October 25, 2005 > Murder, Mayhem, and Mystery at Broadway West
Murder, Mayhem, and Mystery at Broadway West
by Heidi Leung
If there were one word to describe Broadway West's presentation of Corpse! by Gerald Moon, it would be success! Not a single thing went wrong all night; the actors were fantastic, the set was cleverly laid out, the crew was great. Paula Chenoweth has to be given kudos for directing such a fun piece. The play opened to a full house and ended with a huge round of applause.
For those who missed the preview, Corpse takes place in 1936 London and is about twin brothers Rupert and Evelyn, complete opposites who despise each other. Rupert leads a picture perfect life; he lives in a posh apartment in Regent's Park, is getting married in Scotland, and is extremely wealthy and powerful. Evelyn, however, lives in a shabby basement in Soho, and is an out of work actor who hasn't gotten a job in theater since he was blamed for poisoning a lead to steal the role. Out of jealousy and a craving for money, Evelyn hires Major Ambrose Powell, a silly Irishman who is in desperate need of money, to kill his brother.
Evelyn has every detail planned for the assassination. The murder is to take place at the time when all of London will be busy listening to a broadcast the King is going to make. Major Powell is suppose to go deliver a note to Rupert telling him that Evelyn is dying and that his last wish is to see his twin again. Then, when Rupert arrives at the apartment, Major Powell is to kill him so that Evelyn can take over Rupert's life and fortune. Though Rupert isn't fond of his brother, he eventually goes to see him. From there on, the plot takes on unimaginable twists and turns. A sword fight takes place, there are tons of gunshots, and what's even better, there's a surprise ending.
The cast of Corpse was brilliant. Jim Woodbury played both Evelyn and Rupert Farrant. His British accent was great but what really amazed me was how quickly he could switch roles, not once did he mess up and get one twin mixed up with the other. Especially since the two brothers had such different personalities and mannerisms; he really impressed me with his acting skills. His rendition of Evelyn was a delight to watch.
Lillian Bogovich played Mrs. McGee, Evelyn's landlord. Her part was not huge, but she was an integral piece to the play as it was very funny to see her annoy Evelyn to such a large degree. Mark Drumm was very loveable as Major Powell. His depiction of the Irish's drinking habits was not only hilarious, it was endearing. Andy-Arms Roberts played the British constable Hawkins. He had a small part but with a huge impact on the play. Every time he walked on stage, I never wanted him to leave. Perhaps it's because I love British accents and he does such a great job of it, but mostly, he just performed his role perfectly. The only way to describe his performance is to say that because of him, I finally realized that the phrase, "there's no such thing as a small role" is true.
As usual, Broadway West never fails to provide a night of great entertainment. This time was especially delightful because of the play itself. The plot was clever and well written. From another audience member, I overhead the comment "it reminds me of a film noir movie". Whether or not you're a film noir fan or a murder mystery fan, see Corpse! at Broadway West. It's comedic and mysterious; how could it possibly go wrong?
Corpse! runs from October 21st-November 19th. On Thursdays and Saturdays the play starts at 8pm and on Sundays it starts at 1pm. To order tickets, call (510) 683-9218. Prices run from $15-$20 per ticket. Broadway West Theater is located on 4000 B-Bay Street, in Fremont.