Thursday, March 22, 2012

Comedy Mystery to Open Eunice Players' Theatre’s 43rd Season

The Eunice Players’ Theatre is preparing to open its 43rd season with a comedy mystery, “The Murder Room”, directed by Jody L. Powell. Written by Jack Sharkey, the two-act show is a whodunit filled to the brim with quick and witty dialogue, inept criminals, bumbling police, and other characters both scheming and idiotic.

The play follows the dastardly plot of one money hungry gold digger, Mavis, who is suspected of killing her wealthy husband, Edgar but nobody seems to know where the body went. When Edgar’s imbecilic daughter, Susan, arrives with her fiance’, Barry in tow, they unknowingly complicate Mavis’ plot. As the police attempt to solve the mystery of Edgar’s disappearance, his interfering housekeeper, Lottie, gets involved and chaos ensues.

Rehearsals are underway and the cast of stage veterans and those stepping on the Eunice stage for the first time are already creating characters that will have audiences in stitches as they hurl one-liners, Abbott-and-Costello style, back and forth.

Stepping onto the stage as the suspected murderess Mavis, is Mattie Guidry of Eunice, making her stage debut at EPT. Despite having not acted since high school in school and Christmas plays, Mattie’s comedic timing is impeccable and her costumes are stunning.

Returning to the EPT stage following his Irving-award winning role in “What the Bellhop Saw” is Glenn “Jay” Mentel, Jr. of Opelousas. Jay’s gift for physical comedy is proven in the role of Edgar, as he bumbles his way through the endless cellar steps and the man-eating window seat on the set that has as many tricks as the plot.

Also returning from “What the Bellhop Saw” is Shane Guilbeau of Lafayette. Shane plays James Crandall, a police inspector with a secret of his own. Audiences are sure to remember his portrayal of the hotel manager who kept audiences laughing with his comedic demeanor, his expressive face, and his impressive height.

Deborah D. Ardoin, recent Best Actress Irving Award winner for playing Mom in “A Nice Family Gathering”, has the role of Lottie, Mavis and Edgar’s housekeeper. Her interfering and gossipy ways might help the police – or confuse them even more.

Another newcomer to EPT is veteran actress Catharine Arceneaux of Lafayette, playing the role of Susan with perfect innocence and giddiness. A theatre minor in college, Catharine has Shakespearean and musical theatre experience.

Andy Doucet of Opelousas is a familiar face to EPT, having been in last year’s “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”, for which he won the Irving Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Andy fills the role of Barry, Susan’s impromptu fiance’ from Texas, who unknowingly complicates Mavis’ plot.

With lovably stupid characters and a script that crackles with silly wordplay and confusing questions, the play packs in laughs from beginning to end for a hilarious romp through the murder mystery genre with a resolution that is hard to see coming.

Evening performances will be held April 19, 20, 21, 25, 26 at 7:00 p.m. A matinee will be held Sunday, April 22 at 2:00 p.m. Dinner theatre (with steak and trimmings) is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 at 6:00 p.m. at Nick's on Second St., with the performance immediately following. Individual tickets for the show will be on sale soon. Season tickets are currently on sale at David Ltd. Salon and Turning Point in Eunice, or by calling David at 546-0163 or Debi at 457-2156 to charge by phone. More information can be found on EPT’s Facebook page or at