Below you'll find our script descriptions and a link to the preview copies of the scripts. The preview copy is almost identical to the acting copy – minus the brief final solution scene. Keep in mind that we allow dialogue and title changes, if you request permission. While our shows are very PG and we think they are VERY tame, we don’t know your audience. If you find something problematic, just contact us and we’ll give you permission to omit or adapt.
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Scripts FEATURE Key
all my murders
Everyone’s favorite soap opera, “The Day After Tomorrow” (TDAT), is going “on location” in your town. Cameron Dickinson, the show’s writer/director, is replacing cast members with people from the audience. These amateur actors will join the daytime drama’s stars — including Cameron’s wife, ex-wife, and latest girlfriend. Previously, on TDAT, residents of “Summit Valley” have coped with false pregnancies, alien abductions, arson, cults, and, of course, ghosts. During the rehearsal, they experience a very real drama when one of the stars is murdered. But, luckily, an audience member is also a cop. Unit set (mostly furniture and set dressing, rather than flats, doors, etc.) Simple, but numerous, props. Simple costumes. Royalty includes one “clean copy” of the TDAT script (used in the rehearsal) for you to photocopy. 4 m, 3 f. 1.5 hours.
audition for murder
Famous film director, David Howard, is auditioning for “extras” in his soon-to-filmed epic, “The Red Babushka.” Audience members are recruited to “read” for roles and David stages scenes using them and his “stars.” One of these is his wife, Diane, a “serious” dramatic actress of the theatre. The other is her sister, Katie, a “not-so-serious” (but very popular) television star. Katie and Diane are appearing together for the first time — if David can keep them from killing each other, that is. But while he is able to prevent that particular homicide, he is powerless when Katie’s drunken ex-husband is poisoned. Or when his assistant is shot, in a stage “accident.” A star-struck young security guard takes charge of the investigation. Minimal set, mostly furniture. Minimal props, costumes. Royalty fee includes “clean copy” of audition scenes to reproduce. 4 m, 3 f. 1.5 hours.
A perfect Halloween mystery, this takes place in a newsroom. The copy boy, Sterling, brings an idea to the story conference: a real vampire on the loose. The “Chief” and veteran reporters, Lindy and Dottie, are skeptical — until they meet one of the vampire’s victims. Then the entire staff is hot to get the story and track down the “biter.” But before they can, they need help. Expert help. And who better to help than the world’s first vampire detectives, Freddy and Mimsy Borogroves? Fred and Mimsy waltz into the investigation with their usual charm and wit and lead the way to the vampire’s coffin. What the audience finds there, in addition to what they witness in the newsroom, will enable them to identify the vampire among them. Minimal dressing and furniture in playing area. Separate location is “vampire’s lair” complete with coffin. We used fog, music, black light, etc., for atmosphere. Not necessary — but neat. Costumes include evening wear for Freddy & Mimsy. Minimal props. 4 m, 3 f. 1.25 hours.
You know how murderous you feel after getting a bad review? A critic pays the ultimate penalty for a lifetime of deception and general nastiness. This mystery was written to be performed within a fund raising event, but could also be a “stand alone.” There are multiple endings — the audience votes for the guilty party to determine which solution scene is played. It is almost entirely improvisational and flexible, to easily fit into any other activities you may have planned for your event. The script includes a ‘back story’ for the characters, descriptions of confrontational scenes and scripted solutions. It also includes ideas for incorporating silent and oral auctions, ‘buying’ clues, raffles, etc. 3 m, 4 f. 15 minutes of script, plus LOTS of improv.
the curse of the hopeless diamond
Reginald Potter has his hands full. For one thing, his young wife, Daphne, wants to revive her Vegas career bankrolled by Reggie’s money. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have money — just the famous, fabulous and very cursed Potter Diamond. You would think Reggie could count on the famous detectives he’s hired to guard the jewel — and protect HIM from the curse. But they seem to be less than competent (an understatement!). Basil Benchley recounts past cases while overlooking evidence under his nose. Felicity Crump rocks and knits slipper-socks for her “boys in the slammer” — criminals she’s apprehended. Kelly Boggs, the world’s oldest teenage detective, is obsessed with forensics. And Harry Dinker is too busy changing into various disguises to guard the Diamond — or protect Reggie from its Curse. Will Reggie survive the evening? Will the Diamond be stolen? Will the gypsy Curse on the Hopeless Diamond claim another victim? Set is a simple “display” for the Diamond. Props include a “diamond” and “forensic kit” for Kelly. We used kitchen implements, chemistry set items, etc. Costumes include a lot of “disguises” for Harry — simple to pull, he’s not exactly a master of disguise. Royalties include a copy of the physical evidence — a newspaper clipping, suitable for photocopying. 3 m, 3 f. Full version 1.25 hours; Mini-version 25 minutes, requires circulating/improv.
dead and deader
Filming was halted on the horror film, DEAD AND DEADER, one year ago, following the death of its star, Lacey LaFleur. Now, the director of the film, Frederico De Medici, is attempting to complete the picture. Audience members are used as extras — playing FBI men, the screaming crowd, panicked bystanders, and one who portrays the “virgin.” They are all involved when leading man Billy Barton is murdered. It could have something to do with the diary that Lacey gave him, right before she died. If she did, indeed, die. Simple unit set — mostly dressing and furniture. Costumes and props are simple. Royalty includes a premise sheet which can be copied and posted (or placed on tables) and a copy of the physical evidence — the last page of Lacey’s diary. 3 m, 4 f. 1.25 hours.
the death of dr. pepper
Dr. Pepper is searching for his wife. She was supposed to meet him at the mystery event. He asks everyone if they’ve seen her and leaves messages with audience members. Obviously, he is very worried. He no sooner leaves than Mrs. Pepper arrives. And arrives. And arrives. Three women claim be Mrs. Pepper. It would be very easy to identify the real one — if only Dr. Pepper was still alive to tell us. Double (or is it triple?) jeopardy may allow a murderess to get away with murder. No set, minimal props, costumes. Royalty includes a copy of the physical evidence — a letter from the real Mrs. Pepper. 3 m, 3 f. 50 minutes.
The Fatal Fifties Affair
The cast of the 50’s TV sitcom, “Make Way For Winky,” is on a reunion tour and makes an appearance in your town. They are being interviewed by local tv host, Barry “The Hatchet” West, who’s had some recent emotional problems. When an audience member is suddenly murdered, Barry’s alter-ego takes over — a tough-talking, no-nonsense private eye. He’ll lead the audience to find out who was blackmailing the members of the TV family, and why. Evidently, they’re not as wholesome and “apple pie” as they were on the tube. 2 m, 4 f. 1.25 hours. Set is furniture, arranged “talk show” style. Costumes are minimal. (This is a great mystery to combine with a theme. We had the audience dress in “fifties” and gave prizes.) Props are minimal. Opportunities to add fifties-style musical acts as part of the event.
Funeral For a Gangster
As the audience enters, a sign informs them that they are going back in time to 1928 and joining the Mob sendoff for the late Vito “The Gut” Marzetti. Your location becomes a speakeasy, “Ruby’s Place,” where the grieving family is holding “services” for the Don. They include Joey “The Lump,” Frankie “Marbles” and the proprietor of the club, Ruby “Fingers” Marzetti. And, of course, Lena, the “Gut’s” heartbroken widow. Or is she? Maybe she just wants to find the Godfather’s stash and needs her stepchildren (and the audience) to help figure out Vito’s last game. A G-man leads the way in discovering who murdered Vito (after his third helping of moo goo gai pan — he wasn’t called “The Gut” for nothing!) and the location of the cash. Set is mostly dressing. A piano is needed for the playing area. Costumes are “twenties” garb. Like FIFTIES, this mystery is a great one for a costume contest. Opportunities to add musical acts as part of the club’s acts. Minimal props. 3 m, 2 f. 1 hour.
the ghost of jeb taylor
150 years ago no one mourned the passing of miser Jeb Taylor. No one except the Sheriff, who never solved his murder. So now the lawmaker has returned, along with the ghosts of the people who were near the scene of the crime — Jeb’s Inn. This is an historic mystery which was originally performed using the Ohio Erie Canal as its backdrop. Can easily be used in conjunction with any historical landmark, or a fictitious one. The mystery is a progressive one — a scene sets up the premise and then the “ghosts” circulate, giving their piece of the puzzle. Or the audience visits each ghost’s location. No set, outside of your location. Costumes reflect the period. Royalty includes a mock-up of a “Wanted” poster used in the mystery, a written introduction page, and a page to take notes on each character. Minimal props. 9 m, 5 f, 1 girl. 40 minutes.
the great high school whodunit
Your school becomes the fictional Dudley High. A sign at the door informs all who enter that they are students at Dudley High. The reason for the gathering (an assembly, a dinner, etc.) is to honor the Dudley Family, who’ve donated money to the school. The student characters include: Rita, the cheerleader; Breeze, the activist; and the troublemakers, Rusty and Reptile. Besides the principal, Mr. Richmond, the Dudley staff is represented by: Rooper, the frustrated, strict vice-principal; the dedicated Coach who wants Dudley money for sports; Becky, the sweet-but-incompetent secretary; and Mr. Trumbull, English teacher and man-about-town. And, of course, there’s the Dudley’s themselves: Daphne (not overly bright and in love with Mr. Trumbull); Mr. Dudley (a compulsive gambler); and Mrs. Dudley, who does for motherhood what detentions do for student morale. Mrs. Dudley’s ring — which she placed in the school safe for security — is stolen. Fortunately, a stranger appears — an FBI agent — ready to conduct the investigation. Except. . .a second stranger arrives, also claiming to be an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. One is the real article. One the infamous jewel thief, Jack of Hearts. The audience must unmask the jewel thief’s accomplice and discover the location of the stolen ring. The script contains two versions: one with murder, one without. Set consists of chairs. Costumes, props are minimal. 7 m, 8 f (all characters, adult and “student”, can be played by young people, adults or a combo of both. In fact, one memorable performance I attended had the kids playing the adults and vice versa!). 50 minutes; doesn’t require circulating/improv or clue hunt, but we highly recommend doing those. Royalties include a special Whodunit Production Manual. Also sent to producing organizations is a Whodunit Production Packet. This includes materials suitable for photocopying with your dates added: flyers announcing auditions, audition forms, and “teaser” flyers for posting prior to the event. Also part of the Packet: sample press releases and the actual physical evidence — the poem message for Jack. Opportunities to inject musical numbers as entertainment for the Dudley’s.
An elopement of 100 years ago was cut short by murder. The ghosts return to relive the day that led up to the dastardly deed. This includes the victim, a gambler, Diamond Jack, who is a southern gentleman in the Rhett Butler tradition. It’s easy to see why Charlotte Worthington, the spoiled daughter of the house, fell for him. He’s still handsome and charming — even with the bloodied knife protruding from his chest. We originally did this at a very atmospheric, restored mansion, but any location will do. We also used fog and lighting effects with each ghost’s entrance — which is not necessary but adds immeasurably to the ambiance, regardless of where it is performed. No set. Period costumes. Minimal props. Royalties include a “premise sheet” which can be copied and posted or placed at tables (if tables are used.) Also, a copy of the physical evidence (Charlotte’s letter to Jack) is provided. 5 m, 3 f. 30 minutes; requires circulating/improv.
honeymoon from hell
Anything that CAN go wrong, HAS gone wrong aboard the S.S. Amore, a not-so-luxurious honeymoon cruise ship. Captain Giovanni Della Robbia is trying to calm the passengers, with the assistance of the cruise director, Gina. It’s talent night aboard the Amore and Gina recruits audience members to join in the competition (we also used karaoke). Just when it looks like the cruise won’t be a total disaster, the Captain is murdered. Suspects include honeymooners, the crew, and Chef Fredo — whose temperament is matched by the large knife he wields. Minimal set, props. Costumes are cruise uniforms and tropical wear (another great opportunity to have audience members dress up). Royalty includes a copy of the physical evidence — a torn piece of newspaper — suitable for photocopying. Also, I provide a copy of a “premise” sheet, which can be reproduced and posted or placed on tables (if tables are used). 4 m, 3 f. 1.25 hours.
the last dance of dr. disco
Join the disco dancing at Studio 182, where Dr. Disco has hatched a nefarious plot to take over the world by putting subliminal messages into disco music. His nurse, Ilsa Hump, is in on the scheme, but his whiny daughter Margie and the disco king, Tony Menudo, are clueless. It will take a British Secret Agent to foil the evil plot. It’s James Bond meets Saturday Night Fever with a little Austin Powers thrown in. Set is anything to create a disco-club atmosphere. 70’s period costumes, simple props. 3 m, 4 f. Full version: 1.5 hours; Mini-Version: 25 minutes, requires circulating/improv. Musical dance numbers. Production package includes clue hunt, and other supplemental printed materials.
murder at the company party
Roy “Takeover” Tackett has “crashed” the company party and announced his plans to take over the company. He’s accompanied by his young bride, Bobbie, who will be upset to find her former lover and ice dancing partner, Robbie, is among the guests. The “home office” has sent its best troubleshooter, Marshall Monroe, in an attempt to head off disaster, but to no avail. When “Takeover” is murdered, they become suspects, along with his ex-wife, his teenage son, Skippy, and the inebriated Mrs. Monroe. Luckily, famed private eye, Nick Hardy, is on the scene. No set, minimal props, costumes. Opportunities to add musical numbers as part of the dinner’s entertainment. 5 m, 3 f. 40 minutes, requires circulating/improv. This mystery can work for clubs or associations, as well as companies and corporations. There is no clue hunt and it should be performed in conjunction with dinner. While it can be performed at any time of the year, it’s written to be done at Holiday Parties.
murder by magic
Your organization has hired Merchant Entertainment to offer an evening of spooky thrills and ghostly apparitions. It’s the anniversary of a long ago tragedy (at your location OR at a supposed theatre that once stood where your location is now. You can use a lot of “theatrical license” in setting up the premise of the mystery). Lois Merchant sets the stage. In 1929 the vaudeville magician “Morgo the Magnificent,” was performing , assisted by his beautiful wife, Clarisse. Something went tragically wrong with the act. The high point of their performance was when Morgo would “saw” Clarisse in half. And on that fateful night he sawed her in half. REALLY sawed her in half. In grief and remorse Morgo hanged himself and the couple haunts the location to this day. Lois has hired noted seer, Simone the Psychic, who will lead the audience in a seance to contact the ghosts of Morgo and Clarisse. Unfortunately, Simone appears to be a “few crystals short of a ball” and the seance does not proceed exactly as planned. Simple set (special lighting, sound, and fog effects add to the atmosphere). Costumes include formal wear for Morgo, magician assistant costume for Clarisse, and outlandish clothes for Simone. Simple props. Production package includes clue hunt, and other supplemental materials. 2 m. 4 f, 1 host/hostess. 1.25 hours. A gay reference (mistaken, no one is gay); some naughty bits, including reference to lack of sexual prowess.
murder, country style
Someone has been sending threatening letters to Tucker Stumpp, head of the Stumpp Family Singers. The entire family, including nephews Flint (the hunk) and Eugene (the dweeb), and the twins, Doreen and Mae Rue, come under suspicion. The bodyguard, Patrick J., joins forces with a local policewoman to try and identify the author(s) and stop the hired killer. The mystery includes a “shoot-out” in the audience. Set is mostly “dressing”: bales of hay, anything western or country, musical instruments. Opportunities to add other musical acts as “openers” for the Stumpps, who may or may not actually perform. Costumes — Western gear. Royalty includes “clean copy” of the physical evidence to reproduce. 5 m, 3 f. 1.25 hours. Real singers/musicians as the Stumpps is preferable, but not absolutely necessary.
murder in 3-d
The principals involved in the unfinished, 3-D, almost-masterpiece, “In Your Face,” reassemble with film critic, S.D. Kramer, to talk about the movie and its director, the late Alex Chapman. The planned screening of the incomplete film is canceled, however, after the untimely death of one of the major forces in the film — the legendary, talented (and troublesome) Jack Tremaine. But before he dies, Jack reveals that Alex wasn’t killed by the fire that consumed his home twenty years ago. He was dead before the fire — Jack knows — he saw him there. In fact, Jack has a diagram of the room — the scene of the crime. The audience will find this diagram and discover who is guilty of murder. Or murders. Set consists of chairs around a coffee table. Costumes and props are minimal. Royalty includes a copy of the physical evidence — a floor plan of the scene of the crime — suitable for reproduction. 3 m, 3 f. 1.25 hours.
murder in black & white
An innocent(?) audience member is poisoned and three others have close calls. All have one thing in common — a name. Ann White. But, outside of that, they have very LITTLE in common. One is a waitress at a diner, one is a kindergarten teacher, and the other is a “personal escort.” The detective who takes command of the investigation must decide which of the three is the real intended victim. . .and which one is the murderer. Audience members are called upon to “testify” about things they learned about the victim, before her untimely demise. Minimal set — whatever you want. Minimal props, costumes. 4 m, 4 f. Full Version 1 hour; Mini Version 25 min., requires circulation/improv. Also, not only is it Holiday tweakable - but we've already done it - instead of Murder in B&W, it's MURDER IN RED AND GREEN!
murder, medium rare
The setting is a dinner, honoring the noted cookbook author and critic, Marjorie Richmond, who makes a grand entrance accompanied by her much-younger, henpecked husband, Jeffrey. The characters/actors in this mystery are part of the wait staff at the banquet. There’s nerdy, near-sighted Milton, ever-emotional Blanche, and the sweet-young-thing (and Jeffrey’s former girlfriend), Kim. Chef Roberto Di Napoli is there as well, fussing over the food and vainly trying to win Marjorie’s approval and endorsement. When Marjorie is murdered, two undercover cops take over the investigation. (“Undercover” here is one character in “drag” — BAD drag. We’ve done it with a moustached actor) Audience members are called upon to testify about what they witnessed during dinner. The undercover cops (Joe Carmen and Hank Miranda i.e. “Carmen and Miranda”) conduct a “detection election” so the audience can vote for their favorite killer candidate. This mystery features multiple endings — depending on the audience choice. There is no clue hunt. There is no set. Minimal props. Costumes include Hank’s outfit and wait staff uniforms. Royalty includes a page of ballots, suitable for copying, for the “detection election.” 5 m, 3 f. 45 minutes, requires circulating/improv.
My Fatal Valentine
At a convention of romance writers, the contenders for the LoveKnot Book of the Year Award are anxious to find out who wins the prize. Among the nominated authors are two spinster sisters, a young prodigy and her overbearing mother, a British aristocrat, a rude and obnoxious social climber, and a rough and tough dude and his bimbo girlfriend. Editor Benton Fish tries to keep the award ceremonies civilized amid jealousies and rivalries. When the winner is announced and then abruptly murdered, it will be up to the amateur detectives in the audience to vote for who they think “dunit”. This mystery has multiple endings — whoever receives the most votes will, indeed, be the killer. Each character has a solution scene. There is no clue hunt, but an intermission during which the cast circulates among the audience, in order to be personally interrogated. We included musical specialty acts as part of the award “ceremonies” and had interpretive readings from the nominated books. These can be done by other actors, local celebrities (radio personalities, political figures, etc.), recruited audience members or a combination of all three. No set, except for some chairs. Minimal props, costumes. Royalty includes copies of interpretive readings and a sheet (suitable for photocopying) of ballots. 8 f, 3 m. 1.5 hours. This (obviously) was originally done around Valentine’s Day. A title change can make it adaptable to any time of year.
pajama party murder
Bartholomew Cosmo — eccentric inventor and millionaire — is dead. His instructions to his lawyer, Pettibone, list his heirs and describe each. And he’s left a condition to their inheritance — they must spend the night in Cosmo Manor and discover the whereabouts of his most valuable possession — the patent to the Cosmo Inflatable Neck Pillow. Audience members will fail in their attempts to impersonate the heirs. Which is just as well, for when the lights go out, two people end up very dead. One is a family member — the other a total stranger. The set is more involved than most — a room at Cosmo Manor. We did a lot with furniture and set dressing rather than walls. Props are simple, but numerous. Costumes are pajamas (yet again another opportunity to get have the audience dress up!) Royalty includes one copy, to reproduce, of the physical evidence — the poem from Bartholomew Cosmo. 3 m, 4 f. 1.25 hours.
phantom of (your location)
It’s the out-of-town tryout for yet another “Phantom.” The producer, Clinton Slade, is attempting to keep peace and mollify the artistic force behind the production, the genius impresario, Marco Virelli. Marco is being his usual temperamental and difficult self. He is imperious with his sister, Theresa, his wife, Alexis, and his boorish brother-in-law, Timmy. Maria, the ingenue, is the only one with whom he has any patience. Producer Slade watches as his show, and his investment, go “down the drain” after one of the principal players is murdered. Among the suspects is another “Phantom” — the one who haunts your location and is seen and heard, in glimpses, throughout the performance. Set is minimal (this is a “preview”!), but a piano is needed. Props are simple. Costumes include evening wear for Marco and a Phantom mask/cape. Props are minimal. Opportunity to add Marco singing, pre-show. 4 m, 3 f. 1.25 hours. References to adultery, illegitimate pregnancy, promiscuity.
reality bites back
Rich entrepreneur Martin Duckworth loves reality shows and has invented his own game – a combination of the best (and worst!) of “Survivor” and “Apprentice.” Marty wants to give real, live, regular people a chance to win a spot as CEO of one of his companies AND a million bucks. The contestants include macho-man Chip, Pete The Roofer, and Pete’s new feminist girlfriend, Marsha. Blake, the wine snob, annoys all – even Laurie, the gambler. Judge Tammy tries to keep things semi-honest as the contestants, with help from the audience, face three final challenges. But by the end of the event the winner might not be who can “outwit” or “outlast” but who can OUTLIVE! No set. Simple costumes/props. Production Packet includes optional clue hunt and other printed materials. 4 m, 3 f. plus Host/Hostess. 1 hour.
reunion at hippie high
Even hippies go to their class reunion. It’s a time to reminisce about the good old days of free love, protests, and the Age of Aquarius. The senior class president, Leo Templeton, hosts the evening which includes performances by the cheerleaders and the men’s glee club (all recruited from the audience). Leo’s wife, Linda (known as “Boonie” in high school) is thrilled to see her old girlfriends, “Rainy” and “Sky.” Leo is less than thrilled to see either of them — more so when Sky’s son “Oak” disrupts the proceedings and overthrows the reunion — “for the people.” Oak is only following in the footsteps of the school’s most infamous alumnus, “Che” who is still underground (or is he?) after an attempted bombing of an Army/Navy store). Oak’s protest is upstaged by the surprise appearance of the last member of their high school clique — “Phib” — who supposedly drowned just before graduation. Add murder to the evening’s festivities and the search is on to discover the secret hidden in the last page of the yearbook. Set can be as elaborate as you wish, decorations, etc. Costumes include one for the school mascot and sixties wear. Another opportunity to have the audience dress up. Sixties-style musical acts can be incorporated. Props are minimal. Royalty includes mock-ups of “Leonard Templeton For Judge” flyers to be posted. Also includes mock-up of the yearbook page which is the physical evidence. 4 m, 4 f. Full version 1.25 hours; Mini-Version 25 minutes, requires circulating/improv. Includes references you may want omit/change and a plot point that involves “free love.”
seance at (your location)
Madame Zodiak, world famous astrologer, is attending your mystery. So it’s very lucky that, when the mystery troupe fails to show, she is there to entertain. Accompanying her are her much-younger new husband, Taurus, and her mousy, incompetent secretary/companion, Gemini. No sooner does Madame begin her lecture, however, when she is interrupted by a heckler. This heckler is Dr. Leo Turnbull, who is enraged that she is allowed to speak. He is a true scientist and is furious that she is allowed to spread her astrology hokum. And so, when Madame is poisoned, it would appear that he would be an immediate suspect. Or so think the others. It will be up to Security Guard Horace Cope (get it — HORACE COPE???) to lead the investigation and find out not only WHO murdered Madame, but HOW they did it in plain view of everyone. No set beyond chairs/stools. Minimal props. Costumes include something elaborate and exotic for Madame, lab coat, security guard uniform. 3 m, 2 f. 1 hour. References (obviously) to astrology — but very much tongue-in-cheek. The “seance” is actually a device at the very end to bring Madame back so she can give instructions to the audience before the clue hunt.
trouble at the talent show
Written especially for high schools—but any group could do it—this show features music along with the usual Moushey mayhem. An All-School Talent Show leads to fierce competition between The Tiffanys, The Jocks, The Grungies, and The Regs (regular kids). The Lunch Ladies and Maintenance Guys are also in the show despite their bitter rivalry. Show Choir Director Sheryl and Drama Teacher Mark keep the show moving. But before the judging is complete one contestant winds up out of contention! You can use your own talent acts or our songs. These are songs in the public domain for which new lyrics have been written. A CD will be sent with production materials. It includes two tracks of each song – one with vocals, one without. (So you can use it during performance). Set can be whatever you want — keeping with the “variety show” theme. 5 m, 13f, and 5 that can be either. Most roles can be gender-switched and cast can be expanded even further. 1.25 hours.
wake the dead
The family of the poor, dearly, departed Patrick Joseph Patrick gathers to mourn that darlin’ man after following his coffin into the room. But, like most Irish wakes, this one winds up in a real “donnybrook.” Besides the grieving, strong-willed widow, Bridget, there’s her oldest, Seamus; her favorite child, Daniel, his wife Maureen; and the baby, Martin, who is “almost” a priest. (Actually, he’s not even in the seminary yet, but don’t let Bridget hear you say that! In her eyes, he’s already a priest. And that is THAT.) The only one missing is Daniel’s twin, Donald. He is represented at the wake by his American wife, Maggie. When one of them “joins” Patrick during the wake, the investigation begins, including a visit to the scene of the crime. No set. Minimal props, including a coffin. We used a piper to lead the procession. Costumes include black/mourning wear for the ladies, Irish tweeds/woolens for the men, except for Martin who is wearing a clerical collar and cassock. Royalties include “premise sheet” which can be posted or placed on tables (if tables are used.) 4 m, 3 f. 1.5 hours. References to adultery, gay relationships, birth control, naughty bits.
wedding from hell
You’ve been to weddings where something goes wrong? Try everything. Bruce and Tina face it all. The groom’s snobbish, aristocratic mother, Sylvia, registers her disapproval of the nuptials by wearing black and attempting to dissuade him from the marriage even as the Bridal March begins. The soloist looks as if he’s a Guns And Roses groupie. The judge hired to perform the ceremony is drunk. The wrong tux was delivered to the bride’s father, Jackie, who tries to ease the tension by trying out some of the gags from his novelty store (including a whoopie cushion for Sylvia). The photographer is an old boyfriend of Tina’s. Bruce’s old girlfriend interrupts the wedding. The family maid uses the ceremony to declare her love for the groom. The cake is a mess. Tina’s dress came from a thrift store, due to a last minute mixup. She breaks the heel from her shoe as she comes down the aisle. The wedding napkins read “Bruce and Tuna.” A stranger shows up in time to die. You get the picture. Set is as elaborate (and tacky) as you want. Props are minimal. Costumes are wedding wear (the worse, the better). We used this as another occasion to have the audience dress up. We asked them to wear the worst wedding outfits they could find. And they did. Royalties include 25 copies of the set of photo clues (additional copies can be purchased for a minimal fee). “Bruce and Tuna” wedding napkins can also be purchased. 5 m, 4 f. Full Version 1.25 hours; Mini-Version 25 minutes, requires circulating/improv. naughty bits.
win, lose, or die!
A game show with murder in the bonus round! Lyrical Pursuit, the popular game show where knowledge of lyrics could lead to fame and riches, has come to your town. Host Sparky Duke invites audience members to challenge the current Lyric King, Furlong Shemp. But before the show is over, someone winds up very dead. Could it be Sparky’s glamorous assistant, Daisy? Or the disgruntled ex-champ? Or is there something about the sponsor that doesn’t quite ring true? Simple sets, costumes, props. Musical accompaniment is necessary. Production package includes clue hunt, and other supplemental printed materials. 4 m. 2 f. 1.5 hours. Cast can be expanded instead of using audience members for contestants. A few lines you may want to change.