The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 29, 2013

‘Who done it?’

Red Mask to present murder mystery


DANVILLE — The Red Mask Players expect to keep the audience on the edge of their seats when they close their 76th season with the suspenseful murder mystery “Zara or Who Killed the Queen of the Silent Screen.”

Performances will be April 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 at the Kathryn Randolph Theater, 601 N. Vermilion St.

Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.

Director Debbie Prentice said, “This is a very funny mystery and people will wonder ‘til the very end who the murderer is.”

The cast is made up of some veteran Red Mask performers, as well as three actors new to the Kathryn Randolph stage.

“We’re very pleased to welcome newcomers Shannon Hoag, Ashley Kirby and Tyler Russell,” Prentice said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the cast chosen for this production.”

Other cast members include Jennifer Lee, Donna Sant, Bev Nees, Jim Crain and Greg Apple.

The producer is Nancy Henderson, and Ann Soderstrom is the stage manager.

This is the fourth adult Red Mask production that Prentice has directed, in addition to many children’s shows.

Jennifer Lee, who plays the main character Zara in the play, said this is the most challenging role that she’s taken on in a long time.

“Because Zara plays an actress in the show, I have to learn all the different personas that she assumes while she is acting,” Lee said.

“I’m particularly fascinated by the styles and clothes of the 1920s era, when much of this show takes place,” she added. “This is a great comedy and a great drama with a lot of suspense, and it’s a show that everyone should enjoy.”

Soderstrom, stage manager, said, “It’s always nice to work with the great actors and actresses of Red Mask. I’m also happy to be working with Debbie Prentice, who is a wonderful director.”

The plot of the murder mystery revolves around the question “Who killed Zara?” Was it the jealous secretary or the chauffeur, the money hungry nephew of the baron, or the baron himself?

Maybe it was the jilted director, or could it be Zara’s aunts? Séances, ghosts and the jazz age are all part of the mysterious murder of Zara St. Cyr, the fascinating film star.

Sixty years after the crime, writer Martin James is determined to find out “who done it.”

For reservations

To make reservations for the show, call 442-5858 or go to the website: Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students.