Northwest High School delivered yet another stellar production over the weekend in its performance of Daniel O'Donnell's "Murder by Indecision." The murder mystery-comedy provided a fun time for all ages as the audience was taken into a flashback of "Agatha Crispy's" last play.
"Murder by Indecision," a parody of the work of Agatha Christie, begins with dancers, all dressed in black, giving an amusing message to turn off cell phones to the theme song from "Mission: Impossible." Next, Jessica Vissari as Ruth Less, Crispy's agent, introduces the senile playwright -- and the fun is on.
Mary Hanson plays Crispy, an old playwright who spends much of the show on stage alone, talking to her imaginary friend, Typy. As Crispy begins to write her play, the curtain opens and her characters come to life on stage.
Acting highlights include Hanson in her portrayal of Crispy, Michael Hovde in his very amusing and energetic portrayal of Victor Greedly, and Brad Irish in his portrayal of Inspector Dreyfuss.
Many creative devices are employed to heighten the action. When Crispy crumples a sheet of the play because she doesn't like what she writes, the characters physically crumple, too. When Crispy deletes her words, the characters perform the erased movements backward.
A constant throughout the show is random bursts of arbitrary characters to show Crispy's mind slipping. In the first act, there is a montage of disconnected characters, including a delivery man who asks the audience if anyone ordered a pizza. He is followed by a character from the "Three Musketeers," Batman and Batgirl, a spoof of a "Star Wars" battle and more; some appearances are very funny while others are confusing.
Most of the performance's technical elements were satisfactory, but several microphones were not working. To the performers' credit, they were able to project their voices to be heard.
The lighting and scenery were very professional and made the performance more enjoyable.
Despite the show's sound complications and a slight tendency to drag at times, Northwest's take on Daniel O'Donnell's "Murder by Indecision" was unique and tremendously entertaining. The whole audience enjoyed a jolly good time.
Wootton High School
Northwest High School's "Murder by Indecision" is not your typical murder mystery but a spoof of an aging female playwright obviously tailored to the legendary novelist Agatha Christie.
The main character is Agatha Crispy, and as she attempts to write one last masterpiece, her senility seems to place her in contact with her storybook characters more than she would like.
The evening was filled with modern humor and a tad of audience participation that made the play worth watching. This included creative pre-show announcements by girls in leather outfits.
Susan O'Neill as Victoria Greedly and Pat Newcomer as William Greedly were outstanding in their portrayal of snobby, rich children. Michael Hovde gave an excellent performance as Victor Greedly and kept the audience in stitches throughout the evening.
A few technical difficulties in sound affected performances. Music cut off during one dance number, and the performers had difficulty in playing it off.
All in all, however, this was a hilarious comedy for people of all ages.
Wheaton High School