It’s A Mystery: Stories on Stage
Preview by Mare Trevathan
Americans LOVE a good mystery.
The mystery novel tends to be the highest grossing book genre in the nation. (The “Fifty Shades of Gray” series helped romance claim that spot for awhile several years back.)
“Some of our greatest American literature is of the mystery genre,” says Stories on Stage Artistic Director Anthony Powell.
“We love engaging with the problem-solving aspect… the puzzle of it. It’s the original interactive media.”
And, thus, Powell determined to create an entire show devoted to the American murder mystery.
“I Love a Mystery”– performing just one weekend in March– features surprising, suspenseful and even comedic short stories performed by some of the most acclaimed actors of the region.
Anne Penner (star of last year’s one-woman performance of “The Year of Magical Thinking”) will read Charlene Holden’s “No Limits” in duet with Laurence Curry (of “The Wild Party” and “Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies”).
Penner’s character is a tough high school principal who “isn’t at ALL what she seems to be,” says Powell. “She’s a strong and capable female character, which you can find in mysteries but it’s still evolving.”
Frequent Stories on Stage performer Jim Hunt will read “The Would-Be Widower”– a wickedly funny, Agatha Award-winning story by Katherine Hall Page about a husband who longs to be rid of his wife.
The story was presented to Powell by a Stories on Stage attendee. “Our audience members frequently make great recommendations,” he says. “They understand what works read aloud on stage.”
And what DOES a story need to work aloud?
“A solid plot line, humor, and emotional resonance, of course,” says Powell.
“But first and foremost the story needs characters who are striving for something, trying to change their lives somehow, or simply working to overcome obstacles. Characters that transform in some way or learn something important about themselves.”
These days, adds Powell, he also typically looks for “at least a little bit of hope in the stories that we’re planning to do, perhaps some sense that human beings are basically good — or at least trying to be good.”
As regards this show, however, Powell says, “I’d have to say that NONE of that necessarily applies to murder mysteries… so all bets are off!”
“I Love A Mystery” performs Saturday, March 9 at 7:30pm at the Nomad Theater (1410 Quince Ave, Boulder, CO 80304) and Sunday, March 10, at 1:30pm and 6:30pm at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center (721 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204). Suggested for ages 14+.
Additionally, the show will be accompanied by the annual Stories on Stage silent auction, with the chance to snag a deal on theater tickets, restaurant vouchers, art and jewelry, all while supporting this vibrant Colorado arts nonprofit.
Tickets are $15-28 (no fees!), with “scholarships” available to those in financial need at storiesonstage.org or 303-494-0523. Seating is General Admission. The show is followed by free homemade cookies and milk.
This program is being sponsored by Linda Roberts Zinn.