Monday, January 16, 2012
Pegasus Theatre’s The Frequency of Death! headed to Lewisville
The "Living Black & White" shows have been designed and produced by Pegasus Theatre since 1986.
A local theater production company is taking its first step in a state-wide tour with a performance at the Lewisville arts center.
Pegasus Theatre, based in Dallas, will present a new production of The Frequency of Death!, a comedy murder-mystery in "Living Black & White," for one week only in the Black Box at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater.
Evening shows of The Frequency of Death! will start at 8 p.m. January 26-28, with 3 p.m. matinee shows on January 28-29. Tickets are $35 for Saturday night, $30 general admission, and $20 for students and seniors on Friday night and at both matinees, and "pick-a-price" from $5 to $20 on Thursday evening.
Tickets are available at the Winspear Box Office of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora Street in Dallas; online at www.attpac.org or by phone at 214-880-0202. Advance tickets cannot be purchased at MCL Grand.
"This is a baby step in a state-wide tour, but we first wanted to build an audience in North Texas," said Kurt Kleinmann, artistic director for Pegasus Theatre and creator and writer of the "Living Black & White" series.
The Frequency of Death! takes place in the studios of radio station, WKIL, during a live broadcast of The Mystery Challenge. The program is hijacked by a mysterious voice -- that of "Dr. Big!" a demented but brilliant scientist who's crossed paths with Harry, Nigel, and Lt. Foster before. Dr. Big is bent on revenge -- no matter the cost. He's rigged the building to explode if anyone tries to come in or leave. The only hope the heroes have is to stop Dr. Big before the program signs off, permanently. The show is a parody of detective films on the 1930s and '40s.
Kleinmann returns as Harry Hunsacker in the production. Robert Bartley directs the cast, which includes Broadway and Off-Broadway star Susan Mansur, who has appeared in Steel Magnolias, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Damn Yankees.
Bartley is a New York director with North Texas roots. He directs Broadway Backwards, a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids that has starred more than 100 performers including Betty Buckley, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris, and Florence Henderson. Bartley is also an actor. He has appeared on Broadway in shows such as Miss Saigon; Cats; West Side Story with Beyonce, Chita Rivera, Meryl Streep, and Bette Midler; Off-Broadway in Clue; and in the film musical, The Producers.
"The audition turnout for this show was amazing. The local talent here is on par with New York City. A lot of the same actors want to come back for these murder-mystery shows year after year," Bartley said. "They have a loyal following of people."
The show is currently being performed at the Eisemann Center in Richardson.
"This show pays homage to the 1930s movie characters. It's filled with quirky characters, who are very suspicious of each other," Bartley said. "Three of the characters in this show have appeared in all of the 'Living Black & White' murder mysteries including Kurt's [Kleinmann] character, Harry. Harry is kind of innocent. His sidekick Nigel ends up giving all the credit to solving the crimes to Harry. Lt. Foster also appears in all the murder mysteries."
The murder-mystery shows have been performed for 26 years. There are 16 scripts and 23 productions. Kleinmann said unlike his other murder-mystery shows, The Frequency of Death! doesn't begin with a murder.
"This show is really like two shows in one," Kleinmann said. "Also, with this show the audience will get to see how old-time radio used to work."
Bartley said The Frequency of Death! is a family show. He said it's rated "G," but is suspenseful.
"The children really get into the show, which surprised me because I thought they wouldn't get into a black and white production," Kleinmann said. "The production of the show is a trade secret process we have been using."
The "Living Black & White" shows have been designed and produced by Pegasus Theatre since 1986. It uses a technique developed at Pegasus Theatre that combines trade-secret makeup, special lighting, meticulous costuming and set creation, and stylized acting to create the illusion that the audience is watching not just a play, but a 1940s black-and-white movie brought to life on stage.
Pegasus Theatre is a professional nonprofit theater that began in October 1985. The mission of Pegasus Theatre is to "produce new and original comedies in a professional setting, highlighting the talents of North Texas theatre artists."
For information, visit www.pegasustheatre.com.
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News
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