Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Bergen County Players to Present THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940

Bergen County Players (BCP) continues its 84th season with The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, John Bishop's riotous comedy whodunit, opening January 14th, 2017. The murder, mystery and mayhem is being helmed by veteran director Steven Bell of Hackensack, and will run through February 4, 2017 at the Little Firehouse Theatre, 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell. Tickets may be
purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office during regular box office hours.

Set in December 1940 in the library of an isolated Westchester country mansion in Chappaqua, New York, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 brings together the creative team responsible for a recent ill-fated Broadway flop (in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious "Stage Door Slasher"). The house is replete with sliding panels, secret passageways and identities -- all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem that follows when the infamous "Slasher" makes his reappearance and strikes again -- and again. As the composer, lyricist, actors and director rehearse the backer's audition for a new show, a blizzard cuts off any possible retreat, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind revolving bookcases, and accusing fingers
point in all directions. The guests must plow ahead to solve the mystery and unmask the "Slasher" before it is too late!

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 was first performed at the Circle Repertory Company in New York City, later moving to Broadway in 1987 at The Longacre Theatre where it enjoyed a critically-acclaimed run. Both productions were directed by the playwright and shared the same cast. The play is said to have been based on several 1940s mystery movies, including The Cat and the Canary, one of Bob Hope's first films.

A Life Member, Past-President, and Board of Governor, director Steven Bell of Hackensack has been active with the Players for over thirty years. He has directed numerous BCP productions, including The Drowsy Chaperone, Ruthless! The Musical, Urinetown, Modern Orthodox, Curtains, and The King & I, to name a few. Steven also served as musical director for various shows, including The 25th Annual Putnam
County Spelling Bee, Aladdin, Man of La Mancha, Beehive, The Music Man, and Company. As a performer, he appeared in such shows as Follies (Buddy-Perry Award Winner), Anything Goes (Moonface Martin), City of Angels (Stine), Into the Woods (Baker) and Forum (Pseudolous). Steven teaches vocal music at Teaneck High School, and is the Artistic Director of the Teaneck Community Chorus.

The talented cast of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 includes Cassie Jo Romano of Nanuet, NY as Helsa Wenzel, Marianne Felice of Stony Point, NY as Elsa Von Grossenknueten, Arno Austin of Bergenfield as Michael Kelly, Paul Reitnauer III of Englewood as Patrick O'Reilly, Matthew Rofofsky of Fort Lee as Ken De La Maize, Elaine Thoman of Ridgewood as Nikki Crandall, Matthew Blum of Paramus as Eddie McCuen, Rachel Gordon of Paramus as Marjorie Baverstock, Jody Laufer of Fair Lawn as Roger Hopewell, and Mara Karg of Nanuet, NY as Bernice Roth.

The crew of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 includes: Michele Roth and David Luke (Producers), Mark Rinis (Assistant to the Director), Debbie Zika (Stage Manager), Ron Drobes (Set Design and Construction), Lynne Lupfer (Set Decor), Allan Seward (Lighting Design), David Arts (Stage Combat Choreography), Terri Caust, Bunny Mateosian, and Kahyo Eguchi (Costume Design), Christine Francois, Kellie Gleeson, and Joyce Ghia (Properties), Adam Feldman (Lighting Operation), Christopher Zika (Sound Operation), Katie Lupfer (Hair/Makeup Design), Steve and Barbara Mintz (Photography), and Marci Weinstein (Program Notes).

- All performances for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 take place at The Little Firehouse Theatre at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell, home to the Bergen County Players since 1949. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.
- Tickets for The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 are $21 for Friday/Saturday performances and $17 for Sunday matinees, and may be purchased online at, by calling 201-261-4200 or by visiting the box office at 298 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell during regular box office hours. Visa, Master Card, and American Express are accepted.
- BCP's popular Questions & Artists talkback session will be held following the performance on Friday, January 20th. The session is included in the cost of the ticket to that performance.
- Those interested in Group Sales of 20 or more tickets can email or call the main number and press #6.
- Row K, Seats #1 and #2 are held to accommodate people with disabilities. They can be purchased by calling the box office at 201-261-4200. These seats will be released for public sale one week prior to performance.
- Advance discount tickets for students age 25 and under with proper ID are available for $14 by phone or walk-up only, and student rush seats can be purchased for $5 (cash only) starting 30 minutes before curtain at every performance, pending seat availability. There is a limit of one rush ticket per student.
- Parking is free at the Park Avenue municipal lot, across the street, one-half block north of the theater.

The Bergen County Players has grown tremendously from its roots as a small community theater when it was founded in 1932; today, nearly 300 volunteer members, working on and off stage, make possible the nine productions presented each season. The remaining Main Stage productions are Time Stands Still (February 18th to March 11th), Night Watch (March 25th to April 22nd), and Chapter Two (May 6th to June 4th). Remaining Second Stage productions include Patio/Porch, Impromptu (March 4th to March 5th), and Standing on Ceremony (June 10th to June 11th).

Related Articles View More New Jersey Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You