BWW Preview: IT'S ONLY MURDER at Apollo Civic Theatre
It would be a crime not to catch It's Only Murder, an adult comedy set to debut at the Apollo Civic Theatre this weekend.
Directed by Jeff Wine, It's Only Murder tells the story of married couple Jerome and Francine. After Jerome discovers that not only has Francine recently purchased a gun, but she is also having an affair, the comedy and crimes take off to an outrageously hilarious conclusion!
While still focusing on the criminal element, It's Only Murder is not a widely produced murder mystery.
"I always like to research a show before I audition for it and that was virtually impossible in this case. I managed to track down a review of a production of the play in Ohio and I was immediately intrigued by the plot. It's easy to assume from the title that it's a murder mystery - a whodunit - but it really isn't. It's a very funny, fairly dark. somewhat adult, comedy that breaks a lot of rules" said Matthew Bannister, who plays Jerome Teppel.
This is the regional premiere production of the comedy It's Only Murder and the show is not performed fairly often. Having very few reference materials or performances to go off of meant Bannister and the cast were free to come up with new, original interpretations of their characters.
"A lot of times, when you accept a role in a show, you are aware of [how other people interpreted] the character and you have to shut that out to make sure you're making the role your own. So taking on a show like this is actually quite liberating rather than challenging. You get to trust the writing, bring your ideas to rehearsal, listen to your director and hopefully come up with a performance that people enjoy" said Bannister.
This comedy features a small cast of four actors and Bannister believed the small cast size led to even larger comedy.
"Working with a small cast, since there are only four of us, can be a blessing or a curse. Thankfully our director, Jeff Wine, cast some really easy going, good people. I'm fortunate to be in a show with a good friend of mine, Robert Hughes, and Sarah Celec and Natasha Fields have both been so much fun to work with. I love the discovery phase of the rehearsal process and in the last couple of weeks, the creative collaboration between the director and the cast has really found some very funny moments" said Bannister.
The cast and crew of It's Only Murder are eager to share the rarely performed adult comedy with an audience this weekend.
"We are so ready for an audience! One of the hardest things about the rehearsal process for a comedy is that you have been hearing and delivering the same jokes for a month to an empty theatre. It's genuinely a laugh out loud show with plenty of twists along the way" said Bannister
It's Only Murder also features Natasha Fields as Francine Teppel, Sarah Celec as Lenore Michaels and Robert Hughes as Sid Decker. It's Only Murder runs Friday, April 21 at 8:00 PM, Saturday, April 22 at 8:00 PM, Sunday, April 23 at 2:30 PM, Friday, April 28 at 8:00 PM and Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 PM at the Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 East Martin Street, Martinsburg, WV, 25402. Tickets are $17 for Friday and Saturday night shows, $14 for Sunday matinee shows and $12 for student tickets at all shows. For more info, visit www.apollocivictheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Apollo Civic Theatre