Auburn Players The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 recognized by the Theater Association of New York State with six awards

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The Auburn Players Community Theatre is pleased to announce that the Theater Association of New York (TANYS) has awarded our production of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 with six TANYS awards. As part of TANYS’ services is adjudication. Adjudication provides an outside eye that allows our productions not only to bring applause, but also to grow.

Michael Antico received an Outstanding Achievement Award for his portrayal of Eddie McCuen.

Michael Antico received an Outstanding Achievement Award for his portrayal of Eddie McCuen.

TANYS awards are given in three categories, Meritorious Achievement, Excellence, and Outstanding Achievement. The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 received four awards for Excellence, and two awards for Outstanding Achievement. We are proud of this cast and crew.

TANYS highest award is the Outstanding Achievement award for demonstrating quality rarely seen on stage. Two actors in our production received this highest award. The wonderful and fabulous Michael Antico and Katie Bruno wowed the audience and the adjudicator for their portrayal of Eddie McCuen and Helsa Wenzel. Adjudicator Paul Nelson was blown away by physicality of both performances, bringing us into the world of this comedy farce.

Katie Bruno as Helsa Wenzel in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

Katie Bruno as Helsa Wenzel in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

Receiving Excellence awards were Virginia Fennessy for the costumes and set design. Last week we highlighted the building of the set. The adjudicator noted the attention to detail, from the piano to the books and the functionality of the secret passages. We are thankful for the many volunteers who came out to bring Ginny’s vision to life. Bob Frame’s direction received praise and an award, and the overall production value that his staff was able to convey.

Adjudicator Nelson also complimented the wonderful cast of the show, that was able to work so well together in this ensemble piece. In a show where the entire company must be on stage practically the entire time, Nelson was impressed how the cast was able to interact so naturally and without weaknesses.

 

 

Excellence in Scenic and Costume Design and Execution to Virginia Fennessy 

Excellence in Direction to Bob Frame

Excellence in Overall Production Value to Bob Frame and the Production Staff

Excellence in Ensemble Acting to the Cast

Outstanding Acting to Katie Bruno for her portrayal of Helsa Wenzel

Outstanding Acting to Michael Antico for his portrayal of Eddie McCuen

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be April 17th, 18th, and 19th. Tickets are $14 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors. Tickets online are available at ShowTix4U.com.

Photos from The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

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This hilarious comedy will be a must see! The action begins as Elsa Von Grossenknueten invites a broadway team to her lovely, old, kind of weird house, with secret passages, blood soaked carpets, and (of course) isolated by a snowstorm. The broadway team are just coming off a flop that was ruined by a string a murders by an unknown killer only known as the Stage Door Slasher. The police prove to be little help as the bodies begin to pile up. On April 17th, 18th, and 19th Auburn Players Community Theatre will present The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 directed by Bob Frame.

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be April 17th, 18th, and 19th. Tickets are $14 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors. Tickets online are available at ShowTix4U.com.

Building the Set for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

The character Marjorie says it best, “A secret passage Elsa? Where does it lead? My goodness, Nancy Drew would be in seventh heaven here, wouldn’t she?”

Designer Virginia Fennessy had the same thoughts in mind as she designed this set. The show has a set of Nancy Drew but with the comedy of Scooby Doo. It was a lot of fun building this set with secret doors and sliding compartments. This time lapse video was taken over the course of tech build weekend. Enjoy.

The Auburn Players would like to thank the hard working volunteers who built our set.

Alicia Frame, Angie Bringley, Ann Frame, Ashley Bobbett, Bob Frame, Chris Yeckel, Clare Lopez, Dale Fennessy, Ed Beck, Eden Gadsby, Heather McNeil, Jenn Derbyshire, Jim Gadsby, Katie Bruno, Kristen Beck, Kristin Bridges, Lilith Panek, Lindsay R. Day, Melissa Panek, Mike Panek, Molly Sharples, Rob Fragoman, Rob Saurini, Rose Fennessy, Seth Kennedy, Stephen Dougherty, Terri Gadsby, Tess Kennedy, Tony Saurini, Virginia Fennessy, and Zach Saurini

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940: Meet the Cast- Alicia Frame and Michael Antico

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Today our actors spotlight highlight two very talented members of the cast of the Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Alicia Frame plays the role of Nikki Crandall, a chorus girl auditioning for a role in a backers audition. Likewise, Michael Antico’s character Eddie McCuen is a comedian also auditioning.

Michael Antico and Alicia Frame in Auburn Player's The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

Michael Antico and Alicia Frame in Auburn Player’s The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

Their characters have a lot in common. Both are arriving at the Von Grossenknueten estate on a snowy day and are trapped there by the snow. While the production team of Roger Hopewell, Bernice Roth, Marjorie Baverstock, and Ken De La Maize have history and known each other for years, Eddie and Nikki are newcomers to the group, oblivious of the danger of the State Door Slasher.

Alicia Frame plays Nikki Crandall, the chorus girl

Alicia Frame plays Nikki Crandall, the chorus girl

According to Antico, “Eddie is a very quirky character and full of energy. However in between his bad jokes and gags are moments of genuine sincerity which make him lovable and very real.” In a lot of ways Eddie and Nikki are the characters that audiences can relate most to.

“Nikki is a contrast to the other farcical characters of the show. (Nikki) is not exaggerated but instead is the character that audiences follow, easily relating to her levelheadness and grounding in reality,” agrees Frame.

Alicia Frame has been performing with the Auburn Players for the past two decades, while this is Michael Antico’s second production with us. Alicia was born in Central New York and attended Skaneateles High School. The Merry Go Round Youth Tour has given her the opportunity to stay local and use her theatre degree. The challenge of performing for the elementary school youth is in contrast to the more adult choices she can make in this show.

Michael Antico plays Eddie McCuen a fast talking struggling comedian

Michael Antico plays Eddie McCuen a fast talking struggling comedian

Michael Antico was also brought into this community by Merry Go Round. Unlike many of the Playhouse’s employees that are seasonal, Antico has made Auburn his home and become a wonderful asset to our community. Whether he is teaching acting classes at Auburn Public Theatre, or preparing for his next project with the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival he is part of the growing performing arts community of Auburn.

The Auburn Players and our community both benefit from the creative energy that these two bring with them. We hope to see you at our production this weekend on April 17th, 18th and 19th.

 

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be Friday the April 17th at 8 PM, Saturday the 18th at 8PM, and Sunday the 19th. Tickets are $14 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at ShowTix4U.com.

Props bring us into the world of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

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The most visible face of the Auburn Players has always been the actors in the shows. Today we want to highlight an important part of what we do, props. Anything that is movable on stage that isn’t furniture or costumes fall under the domain of the props mistress, in this show Terri Gadsby.

A Portrait of Baron Wilhelm Von Grossenknueten hangs proudly in the library.

A Portrait of Baron Wilhelm Von Grossenknueten hangs proudly in the library.

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 is set in the library of the Von Grossenknueten mansion. The host, Elsa Von Grossenknueten has invited a successful broadway production staff for a backers audition. The only stain on the teams stellar record is a flop Manhattan Holiday, a show that was cut short due to a string a murders.

The mansion is laced with secret passages. When asked why Elsa explains, “My father, who built this house, was Baron Wilhelm Von Grossenknueten… He was the Kaiser’s Chief of Espionage and the most brilliant intelligence mind in European History.”

But why the secret passages?

“It was the only way he could leave the room,” says Elsa.

The attention of the audience will be drawn to the portrait for less than a minute, however for Gadsby finding the perfect portrait to fit what we know about the Elsa’s father became a task. Terri was thrilled with what she was able to find. Other props simply bring us into the time period, like an antique cathedral radio.

Terri Gadsby has been busy tracking down and finding a variety of weapons for our next show, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.

The show, being a both a comedy and a murder mystery does lend itself to a variety of weapons, from comically large knives, guns, candlesticks, ropes, and a saber. Although the variety of weapons makes it sound like a game of clue, at least we know the action happens in the library of a well decorated 1940 library of a mansion. Beyond props, bringing back in time to 1940 will be set and costumer designer Virginia Fennessy and the set assistant Ashley Bobbett. Check back next week for more information on building the set, and join us for the show on Friday the 17th, Saturday the 18th, or Sunday the 19th at Cayuga Community College.

 

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be April 17th, 18th, and 19th. Tickets are $14 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors. Tickets online are available at ShowTix4U.com.