Happy 2019!

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Happy New Year! And what a great year we aim to have! Can you believe we have already produced over twenty amazing productions over the years? We’ve done old Hollywood, the Roaring Twenties, Victorian England, a lunar landing, a pirate ship, superheroes, a post-apocalyptic future, and even a full-fledged musical! Where will our crazy imaginations take us this year? Well, we might eat some cake, take a long road trip, listen to the radio, play some colorful dress up, meet a tall, dark, furry stranger, and talk to a few birds. As one does. Intrigued? Let this preview of the 2019 season from Master Mystery Productions answer some of those burning questions.

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EAT CAKE

It’s 1789, and it’s the last hurrah for the French aristocracy before the guillotine cuts the celebration short. At the gilt-and-crystal splendor of Versailles, the eccentric and flamboyant Marquis Mauvais has taken up the latest fashion in “philanthropy” when he scoops up Brigitte the Bawd from the streets of Paris and aims to transform her from the slums to the salons. Contending with his fiancée, a vicious gossip, and a distinguished, yet doomed countess is a cake walk for the egotistical nobleman, but little does he know that his pet project intends to smuggle in dangerous revolutionaries into the palace. When a series of failed assassinations at multiple targets rock the Marquis’ apartments, a madcap maze of motives and mistaken identity is exposed. Who is responsible for the insanity? Is anyone truly innocent? In a farcical nod to the madness of Versailles and the French Revolution, Eat Cake is a hilarious, high-speed mystery comedy with wacky characters, screwball secrets, and tumultuous twists and turns that make you wonder if anyone can have their cake and eat it too.

Eat Cake opens our 2019 season and has us returning the majestic and magical Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley Junction where we staged our smash success musical, Exit Prima Donna, last year. Starring one of our most acclaimed casts yet, Eat Cake will be riotous romp full of mile-wide dresses, sky-high wigs, and enough shenanigans to start a revolution. We are so excited to bring this murder mystery comedy to life in one of our favorite new venues. Eat Cake is scheduled to perform March 23, March 30, April 6, and April 13 at 2 p.m. at Amargosa Opera House. More details will be available as we get closer to opening night.

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AFTER OZ

Something strange is happening over the rainbow. Years ago, young Dorothy Gale from Kansas thought she had a dream. A dream of a magical land filled with munchkins, living scarecrows, winged monkeys, and roads of yellow bricks. But as she’s grown older, she’s dismissed the odd memories as lingering strain from the cyclone she lived through. Until the cyclone returns. Dorothy is whisked from the Kansas prairie back to the Land of Oz…to stand trial. At the Emerald City, the witches of Oz seek justice for the deaths of East and West and the theft of the magical silver shoes, still in Dorothy’s possession. As Dorothy pleads her case to the jury, she has to embrace those memories and re-forge the connections to her old friends to remember exactly what happened in Oz all those years ago. Will you be able to help Dorothy get home again? Ride the cyclone with us, click your heels together, and help save Dorothy in a brand-new, family-friendly mystery adventure. You may know the original story, but do you know what happened after Oz? There’s no telling where the yellow brick road will lead you this time.

Inspired by the original book by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and performed for the 80th anniversary of the famous 1939 film, After Oz, a mystery on the yellow brick road, is planned to perform in July 2019. We are planning a new family-friendly production on par with Mutiny on the Sea Witch, which would also invite kids ages 8 and up to perform with us. We need Dorothys and Scarecrows and Witches galore. Auditions would be end of April 2019.

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THE SHEILA MONTGOMERY RADIO MYSTERIES

She’s bold and brassy.  Sassy, yet classy.  She’s feisty.  She’s sharp.  And she’s never afraid to speak her mind.  In a blossoming era of journalism, Sheila Montgomery is a tart-tongued, truth-seeking columnist for Veritas magazine whose features on the world at home and abroad grab national attention.  Navigating the 1930’s has gotten this determined dame into all sorts of adventures and encounters with the cream of crime.  Dastardly doings, perilous pastimes, and murderous mysteries are all in a day’s work for Sheila.  What happened to the vanishing newspaper mogul whose necktie is found folded up in the morning paper…and Sheila is the prime suspect?  Who…or what…could have spirited away a small child in the Ozarks?  With her keen brain, sharp eyes, and always listening ears, Sheila Montgomery has the best chance to solve these complex and dangerous puzzles…if she plays wisely.  After all, who know what will happen when you tune in next week?  Echoing the excitement of the Golden Age of Radio and the mystery quiz shows like The Adventures of Ellery Queen, join Sheila as an “armchair detective” in one of her mysterious adventures during The Sheila Montgomery Radio Mysteries.

Started last year, The Sheila Montgomery Radio Mysteries will feature the writing talents of many MMP favorites such as Daniel Stallings, Monica Lorenz, Devanne Fredette, Leslie Blake, and more with scripts inspired by classic 1930’s detective radio shows. Starring Skeleton Key and Diamond Mask Winner Katie Cozine as the titular Sheila Montgomery, the series is expected to debut this summer on YouTube.

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FOUL PLAY

It was like a game of chess. Seven complete strangers have been invited to a unique costume party hosted by a man they know only as King. King stage-managed everything, even down to sending his special guests their costumes in advance…along with a chilling note making the invitation impossible to resist. Because each guest hides a lethal secret they thought was long dead. While the suspects try to check the King, each realize they are a pawn in a grander scheme and one wrong move could prove fatal. More than one colorful character will fall in this life-sized board game mystery where you, the player, will make the choices that decide how the game plays out. Will you finesse the King or try to keep him in check? Will you be able to spare a life? Whodunit? How? Why? Where? And with what? Join us for this killer costume party and see how the cards land for you. Because in this sinister game of foul play, someone isn’t playing fair…

Returning to Red Rock Books as our venue, Foul Play will be like a life-sized game of CLUE with several inventive twists thrown in. Live actors for one. And the audience has greater control over how the story plays out. It will also be the first ever Master Mystery Production to have a different solution each night of the show. Foul Play will have auditions in May 2019 with performances on August 17 and 24, 2019.

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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE HAIRY KIND

You’ve never heard a campfire story like this before. Under dazzling starlight and lit only with the flickering glow of a fire, a group has gathered to tell their tales about several close encounters of the hairy kind. Invited to the campfire conference are those that have had Bigfoot sightings. They come from all walks of life. Some are local. Some are visitors. Some sightings are older. Some are very recent. All the host of this midnight meeting wishes is to garner enough positive publicity in attempt to make the area a Bigfoot sanctuary. But a safe haven for Bigfoot is the last thing on someone’s list. While stories are shared, mountains are scoured, maps are plotted, and clues are hunted, a treacherous traitor to the cause will be on a very different kind of hunt. Who could it be? Where is Bigfoot? Is there any way to save him? Part of Weird Weekend 2019, you are specially invited to our campfire conference to track both the legend and the defector, and make the mountains safe for Bigfeet everywhere. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to have close encounter of your very own.

Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind celebrates the legend of Bigfoot in the Sierra Nevadas around our slice of the Mojave Desert, making it the perfect show to include as part of Ridge Writers’ Weird Weekend 2019. Close Encounters is also the first show with MMP veteran and audience favorite Monica Lorenz at the helm. Not only did she originate the story, she will also be the first outside director to direct a Master Mystery Production, a tremendous honor. Auditions for Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind will be held in June 2019 with performances in September.

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LENORE NEVERMORE

Once upon a midnight dreary, something rather quaint and curious happened over forgotten lore. Lenore was a beautiful young woman adored for her generosity, goodwill, and innocence. And she died well before her time. A brutal booby trap snuffed out her light and drove one of her admirers into grief and near madness. After all, it was his chamber where his beloved Lenore died. Suddenly, there comes a rapping on his chamber door, and a preternatural raven swoops in croaking out a dire message. What is the meaning behind “Nevermore?” In true Poe fashion, as his madness and hallucinations deepen, our mysterious protagonist has to face dark omens, vengeful rivals, painful memories, statues coming to life, and secrets scuttling out from the shadows. Was Lenore the intended victim? Could he have killed her? Is the truth deadlier than fiction? Inspired by one of the most famous poems in the world, step into the haunting world of Edgar Allan Poe and an imaginative twist on the chilling narrative in his masterpiece “The Raven.” Madness or murderer? You be the judge.

Lenore Nevermore will be designed as our first ever touring production. A smaller scale boutique show, the production will have an October 2019 premiere in Ridgecrest as part of an Edgar Allan Poe celebration before moving onto other venues. Auditions for Lenore Nevermore will be in late July 2019.

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Naturally, with a season this packed with talent, we have to have a few surprises in store. In 2019, our audiences will have more say than ever before in how our shows will play out. All we can say right now is “hindsight is 2020.” Keep an eye on Master Mystery Productions as we gear up for another exciting season! And if you want to take part in any of our wonderful shows, just join us at an audition. Everyone is welcome at Master Mystery Productions.

Happy sleuthing!

–Master Mystery Productions

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