Break out the oils, watercolors, scissors, and glue. Whatever your chosen medium, there’s room for you on the Left bank of the Seine, where the bohemian artists gather for a coffee, a hot meal using their art as collateral, and a spot of gossip. For two friends, the gossip turns to detective work to try and piece together a collage of the crime against their patron. For you, it will be a Surreal way into the mind of an artist and a crime that is a true work of art. For our 32nd Master Mystery Production, we will paint the town red as we whisk you to Paris in the 1920’s for an intimate little…
Paris, 1925. The City of Lights is a city of contrasts where the wealthy patrons of the arts lounge in salons with champagne and the starving artists make do with the offerings of the cafés. Yves Dufort and his friend, Salome Auclair, belongs in the latter category. His Surrealist collages have yet to make him a household name, and Salome’s work as a photographer is often dismissed by her sexist colleagues. But this huge commission they’ve landed with the wealthy heiress and art critic, Genevieve Welbourne, could set them up for life. That is…if Genevieve’s life hadn’t been taken from her that same night. But what does her murder have to do with a murdered waiter at their favorite café? At the café, Yves and Salome enjoy a little tête-à-tête to unpack the many secret lives, loves, and loathing of their ex-patron to try and hopefully salvage what they can of their big break. But as they recreate the tumultuous lives of the suspects, they’ll discover danger may be much closer than they realized.
Tête-à-Tête is Parisian murder mystery play set in the Jazz Age of the Roaring Twenties, written and directed by MMP Founder and Artistic Director Daniel Stallings. A stylish jewel of a production, the play is our first collaboration with Goodent, a non-profit organization based in Lone Pine, at their newly refurbished Forum Theater, becoming the first theatrical production to open in the space. We describe the set as a magical “living painting” that changes in the blank of an eye–a charming sidewalk cafe transforms into a wealthy heiress’ salon or a riverside bookstall in a flash.
The show blends together a cast of fresh-faced newbie performers with award-winning MMP veterans, a patchwork collage of talent that forms a masterpiece of drama. In honor of the Surrealist artists like Man Ray or Salvador Dali who lived, loved, and worked in Paris at the time, we’ve taken a more Surrealist point of view with the casting and design. After all, imagination is Yves and Salome’s gift, and they spend the play imagining and remembering and speculating about suspects in their patron’s murder–Was it her jealous sister? The greedy publisher? Her wayward lover?–and they use the itinerant bohemians around them as supernumerary actors (a term for amateur character actors trained under professional direction for an opera or ballet to create realistic crowd scenes). In essence, these bohemians, whoever they may be, transform into suspects. Actors share roles and have multiple personalities to create the otherworldly imagination at the heart of this play. But it’s all grounded by the central tête-à-tête between two friends trying to talk through a murder case…unaware that danger may be close at hand.
Tête-à-Tête promises to be an enchanting evening with Surreal secrets and surprises hidden everywhere. Are those a pair of legs under the cafe table? To find out the truth, you’ll have to see the show. Anything can happen onstage with a little imagination, and at Mater Mystery Productions, imagination is our gift. And it’s out gift to all of you to close our a spectacular 2022 season.
Tête-à-Tête, a Parisian murder mystery play written and directed by Daniel Stallings, performs all Saturdays, October 29, November 5, November 12, and November 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Forum Theater in Lone Pine, CA (141 N. Jackson St.). Tickets are $2o each and are sold through Eventbrite here.
Join us for a night in the City of Lights to solve the mystery surrounding one of its leading luminaries. Can Yves and Salome shine a light on whodunit, how, and why? Sit at our sidewalk cafe for a little…
We’ll see you soon!
–Master Mystery Productions