(Opinion) The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 Review

Georgia Southern’s Theater Department of the Armstrong campus recently performed The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 which I attended on the evening of Thursday, October 6. This stage play focuses on a group of creatives, a wealthy estate owner, and a German maid who all find themselves caught in the middle of the elusive “Stage Door Slasher’s” murder spree while auditions for a new production are taking place.
The Comedy was written by John Bishop, and was directed by Travis Spangenburg with the Georgia Southern Theater Department. Although the production was delayed by hurricane Ian, the show did go on.
Overall I enjoyed the theatrics of the performance; the set, the accents, the costumes and the drama. There were however, a few flaws that, in my humble opinion, made the show less than ideal.
The show was longer than I had anticipated. It ran approximately 30 minutes longer than other comparable productions, as I had sat down at 7:30 and did not leave the theater until almost 10:30, after a brief greeting and congratulation to the cast.
Now, it is possible that this was a stylistic choice, but at times it felt like the dialogue was dragging a bit.
The greatest weakness by far was the dated script itself. As someone born in the most recent century, I think I missed out on a lot of the comedy based on references and humor appropriate to the time of the play’s premiere.
I would hate to leave anyone reading this with a bad outlook of the entire production because by no means, was it poor. I am aware that countless hours of rehearsal and set/costume creation go into every production at Georgia Southern, and it showed; the actors and crew were phenomenal.
I cannot recall a single cue missed or a line forgotten. I think that the cast and crew performed with passion and to the absolute best of their abilities.
The use of the stage and set was the most entertaining part, with scooby-doo-esque entries and exits through the trap door props. The air of mystery and anticipation kept my attention and the layers of plot twists made for good entertainment.
The hardest part of this review is how critical I felt about the show. I have nothing but respect and appreciation for the cast and crew, but I did not enjoy this production as much as others such as Carrie: The Musical.
I do look forward to the next performance from the Georgia Southern’s Theater Department, as the cast and crew have always put an admirable fervor and dedication into their work. My purpose in this review is not to paint a negative picture of the performance, but fulfill my obligation.