This hilarious mystery/comedy runs April 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and April 13 at 2:30 p.m. at the historic Gem Theater in downtown Etowah. The April 15 performance is a special “Tax Night Break” when tickets will be $10 at the door. General admission tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children, 8 to 12.
Ever wonder what goes on at a small-town city council meeting? In the town of Hendricks, they’re looking for a murderer. Mayor Kathleen Lyles boldly announces that the meeting will be more like a coroner’s jury than the usual round of arguments. Not only was a man murdered, but he was an employee of the IRS.
“Somehow I don’t feel that bad!” Carl Johansen says, as the sheriff clamps the cuffs on him, making him the prime suspect.
Slowly it becomes apparent the entire city council had seen the man, and each of them seems to be hiding something. Who murdered the stranger?
Was it Cora Sedgewick, who was still dizzy at the time from stepping on a rake and being thumped in the face with its handle? Or newspaper editor King, who’s right on the spot to report the facts, if he could only find a pencil? Or maybe the mayor herself, who was doing her laundry in the back of city hall?
This fast-paced and witty comedy is performed by several Gem veterans. Elaine Baker is returning as “Madam Mayor” Lyles, as Cora likes to call her. Cora, the neighbor who found the body of Mr. Polk (or was it Mr. Benedict?), is played by Jamie Cline. Chris Dickhut plays Eddie King, the sleazy newspaper editor.
Gem veteran Bill Freeman, who plays Sheriff Ivens in Durant Tullock’s “Murders on Main Street,” is again playing Sheriff Thorne in this latest Gem production.
Derek Cline is finally returning to the Gem stage as Carl Johansen, who is under arrest for the murder, but is he the killer? J.W. Lee is again playing Dr. Bishop but is he just pretending to be a doctor?
Suzie Murphy is cast as Carl’s nagging wife, Mattie. She is good at it too!
Joining the Gem Players in “Death and Taxes” are newcomers Robbie Blakley and Scott Rust. Blakley plays Lydia, the shy and meek secretary to the mayor, but does she have a “dark secret?”
The Hendricks High School Drama teacher Mr. Martin, who helps solve this hilarious mystery, is played by Rust.
Death and Taxes is under the direction of Gem veteran director LaMone Rose. “This is the perfect comedy for tax season because of the witty one-liners about the IRS!” Rose said.
Lighting design is by Ruth Sowers and set design by George Rose.
Advanced tickets may be purchased at Johnson’s Department Store in downtown Etowah and The Town Squire Menswear on Keith Street in Cleveland.
Call the Gem Players office for more information at 423-263-3270.