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Killer jokes: Auburn Players presenting 'Musical Comedy Murders of 1940' this weekend

Killer jokes: Auburn Players presenting 'Musical Comedy Murders of 1940' this weekend

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Musical theater can often feel life-or-death. For the characters of the Auburn Players Community Theatre's next show, it is.

The group will present John Bishop's "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" this weekend at Cayuga Community College. The murder mystery send-up, first performed in New York City in 1987, finds the creative team behind a Broadway flop preparing for a backer's audition of its new show at a snowed-in Westchester estate. There, however, they're again haunted by the Stage Door Slasher, who killed three chorus girls on the team's previous show.

CCC theater professor Bob Frame will direct the production — a circumstance that drew many of the performers to audition for it, cast member Ed Beck said. Some, such as Mike Antico in the role of comedian Eddie McCuen and Clare Lopez as Bernice Roth, are currently working with the Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre, Beck said.

"It's a cast of 10, and five of them are professional actors being a part of this community theater show," said Beck, who first performed with the Auburn Players as a fourth-grader in its production of "Pippin." 

Beck will portray Roger Hopewell, the composer on the creative team in "The Musical Comedy Murders." As Roth, Lopez plays the lyricist who partners with Hopewell. Her preoccupation with the way the audition is going — despite people being murdered all around her — exemplifies the humor of Bishop's show, Beck said.

"A lot of the humor in it is the situation," he said. "This is going to be a really great show."

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or david.wilcox@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.

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