COMEDY MURDER MYSTERIES
The Murderous Mrs. Maisey
M 3 (2 with doubling) F 15 Female about 60 minutes
Mrs. Maisey, an aspiring comic in the 1950s, is forced to leave New Yok after her husband disappears and she is suspected of his murder. To escape the press, she ends up living in his childhood home with his mother and grandmother on the coast of Georgia. A pair of female private detectives try to enhance the reputation of their agency by proving Mrs. Maisey's guilt or innocence.
"I can't remember the last time I laughed so many times out loud at a script." Stephanie Michalickek, Editor at Heuer.
Visitors from England
CISSY: Frederick, no! Say nothing. Give nothing away. People with books are always up to something.
FREDERICK: You're right, as always, darling.
CISSY; Of course I am, Freddy dear.
FREDERICK: Off you go Bookmobilers, out the door, there you go, Bob's your uncle.
FIONA: What? Who's Bob?
MRS. MAISEY: I have a 3 year old niece named Colleen. And I want her to be independent and strong. Last Christmas she wanted a toy vacuum cleaner. She bugged me for months. Auntie - tell Santa! Toy vacuum cleaner! Auntie! Auntie! So I got her a real one. Why mess around?
FIONA: Listen. "Dear Mrs. Malvey, There will be a murder this weekend at Two Three Seven Land's End Lane, unless you can prevent it. Enclosed $500. Collect another $500 on Monday, if everyone survives. Signed, Anonymous." Look! Letters cu out of magazines and newspapers! Just like in the movies. Well I know where I'm spending the weekend.
PRUDENCE: It's a local postmark. Interesting. Fiona, this could be a setup.
FIONA: Oh please! Don't try to play detective. $500! I could pay the rent, the heat.
FIONA: The phone bill -
PRUDENCE: Or me. A litle could come my way. I'm so poor I can't afford to pay attention.
Aunt Maggity’s Dark and Stormy Night
6 Female 4 Male 2 Flex unit set 60 minutes
Aunt Maggity’s house is known for its deadly spiders, stuffed cobras, and isolation; but it holds as many secrets as it does horrors. When she summons her four nieces; Lavinia the C.E.O., Lola and Chloe the NY fashion designers, and Francine, the amateur boxer, to her home for the reading of a will, they learn their parents have left $1 million to the first daughter to be married. The play soon becomes a competition of who can get married before midnight and claim the $1 million. Betrayals, deception, a rodeo clown, window seat stuffing, and a long lost daughter surface amidst the laughs.
Meet Aunt Maggity
and her beleaguered butler Humphries:
Maggity: Push, Humphries, push!
Humpries: (pushing her wheelchair) I’m pushing this thing as hard as I can!
Maggity: Put your back into it!
Humphries: You had the brake on again. Why do you do that? I’m an old man!
Maggity: I do it because you’re an old man and it’s the only exercise you get.
Richard explains why he never called for a second date:
Richard: Well, ah, you were wearing toreador pants, a kilt, and a black hood – and ah – I was wearing a 3-piece suit.
Chloe: Yeah: so?
Richard: A hood. Not attached to anything, just a hood. I thought it was odd. I don’t do well with odd.
Meet the Rodeo Clown, and Ozzie, Francine’s boxing manager
Ozzie: And he’s not a clown clown, he’s a rodeo clown. He was hitchhiking. I told him, man, that’s dangerous. Even for a clown.
Lola: Do something funny.
Chloe: Yeah make us laugh.
Lavinia: Aren’t you supposed to wear huge clown shoes?
Amelia: And a big red nose? Big red noses are funny.
Ozzie: Get this dudes: rodeo clowns are actually bull fighters. They’re there to protect the cowboys. If the cowboy falls off his horse, Chuck here would distract the bull. So of course he’s not going to wear clown shoes.
Representative productions: Tacoma Little Theater, WA., Mozingo Ctr. for Creative Arts, MO., Rapid City Drama Club, Canada, Marais Players, WI., Lift Your Spirits Performing Arts, PA., Masquerade Theater Company, Malta; Many Middle Schools & High Schools
Unmurdered: A Murder Mystery
12 F 1 M 3 Flex 45 minutes
When Dashiel Reznor, a murder mystery novelist with writer’s block, arrives at the Bygone Days Artists Retreat, he is looking forward to some R&R. However, his room is occupied by a very old and penniless opera singer named Anna Maria, who refuses to leave. The other guests are a colorful group of artists: Antelope Twomey, the poet laureate of Wyoming; interpretive dancers, and a woman who thinks she is Princess Anastasia, the last of the Romanovs. When Anna Maria appears to have been tossed out of the window, Detective Binnix is convinced of Dash’s guilt. When Binnix is seemingly defenestrated, all are convinced Dash is the killer. Will he be able to prove his innocence? Will he be able to overcome his writer’s block? With two entirely unexpected twists, this funny and smart play has mystery, poetry, dance, laughs, and surprises.
“the mystery, laughs, and surprises come to a screeching conclusion!”
Broadway World Kansas City
Is she Anastasia, the last of the Romanovs?
MADELYN: You don’t have any jewels, you poor as dirt pretend princess. And you never had any cause you’re not really a princess.
ANASTASIA: In my country, you would be dead right now.
MADELYN: In your country, you would be dead right now. Like the rest of the Romanovs, who were all killed in 1918.
Did the victim fall or was the victim pushed?
VERONICA: Oh, horrible, horrible! But how can you be sure she didn’t just fall?
BINNIX: Because it would be very difficult to wrap oneself in a bed sheet and then accidentally fall out of a window. One couldn’t walk, one could only take tiny hops. Like this. And it would be impossible to heave oneself out of the window.
VERONICA: I see that now.
BINNIX: It’s a high window. What that tells us is that the murderer is very strong to be able to throw a body out the window.
ADDALINDA: You mean strong like a man is strong?
ASTRID: Mr. Reznor is strong.
DASH: I’m not all that strong.
BINNIX: Are you hiding something?
REPRESENTATIVE PRODUCTIONS: Beckwith Theater Company, IN.; City of Roswell, GA.; John Brown University, AR.; Croton Academy of Arts, N.Y.; Plaza Playhouse Theatre, CA.; Windsor Gardens Community, CO.; many schools, arts academies, theatre camps
Dress Rehearsal for Murder
9 w 8 m unit set 6
At the isolated Bide-A-Wee Bed and Breakfast, an eclectic group of guests, including the famous young heiress Riviera Ritz-Carlton, gather for some R & R. When Riviera’s fiancé, Bernard the Mime, turns up dead, and his body then disappears, the list of suspects is long. The arrival of Riviera’s father, a bombastic billionaire with a penchant for firing people, complicates matters further. With loads of quirky dialogue, zany stage action and a “no murder after all” ending.
REPRESENTATIVE PRODUCTIONS: Stage Eleven, CO., Colorado ACT; Kiowa Creek Community Church, CO., Center for the Arts Bonita Springs, FLA.; Seattle Academy, WA.; Plymouth Uptown Players, MI.; Matthews Playhouse, NC; Dickinson State U., ND; Bainbridge Parks and Rec, WA.; Evans Senior Center, OH.; Caught in the Act Theater Group, MI.
The Inspector Tries to Take Charge
INSPECTOR: (Losing it – he begins to move around the stage) Could I have some quiet please, to ask some questions? I am a real Inspector, (Points to his badge) my badge isn’t a Merit Badge from the Girl Guides. I am a real Inspector!!
MRS. PEABODY: Well, that bit of temper was unnecessary.
INSPECTOR: Unnecessary? I’ve just been bound and gagged and dragged down the stairs! Now that was unnecessary.
MISS WILLINGFORD: We said we were sorry. I don’t know what else you want us to do.
The Mystery Begins….
INSPECTOR: What? Somebody is dead? No one was dead when I went upstairs! Can’t I leave you people alone for a second?
MOXIE: (Gets UP) We found him lying under the couch!
MINNIE: (Gets UP) Dead! Under the couch!
DR. PILZ: Yes, Inspector, they moved the couch, but I made them put it back!
INSPECTOR: Well we’re going to have to move the couch, aren’t we, to see the body. Lenny, if you’ll move the couch please.
LENNY: (LENNY and MUTHART move the couch) Move the couch here, move the couch there – without so much as a thank you!
INSPECTOR: (looking) There’s no body there.
The Mystery Unravels….
MRS. PEABODY: Mr. Carlton said he would let Riviera marry Bernard over his dead body! He has motive- to keep Bernard from marrying his daughter!
MR. RITZ-CARLTON: I’m innocent!
BUTLER: You were choking him!
INSPECTOR: Mr. Ritz-Carlton? Do you have anything to say?
MR. RITZ-CARLTON: Pack your bags, Inspector. You are so fired!
RIVIERA: Daddy, stop it! You can’t just fire people that don’t even work for you! Listen, everybody, of course Daddy is innocent! Dr. Pilz was in love with me! He killed Bernard!
DR. PILZ: I’m innocent! Lenny was in love with Riviera- maybe Lenny killed him!
COOK: Oh, Lenny, now why would you go and do a thing like that? She’s hardly worth it.
POETIC LICENSE TO KILL
9 f., 5 m., 5 flex One indoor set @ 65 minutes
It’s a very bad day at the Bide-A-Wee Inn. It begins with the attack of a rare European Eagle Owl on an overdressed actress, and gets worse with three murder attempts on the life of Laurence Boothsby, a little known poet. From a slingshot to a bag of flour, anything becomes a weapon, and everyone—a mysterious Countess, a spoiled young heiress, a surly young Goth, an American billionaire named “The Ronald” Fitz-Charlton, his two apprentices, and the proverbial butler—is a suspect. Love triangles, lies, and hidden motives come to light under the investigation of Inspector Barish, who mixes intelligent detective work with American cop show flair to get the would-be killer.
Characters! Action! and Quotes from the Play!:
FITZ-CHARLTON : Do you have any other men stashed about the room, Riviera?
MOXIE: One minute you’re here, the next minute you’re practically clawed to death by a European Eagle Owl!
LAURENCE : I am transpierced!
COOK: What the heck is transpierced?
BETTYE: There’s nothing like being amongst a murderer to make one come to one’s senses.
LAURENCE: I am pinioned!
COOK: Pinioned? What the heck is that?
BUTLER : Oh no, not another murder attempt. Really, this is excessive.
PENELOPE : My name is not Pennyloafer. If you’d get out into the real world once in a while, you’d know that no one would name their kid after a shoe!
INSPECTOR: I know you all hear me; I’m standing right here. Just because you don’t see me, doesn’t mean I can’t see you.
COOK : He caved like a soggy soufflé, he did. Very good, Inspector, Sir.
Representive Productions: Caught In The Act Theater, MI.; Young Actor’s Theater, CO.; Schools, Churches, Theater Camps
No Body To Murder
Cast: 12 f 5 m 3 flex @ 40 minutes unit set
A hurricane and an escaped convict are racing towards the Bide A Wee Resort, whose colorful guests harbors an attempted murderer. With howling winds, raging suspicions, and a body in the windowseat, this is the perfect storm of mystery and comedy. The ‘no murder after all’ ending will take everyone by surprise.
Representative Productions: BE theater, TX.; Capital Theater, IA.; Beckwith Theater, MI.; Lonehill International Academy, South Africa; Brandon Youth Theater, Busboys and Poets, D.C., Bay City Players, MI.; City of Roswell, GA. many middle and high schools
Simple staging and lots of laughs
My most produced play
10 f 5 m 5 flex 45 minutes
Unit Set. Time: 1922
Wuthering Heights meets Downton Abbey meets Love, Actually. It’s the weekend of Algernon and Catherine’s wedding, and no one is happy about it. Not the bride and bridegroom, not the family, not the servants, not the Roving Society of Poets and Yeomen. But especially not Heathcliff and Lady Virginia, who have raced home from Mongolia to be at the wedding. When Catherine disappears, and Algernon falls over dead, it appears the wedding is off. But there are a lot of surprises in store— a body in the window seat, the performance of the Roving Society of Poets & Yeomen, secrets long kept revealed. Is it love, actually? Or is it actually murder?
BRUTUS: Brutus is young and strong. He is embarrassed that a woman hogtied him like that! He will never be the same.
NANNY: Don’t be embarrassed. Times are changing, and women are too. Some of them don’t wear hats or gloves, have you noticed? They’re cutting their hair short and showing their ankles. It’s scandalous.
BRUTUS: I’ve never met a woman like that Virginia. She wears boots. Her hair looked like the nest of angry birds. She had moths in her hair. Moths! She threw me on the
couch like I was a feather. My life has no meaning.
NANNY: You’re a circus acrobat turned bodyguard pretending to be a male nurse. And you have a job to do: protecting Catherine from herself. That’s meaning enough for anyone.
The characters include Garth the Scary Gardener:
Mrs. McGarragher: Oh, Garth! You scared us half to death!
Garth: I was weeding.
MRS. MCGARRAGHER: With an axe?!
GARTH: Big weeds.
Bernard, the very bad mime:
HILDA: I think you’ve overdone the makeup a bit. You look very pale.
BERNARD: It’s whiteface! Mimes are always in whiteface!
HILDA: And really, that eyeliner! It’s so passé. The natural look is in, you know.
Girl Guide Leaders for Outward Ho:
MS. HIBDON-BROWN: Miss Van Brune and I have had severe weather training in the Outward Ho.
HILDA: What do you do to stay safe in a thunderstorm?
MS. VAN BRUNE: You stay inside and hope it goes elsewhere.
HIBDON-BROWN/VAN BRUNE: (singing) Kum Ba Yah…anybody?
MEET THE CHARACTERS :
SOME NASTY, SOME NICE
BETTY: Lulu dear, you don’t have to curtsy. There’s no royalty here.
LULU: I apologize.
SPENCER: You’ve done nothing to apologize for.
ALMA: Or to be sorry for, it’s quite the same thing.
LULU: I’m so stupid!
SCARLET: Maybe a little.
SPENCER: Scarlet, she’s just a girl.
SCARLET: A girl who’s a little stupid.
REPRESENTATIVE PRODUCTIONS: Thornapple Players, MI.; Tallahatchie River Players, MS.; Children’s Theater Workshop, OH.; Nadia’s Performance Studio, Australia; Chagrin Valley Little Theater, OH.;
Mandurah Baptist College, Australia