Review: MIND OVER MURDER gives us something to hear about with Pegasus Theatre
Mind Over Murder
Written by Kurt Kleinmann
Directed by Raymond Banda
Produced by Pegasus Theatre
I am the youngest child in my family…in fact, eighteen years younger than my next sibling. We often refer to them as Family number 1, where all photos of their existence are in black and white, and refer to my “in color” family as Family number 2. They have often shared stories of their lives, including pre-television nights sitting around a large radio console and listening to their favorite weekly radio shows. You were captivated by the sound of their voices only, and as these were often played live in front of a studio audience, only the audience could see the people playing those roles. The person listening could visualize the characters in their minds only. I know it is hard for this generation to understand how listening to a program rather than watching it on Netflix could be the least bit entertaining, but this really was how it used to be in the “old” days.
Pegasus Theatre presents Mind Over Murder in Thrilling RadioVizion is an example of a radio show that is staged for the entertainment of a live audience. We get to see the people behind the voice characterizations, and believe me, this is extremely entertaining. This cast is so great vocally that I found myself, several times, closing my eyes and just listening to them. What I heard and witnessed was a very enjoyable and laughter-filled evening.
Staging for this production was very simple. Music stands lined the front of the stage so the actors have a place to put their script. Actors sit on either side of the stage and wait for their turn to approach the front. At the back of the stage in the center is where the announcer, or foley, stands surrounded by objects that are used for sound effects throughout the production. John Harvey did an excellent job narrating the story. Lights and sound by Sofia Culpepper were appropriately set.
Director Raymond Banda assembled a cast of amazing artists who brought this 1939 stylized storyline by the amazing Kurt Kleinmann to life. The story begins with the death of Marko the Magnificent (played by Joseph Figueiras) at the hands of his unsuspecting assistant Tracy (played by Kellie Monahan-McElroy) who shoots him during a magic trick with a gun that should have not been loaded. Enter a cast of colorful characters and this becomes a true who-dunnit murder mystery.
Each member of the cast brought a fantastically stylized vocal interpretation to their character, and I enjoyed them all. Not to discredit any of the others, as everyone was perfectly cast, but standouts for me were the pairing of Harry Hunsacker (played by Danny Gallagher) and Nigel Grouse (played by Jonah Monroe), Doc Hopper (played by Ben Schroth), and Digby (played by Gordon Fox). Not only listening to them, but watching them as they performed, I found myself laughing out loud many times. And, by the end, my cheeks hurt from smiling throughout.
If you have never seen a radio show performed, you really must go and see this show. I was so entertained hearing AND watching this cast, and the audience was in constant laughter along with me. Do yourself a favor, bring a friend and get tickets to see this show. The Bath House Cultural Center is the perfect spot for this production, and trust me, you will have a laughter-filled evening. Tickets can be found at pegasustheatre.org
Audience Rating: PG-13 (gun shot, screams)
Accessible Seating: Yes
Hearing Devices Available: Not available
Production Sound Level: Comfortable
Sensory Friendly Showing: Not available
Go See the Show!
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