The high school Theater group performed The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 live at the Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena on April 19-23. The play follows Elsa Von Grossenkneuten, a theater financier who gathers a team of actors to produce a new theatrical experience after their previous play was deemed a flop. That play, Manhattan Holiday, was plagued by a mysterious killer, the “Stage Door Slasher,” who stabbed choir girls and has now returned for an encore.
Of this recent production, Atlas James ’25, one of the cast members, explained, “It’s challenging at times, but overall it’s fun … It’s been slow moving at times, but never too stressful. It’s stressful, but it’s not like my heart’s gonna explode. But compared to Much Ado [About Nothing], for me, it’s a lot more engaged.”
Theater teacher and Director Arden Thomas observed, “It was really exciting working with a set designer and scenic carpenter to build our first full set at Sequoyah … “We received an anonymous donation last year, which gave us enough money to hire a set designer / scenic carpenter / technical director.”
The production process for the musical seemed to go more or less smoothly, better even than last year’s play, but the same can’t be said for this spring’s dress rehearsal. “The soundboard broke, one character forgot to go on stage several times, one character had to leave due to laughing,” Assistant Director and Backstage Manager Charlotte Biancheri ’26 explained.
Although the open dress rehearsal did not quite go to plan, the cast and crew brought it all together for the final performances, putting on fantastic shows. All the actors sold the comedy of the play, making quippy jokes with some great slapstick humor. Even if you didn’t catch the theater performance, you should applaud and congratulate the cast and crew of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 for putting a ton of effort into crafting a wonderful audience experience.