Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011

Don't Just Stand There

(Do Something)

By Russ Bickerstaff
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As a culture, we are overwhelmed by commerce this time of year. This is so completely obvious that it'™s become a cliche. I felt weird even writing that first sentence its so obvious and over-said. But the weird thing about the commerce this time of year is the illusion of activity. All the advertising--”all of the sales and everything re trying to get consumers in an ailing economy to go out and buy things . . . but the act of buying things is so inherently passive in an economy like ours that it's actually kind of mindless and perfunctory.

This holiday season, the Alchemist Theatre looks to actually actively engage and interact with people. I know, it's kind of a weird concept, but it just might be fun. Who Killed The Ghost of Christmas Past? Is one of two yuletide homicide shows opening on the same day in different towns. Neil Haven'™s relentless Who Killed Santa? Opens December 1st in Racine while the Alchemist show opens the same night in Bay View.

The newer of the two, Who Killed The Ghost of Christmas Past? Is a piece written by Michael Timm in the style of a murder mystery party. AActors not only work from scripted scenes, they also interact with audience as they search for clues. Yes, as a member of the audience, you are challenged to work out the answer posed by the title. I know, it'™s kind of an imposition on you to have to actually do some work of your own at one of these holiday shows--”its tough, but you do have the opportunity to get rewarded if you play along. From the press release:

"Prizes for winning murder mystery teams sponsored by Alchemist Theatre, Blackbird Bar, Braise Restaurant & Culinary School, Bryant's Cocktail Lounge, Hi-Fi Cafe, and Next Act Theatre." So consider yourself motivated. Tickets are $15. Particularly sharp audience members might get some of that back in prize value. Sounds like fun.

 

Also from the press release:

"Ellen Dunphy plays feisty cowgirl Layla Jones; Erin Hartman plays twin sisters Dora and Nora Verdandi; Greg Maronde is hapless playwright Kristoff Carpenter; Chris Poff is illiterate custodian Arlo Stanpipe; Greg Ryan is theater owner Ernest Ledgeworth; Becca Segal is aspiring actress Daphne Dangerfield; Lineve Thurman is newspaper reporter Blair Rutherford; Alice Wilson is vaudevillian ex-clown Mavis Becherstein."

Who Killed The Ghost of Christmas Past? Runs December 1st- 17th at the Alchemist Theatre. For ticket reservations, visit the Alchemist online.

 

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