Tickets and Show Times for ‘But Why Bump Off Barnaby?’
This special production of the Opera House Players is set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-9, 2013, at the South Charleston Opera House, 35 S. Chillicothe St. Reserved floor seating near the stage is $7. General admission seating on the floor at the back and in the balcony is $6. For tickets, call Suzanne Howsmon at (937) 462-8905 or Charleston Pharmacy at 462-8331.
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Dare we say the oldies-but-goodies are back on stage at the historic South Charleston Opera House?
A handful of the folks who started the three-act community plays at the Opera House in the 1980s have reunited to present the mystery farce, “But Why Bump Off Barnaby?”
The reunion was Suzanne Howsmon’s idea. An Opera House Players original, Howsmon decided to get the old gang back together. Several of the actors in the nine-member cast “retired” from the stage many years ago.
“This is a chance for people to see actors from the early years again,” Howsmon said.
The play selection was an easy one, primarily because the length of the character list matched the number of actors available for the reunion—nine.
“This play has been on the back burner for 10 years. It gets skipped because there is always 18 to 20 people who want to be involved (in the regular Opera House productions). Nobody wants to pick and choose who’s in and who’s out,” said Howsmon.
In “But Why Bump Off Barnaby,” wealthy Englishman Mr. Leduc, played by Rick Burton, throws a party at his mansion at which guest, Barnaby (played by Larry Burton), dies as the result of poison.
A police reporter (Jon Mercer) tries to solve the murder by gathering information from the staff and guests, which include: the maid (Suzanne Howsmon); the butler (Sam Stucky); the hard-of-hearing Lady Barbara Fenwick (Debbie Dean); the young and wacky Dora Dunstock (Deb Wilson); the nearsighted, former family governess, Miss Barnsdale (Mary Ann Neff); a middle-aged Hollywood actress, Cleo Barton (Patty Garringer); and a flamboyant fortuneteller trying to get in good with Mr. Leduc, Rosalind Barstow (Alice Moore).
“I think it’s wonderful that all of us came out of retirement. It’s been a blast,” said Moore, who performed in local plays for 20 years and continues to paint scenery for the Opera House Players with her good friend, Howsmon.
Moore said one of the characters she most enjoyed playing back in the day was Annie, the bar owner in the western comedy, “Deadwood Dick.”
“To this day, whenever Sam Stucky sees me, the first words out of his mouth are, ‘Howdy, Annie!’ ” Moore said.
While she left the spotlight behind about five years ago to give younger blood a chance to shine, Moore said she looks forward to showing people “we still got it.”
Howsmon predicts the crowds will be big for this whodunit featuring the reunited cast. She recommends that anyone planning to attend make reservations in advance.