RUPERT – Every great Broadway story has an equally nasty villain.
Without those baddies there’s no plot.
Imagine The Wizard of Oz with just the Good Witch; or the Thenardiers of Les Misérables without our hero Jean Valjean. And you certainly can’t have Jekyll without Hyde.
To highlight those scoundrels, the very people who brought you Seasons of Love return this month with the polar opposite Murder, Murder: the Villains of Broadway.
“We were riding on the coat tails of Seasons of Love that was hugely successful. We thought we’d strike while the iron’s hot and remind people of that great show and of the caliber of the talent there. It’s a bigger and better show with a bigger and better set,” organizer Lori Wilson said.
At 7 p.m., starting Thursday, Oct. 24 and continuing at the same time through Saturday, Wilson and fellow organizers plan to present the villainous production. The event costs $10 with proceeds going toward the ongoing renovations of the Wilson Theatre and to provide scholarships for the annual Rise up and Sing Summer Music Camp. Organizers hope to raise around $5000. Last spring, the production Seasons of Love netted organizers $4,000 which provided 40 scholarships to aspiring entertainers.
Normally officials present just one production but opted to host a second one, Wilson said.
“This was one show I had been kicking around. Spring isn’t a very good time to do a villain show,” she said.
Murder Murder opens with a huge production number from the popular Phantom of the Opera.
“Then we’ll be featuring some things that are lesser known shows that will leave you wondering why you never hear them,” she said, adding that one of those is “Poor Unfortunate Souls” sung by Ursula the evil queen of the underworld in The Little Mermaid.
Made up of a cast of 17 people, the performers include Wilson, Rob Newman, Andy Smithson, Sarah and Garrett Condie, Casey and Kyrstin Tindall, Makyla Barras, Megi Jones, Zach Mencl, Melanie McBride, Julie Plocher, Burton Anderson, Trina Smith, Leslie Crafton, Clay Handy, Penne Main and Amber Tribe.
“It’s going to be such a fun show. The process has been a blast. These are fantastically talented performers who need very little direction. They’re very self-motivated. We just turn each person loose with their music. We put it together with one rehearsal a week. That’s unheard of; usually it’s four or five rehearsals a week,” she said.
Other numbers include a production of the song “I Put a Spell on You” from the movie Hocus Pocus. They’ll also present the number “Master of the House” from Les Miserables sung by the Thenardiers. Also featured is the song “Dentist!” from Little Shop of Horrors.
“It made Steve Martin famous. It’s hysterical. It’s a fun song to open the second act,” Wilson said.
Wilson plans to showcase the song “Have a Little Priest” from the play Sweeny Todd.
“You can’t have a Halloween show without Sweeny Todd in it. It’s a black comedy; I suppose you’d call it. It’s a little tongue in cheek,” she said.
Also included is a song from Annie where Miss Hannigan’s evil brother, Rooster, sings “Easy Street.”
“It’s a great song and dance number. It’s really fun and energetic. It lightens the mood after you’ve swallowed “Have a Little Priest.” You’re ready for a little lighter fare,” Wilson said.
One of the more interesting numbers comes from the play Wicked featuring the song “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.” This play provides the back-story for the play The Wizard of Oz.
“You can’t do a villain show without having some great witch songs,” Wilson said.
Wicked provides a different perspective on Glenda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
“Glenda is not all good, and the Wicked Witch of the West is not all bad. It tells why they do the things they do,” Wilson said.
The show closes with two numbers from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with the song “Murder Murder “ being performed.
“It’s the perfect ending for this show. It’s telling the story of when Hyde really overtakes Jekyll’s personality. Hyde finally embraces the freedom and the kind of evil joy he’s experiencing. He’s becoming this evil driven person rather than the buttoned up and careful character of Dr. Jekyll. It’s a super catchy song. You’ll be horrified at yourself singing ‘Murder, Murder,’ afterward,” she said.
The event provides a great way to entertain Mini-Cassians while also providing scholarships to budding performers.
“Rather than asking people to give donations, we instead give them a quality professional show where they don’t mind dropping $10 or $20 for the next generation of performers,” Wilson said.
The show is not to be missed, Wilson said.
“You could go to Boise or Salt Lake, but you could go see a great talent at the Rupert theatre and see a show that’s every bit as good,” she said.
Tickets may be purchased at the Wilson, the Rupert Book Store or Welch’s Music. For more information call 431-2313.