CHAGRIN FALLS -- Drop in on Chagrin Valley Little Theatre's production of "Drop Dead!" and help solve the murder mystery.
If you think putting on a show is complicated, imagine what would happen if your team included a trained Shakespearean actor, an ex-TV star, an ex-porn star, an aging grande dame with hearing and memory loss, a naive apprentice and a TV repairman.
These are just a few of the characters attendees will meet in the farcical comedy "Drop Dead!" which opens a four-weekend run on the main stage at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, 8 p.m. June 2. Written by popular playwrights Billy van Zandt and Jane Milmore, "Drop Dead!" is a physical comedy set around a play-within-a- play; a potboiler murder mystery with an oddball cast of has-been actors seeking to revive their flagging careers.
The budget for this off-off Broadway production is so tight that the only piece of furniture on stage is a couch, while the rest is painted on the walls. According to director Barbara L. Rhoades, "Drop Dead!" begins at the dress rehearsal for this ill-fated production, in which the set falls apart, props break and the producer and an actor are murdered. On opening night, the murders continue.
But the show must go on, and the remaining actors strive to save the show, save their careers, solve the mystery and stay alive for curtain calls.
"The audience can play along, guessing who the murderer is with a $1 entry into a 50/50 raffle," Rhoades says. "All they have to do is select the character that they think is the murderer and turn in a ballot at intermission. At the end of the show, a winner will be selected from among the correct ballots."
Included in the cast are John Peters, Adam Young, Jenny Barrett, Eric Oswald, Marcy Staninger, Michael Rogan, Matthew Mayer, Dottie Emerick and Chris Herak.
The show is presented 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through June 24 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on June 11. It is intended for mature audiences due to sexual innuendo and mild adult language. Tickets are $18, with a $4 discount for seniors and students. Contact the box office at 440-247- 8955, visit CVLT.org, or stop in at 40 River St. in Chagrin Falls.