RiverStage Community Theatre will present ‘The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940’ Feb. 20-22 at the Milton Area High School, 700 Mahoning St., Milton. The show will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-21 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 22. The cast features, front and from left, Caroline Pogust, Steve Aguirre and Isaac J. Connor. Second row, Ben Hartman, Brandy Vasey, Andrew Shaffer, Sarah Bell, Fred Hooper and Diane Scott. And rear, Virginia Zimmerman and Max Gustafson.

MILTON — The body count will hit at least two during a slapstick comedy set to hit the stage in Milton.

RiverStage Community Theatre will present “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” Feb. 20-22 at the Milton Area High School, 700 Mahoning St., Milton. The curtain on the show will rise at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20-21 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Tickets for the show are $15.

“It’s a broad physical comedy,” Jove Graham, the show’s director, said. “It’s about people that work in the musical theater business. It’s a mystery. There are 10 characters that get stranded in a mansion in the winter. They have to figure out who the killer is.”

Without giving away the plot of the show, Graham teased that the group starts out discussing a murder which had previously taken place. As the show progresses, at least one more murder occurs.

“It’s a slapstick comedy,” he said.

Graham noted that the Milton Area High School’s auditorium is the perfect venue for the performance.

“We really needed the big stage,” he said. “The school district is very gracious in letting us take over their stage for a couple weeks.”

RiverStage Community Theatre is an all-volunteer group. Graham said auditions where held in December, with rehearsals starting right after the start of the year.

“We practice a couple times a week,” he said. “It’s about six hours in the beginning. Next week, we will be here about every day. It’s a lot of work.”

The theater group’s board of directors reviews play scripts throughout the year in order to select the perfect shows for the group to stage. RiverStage presents three different shows per year.

“We always like to do funny shows, especially in the winter,” Graham said. “There are about 10 people in this play. There’s a high school student all the way up to adults who have been doing this a long time.”

“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” was written by John Bishop.

The RiverStage Community Theatre cast features: Caroline Pogust as Helsa Wenzel, Sarah Bell as Elsa Von Grossenknueten, Ben Hartman as Sgt. Michael Kelly, Andrew Shaffer as Patrick O’Reilly, Brandy Vasey as Nikki Crandall, Isaac J. Conner as Ken De La Maize, Steve Aguirre as Eddie McCuen, Virginia Zimmerman as Marjorie Baverstock, Fred Hooper as Roger Hopewell, Diane Scott as Bernice Roth and Max Gustafson as The Butler.

For more information on the show or the theater group, visit www.riverstagetheatre.org.

Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email kevin@standard-journal.com.

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