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The Drama Group Presents The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
Coming to The Drama Group: The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Drama Group gleefully continues its 88th season with the delightful fast-paced “whodunnit,” THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940, written by playwright John Bishop and directed by Mary Ellen Fawk. Performances will be held at The Drama Group’s Studio Theatre on June 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15 at 7:30 pm and matinees on June 9 & 16 at 2:00 pm. After which the cast and crew will fly to Hastings, England to continue performances at The Stables Theatre in Hastings.

Tickets in the US are $23 for adults, $21 for seniors and $17 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online here:

The Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theatre is located at 330 W. 202nd Street in Chicago Heights. For directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Website


Not a musical at all and hardly a murder mystery, this campy farce is a cross between “Noises Off” and “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” satirizing a few archetypes from the history of show business.

The creative team responsible for a recent Broadway flop, in which three chorus girls were murdered by the mysterious “Stage Door Slasher,” assemble for a backer’s audition of their new show at the Westchester estate of a wealthy “angel.” The house is replete with revolving bookcases, secret passageways and a German maid who is apparently four different people – all of which figure diabolically in the comic mayhem that follows when the infamous “slasher” makes his reappearance and strikes again.

Get your tickets now for this outrageously raucous comedy.

Another exciting aspect of this production, it is a celebration of the 20th Anniversary of The Drama Group / The Stables Theatre International Exchange Program.

In 1999, The Drama Group in Chicago Heights and The Stables Theatre in Hastings, England launched an exchange program of theatre productions from their respective groups which now span a historic 20 years. In that inaugural year, The Drama Group traveled to Hastings, East Sussex, England, to perform an adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY directed by Tina Zagone. The following year, The Stables Theatre brought GREAT EXPECTATIONS, directed by Bruce Veness, to the Drama Group.

Every other year since, with a rest on the third year, several exchanges have taken place, with productions that were widely acclaimed in both countries, most recently TAKING STEPS and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. This exchange program is the only known theatre exchange that exists between our countries, and we at The Drama Group are very proud of the work that has been done by both theatres; the friendships formed and the longevity of the program.  We look forward to continued friendship, with many more exchanges with The Stables.

Mary Ellen Fawk, the director, and a number of the cast/crew members have been involved in numerous exchange productions: Tony Labriola, Regina Gadotti, Jeannie & Nick Markionni, Liz Yerkovich, Barbara Whitney, MJ Renzi, Russ Hoganson, Wayne Poulton, Jennifer Larkin and Tina Zagone and would love to tell you about their experiences – call Tina Zagone or Barbara Whitney to set up interviews at 708-738-1440.

The Drama Group is pleased to be a member of S.A.M.B.A. [Southland Arts Municipalities Business Alliance] with 23 local arts organization.
See details at

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940




Regina Gadotti

Helsa Wenzel

Chicago Heights, IL

Ken Garner

Michael Kelly

Alsip, IL

Samm Hilger

Nikki Crandall

Burbank, IL

Tony Labriola

Patrick O’Reilly

Olympia Fields, IL

Jim LaPietra

Roger Hopewell

Berwyn, IL

Jeannie Rega-Markionni

Marjorie Baverstock

Frankfort, IL

Nick Markionni

Ken De La Maise

Frankfort, IL

Liliana Mitchell

Elsa Von Grossenknueten

Chicago, IL

Geoffrey Purvis

Eddie McCuen

Homewood, IL

Liz Yerkovich

Bernice Roth

New Lenox, IL

Production Team

Mary Ellen Fawk


Chicago Heights, IL

Barbara Whitney

Assistant Director

Richton Park, IL

Russ Hoganson

Set Design

Homewood, IL

Jennifer Larkin

Light Design

New Lenox, IL

Tina Zagone

Production Asst & Manager

Olympia Fields, IL

Diane Principe


Crete, IL

Kate Purvis / Rose Crockett

Props / Décor

Homewood / Chicago Hts, IL

Wayne “Skipp” Poulton

Make up & Hair Design

Chicago Heights, IL

Ken Garner

Fight Choreographer

Alsip, IL

Terrence Brown


Matteson, IL

MJ Renzi

Set construction

New Lenox, IL

Dayna Munday

Paint / Stage Manager

Olympia Fields, IL

Tina Zagone

Marketing / Publicity

Olympia Fields, IL

Diane Kaffka

Publicity & Graphics

Tinley Park, IL

This is a release from The Drama Group.