March 17, 2017
Murder mystery adds fun to mayhem
Senior KaDarius Griggs had an extra challenge in preparing for his role in LaGrange
College Theatre’s newest production, “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” – he
had to learn how to play the piano.
KaDarius plays Broadway composer Roger Hopewell, who joins the creative team of
his new musical at a backer’s audition to woo prospective investors.
Because his character plays the piano for two of the musical’s songs, KaDarius
turned to Ken Passmore, who teaches piano and applied percussion at the college,
“I videoed him playing the songs so I could watch his hand movements and memorize
them,” KaDarius said.
Freshman Laine Fletcher of Valdosta plays Nikki Crandall, a young singer and dancer.
Her first time on the Price stage was as Snow White in “Into the Woods,” part of
a 22-person cast. In this production, there are only 10 actors.
“It is such an honor to be given such a large role as a freshman,” she said. “I’m
working with some of my best friends, and having such incredible support on stage
Junior Caleb Brown’s character is based on the late comedian Bob Hope in his younger
“Eddie McCuen is a struggling artist who is so excited to be at this audition,”
he said. “He wasn’t supposed to be there but he is filling in for another actor
who got sick. He’s thrilled to be around all these people he has admired for so
long who are part of the world he loves.”
Caleb said he watched a lot of Hope’s standup routines and movies to get a sense
of how the actor moved and talked.
“The play is so well written that’s it’s been easy to find that very important
comic timing,” he said. “There is so much energy on stage – if you’re not watching
and listening, you’re going to miss something. It’s very fast-paced and so engaging.”
Sophomore Eli Grant plays Patrick O’Reilly, an Irish tenor. He said it’s the first
time he’s done an accent piece, which he found “a bit of a challenge,” he said
with a laugh.
But he said it’s been more fun learning the intricacies of his character, who
may or may not be who he seems to be. In fact, that is the case with several of
“All of us have struggled to get a bead on our parts because there are such stereotypical
characters,” he said. “We’ve really had to work to find the truth of who they are
Director Tracy Riggs, Instructor of Theatre Arts, said the play is an homage to
the madcap who-done-it murder mysteries of the past.
“It’s kind of like ‘Clue’ meets ‘Noises Off’ meets ‘The 39 Steps,’” she said.
“It is so fun and playful, and our audiences are going to love it.”
The show opens March 27 and runs through March 31. That’s an unusual schedule,
“We open on a Monday, and close with a 3 p.m. matinee on Friday because we are
running right into Spring Break,” she said. “I like to tell people that our play
is a great way to start Spring Break.”
“The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” runs March 27-31. Show times are 7:30 p.m.
except for the 3 p.m. matinee March 31. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior
citizens (55 and older) and non-LC students and free for LC students faculty and
staff. The box office opens Monday and will be open weekdays from noon until 4
p.m. Email the box office to make reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or call 706-880-8080. If emailing or calling, please leave name, the performance
date/time and number of tickets desired, type of tickets and a call-back number
and email address for confirmation.