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A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody

Ron Bernas

Full Length Play, Comedy

4m, 2f

ISBN: 9780573670381

"A delightful surprise...an evening of fun just on the proper side of slapstick." - Lansing State Journal

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Description

Full Length Play

Comedy

Mystery/Thriller

105 Minutes

Time Period - Contemporary

Settings Of Play - A mansion's study, with exits leading to a patio and a passageway to the kitchen and the front of the house.

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Physical Comedy

Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

CAUTIONS

Alcohol, Mild Adult Themes

TAGS

Love, Marriage

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)

PERFORMANCE GROUP

High School/Secondary, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Shoestring Budget

Winner! Community Theatre Association of Michigan New Plays Competition

This six-character comedy is a spoof of and love letter to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and to stage mysteries in general. It is a one-set, two-act piece featuring witty dialogue and slapstick comedy.

The play opens with the rich, bored Matthew promising to kill his rich, bored wife Julia so he can become a jet setter like his friend who recently lost his wife. Julia, who's always about three steps ahead of him, plays along. And so the game begins - a hilarious year-long match of wits and the witless.

During the year the play takes place, there are several mysterious deaths that occur on the grounds of the family estate, a butler who is not what he seems, a detective who can't buy a clue, and two innocents (sort of) caught in the hilarity as they plan their wedding. While Julia cleverly dodges Matthew's devious murder attempts, the Perry friends and staff are dying off mysteriously. It seems Matthew is successful in murdering everyone but Julia.

As the bodies fall, dim-witted daughter Bunny contemplates calling off her wedding to unwitting Donald since all the intended gift-bearing guests are dying. Enter Detective Plotnik - a Sam Spade reincarnation who suspects everyone, but hasn't a clue. That is, not until Donald stumbles upon Julia and gentlemanly butler Buttram in what Donald mistakenly perceives as a compromising situation. Donald jumps to the conclusion that Julia is the murderer - trying to murder Matthew!  It ends in a nice bang and with a bit of a message about the importance of love.

"A delightful surprise...an evening of fun just on the proper side of slapstick." - Lansing State Journal

"Comedy packs laughs...a delightful play...a medley of laughs...the play has charm, and is really funny." - News-Herald, Southgate, MI

This play won the Michigan Playwriting Competition and was first performed in 1991 by Grosse Pointe Theatre, Michigan's premiere community theater.
Characters

CASTING

4m, 2f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Ensemble cast, Parts for Senior Actors

Rental Materials

MUSICAL STYLE

N/A (Not a musical)

Author

Ron Bernas

Ron Bernas is the author of several plays, most of which are in his desk drawer or propping up a rickety table in the basement. His award-winning mystery comedy A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody is published by Samuel French and has been performed all over the country, as well as in Germany, Israel, Australia, and Canada. view full profile

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