The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940


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The victims in John Bishop's spoof of 1930s mystery comedies are Broadway show people preparing for an audition in their benefactor's cavernous home. With campy fervor they chase one another through secret passageways (of course), reveal secret identities (of course), and eventually explain the murderous spree's convoluted whys and hows. Under Ray Frewen's direction the acting is appropriately over-the-top, and Carol Blanchard's costumes reflect the period and each character's distinct personality. The show just isn't very funny, unless you enjoy Bob Hope-y corn ("You can't see a foot in front of you--or the rest of the body, for that matter!"). If Frewen and his cast can't rely on the script for laughs, they need to squeeze more out of the characters. But with the exception of Iris Lieberman as a boozy lyricist and Gene Weygandt as a questionably Irish tenor, they don't. Through 3/6: Wed 8 PM, Thu 2 and 8 PM, Fri 8:30 PM, Sat 5:30 and 9 PM, Sun 2:30 and 7 PM. Drury Lane Oakbrook, Roosevelt and Butterfield, Oakbrook Terrace, 630-530-0111. $22-$26; dinner packages available.

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