALS AND PERFORMANCES!


The ages listed do not refer to your actual age, but to what you can reasonably play on stage. *These roles have some very light singing as a group, just two short verses.

*Nikki Crandall (F 20s - 30s): A typical chorus girl who is at the mansion to audition for the new musical. Young and attractive, Nikki eventually reveals there is more to her than meets the eye.

*Eddie McCuen (M 20s - 30s): An “incredibly struggling” young comedian who is out of work, hoping to make a break with this audition. He has an attraction to Nikki and transforms from cowardly at the beginning of the play to heroic by the end.

Marjorie Baverstock (F 30s - 50s): A Broadway producer who holds herself like royalty. She constantly flatters everyone around her and speaks in elevated language.

*Roger Hopewell (M 20s - 50s): The composer for the new musical. Roger is a gregarious personality who makes snide and sassy remarks throughout the plays, yet flares up whenever someone insults his musical style. 

Bernice Roth (F 20s - 50s): The perpetually thirsty lyricist for the new musical. Bernice is very odd and emotional, frequently losing her composure and screaming, especially as the danger of the situation unfolds.

Elsa Von Grossenknueten (F 40s - 60s): The eccentric owner of the Grossenknueten estate, and the financial backer of many musicals. Elsa summons the group together in an attempt to find out the identity of the Stage Door Slasher. 

Helsa Wenzel (F 20s - 50s): The German maid of the Grossenknueten estate. Helsa has a mysterious past and many secrets. A German accent would be fun for this character.

Michael Kelly (M 20s - 50s):  An undercover cop Elsa has enlisted to help her find the Stage Door Slasher who pretends, at first, to be her butler. His tough, no-nonsense attitude puts him at odds with the dramatic personalities around him.

*Patrick O’Reilly (M 20s - 50s): A man who claims to be an Irish tenor at the mansion for the audition. O’Reilly acts very suspicious, especially in regard to Helsa, and eventually turns out not to be who he seems. An Irish accent would be fun for this character.

Ken De La Maize (M 20s - 50s): A famous film and stage director. He is a “typical” snobby director, speaking of theatre as a “pure art” and name-dropping constantly to make himself look better. 

Performance Dates

October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

Doors & Drinks start at 5:00 p.m.
Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
Performance at 7:00 p.m.
Dinner Theater General Admission - $40
Table reservations may be made for groups of 6 or 8. We request that payment be made in full at time of reservation.

October 20, 27
Doors: 1pm
Show: 2pm
Coffee & dessert served at intermission
Matinee General Admission - $20












Dinner Menu:

Dinner will be catered by the A.T. The Black and White.

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All card carrying members of the Theatre and Actors Guild of Brainerd will receive one free drink ticket for each performance or concert they attend at Great River Arts in appreciation for their community to the arts.

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Brainerd Area Theatre Actors Guild

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Enjoy a few photo’s from our previous Dinner Theater Productions!