Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Sunday, 15 January 2012 11:14

Two mysteries as sweet and innocent as they could be!

Written by Dennis Corcoran
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

  • Director: Jim Meady and Judy E. Yordon
  • Dates: January 13 - 22, 2012

First Run Theatre’s An Evening of Mysteries consists of two long 1-act plays by local playwright Richard LaViolette:  Divine’s Grace and The Kerpash Affair - each as sweet and innocent as crime and skullduggery can be.

I won’t spoil either by giving away too much.  Suffice it to say, these are such innocent stories, peopled with such innocent characters – even the “Snidely Whiplashes” are almost likeable villains.  There’s something so Hardy Boys like about these plays and LaViolette’s writing – you can almost imagine curling up on a couch before a warm fire with them.  They are that cozy, comfortable and easy to digest.

LaViolette says his inspirations are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy Sayers.  Divine’s Grace, the first of the plays, set in a most genteel 1907 England, clearly has a “Sherlock Homes” quality.  The cast’s English accents are very soft and genuine – facilitated, no doubt, by the fact that two of the five actors are English and assisted the others with their voicing.

The acting in Divine’s Grace is very good.  Rachel Visocan, Austin Pierce, David Hawley, Gwynneth Rausch and Joe O’Conner are perfect for their parts.  Kudos to director Jim Meady for finding just the right people for just the right parts and kudos to the actors for displaying such oh-so-British early 20th Century staid conservatism.

As Rausch’s character, Jane, Lady DeBonnaire says, “all is well that ends well” – and everything ends so very well in this piece.  It’s nice to find a world in which right, truth, love and honesty prevail in the end. 

The Kerpash Affair – directed by Judy E. Yordon, the 2nd offering of the evening - has similar qualities.  It is a contemporary piece, seemingly inspired by the Madoff ponzi scheme scandal.  It, too, brims with simple, seemingly honest, innocent characters, yet the story isn’t quite as coherent as the first and the acting tends toward the cartoon-like or caricature-ish.  Perhaps that was Yordon’s intent rather than the actors’ choice for The Kerpash Affair is more of a comedy than a mystery with a Batman-and-Robin feel to it.  It definitely has some humorous spots. 

A highlight of The Kerpash Affair is Kidnapper A, or B, I don’t know which (either Christopher Purcell as A or Kevin Bristow as B).  His comic acting, replete with “funny voice”, quirky gestures and body movement are a delight.

Both plays are slow in spots.  With a total run time of almost three hours, it seems the action could be sped up a bit without sacrificing story or atmosphere.  I noticed some heads nodding off here and there but, again, it’s nice to find a world of mystery and intrigue in which evil is not so evil, one notable for its absence of violence, terror and bloodshed - even if for only one night. 

All in all, An Evening of Mysteries makes for a decent evening of lite theatre fare.   

And, while I think this is well-known to St. Louis theatre fans, I want to point out that this company’s mission is to promote and stage new, unpublished work by St. Louis playwrights.  In doing that, First Run provides a service to the community which goes beyond, well beyond, a typical community theatre troupe.  My hat is off to First Run, its supporters and to its “sister” group, The St. Louis Writer’s Group, for their efforts in encouraging, developing and promoting local talent. 

Oh, and I promised I’d say the crew did a fine job.  Fine job, folks!

An Evening of Mysteries continues at DeSmet Jesuit High School through Sunday, January 22nd.  For more information, visit http://ww.firstruntheatre.com on the web. 

Additional Info

  • Director: Jim Meady and Judy E. Yordon
  • Dates: January 13 - 22, 2012

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight


Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…

KDHX Recommends

April
Tuesday
22

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions: Worm-A-Rama

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions presents Earth Day Worm-A-Rama with Jean Ponzi on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm at The Stage. This visual-musical celebration of living on earth will feature musical guest, Augusta Bottoms Consort, tuneful...


April
Wednesday
23

Jimbo Mathus

KDHX welcomes Jimbo Mathus to Off Broadway on April 23th.   For more info, offbroadwaystl.com.


April
Friday
25

KDHX Presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program

KDHX presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program April 25 and 26 at The Stage at KDHX. Information and reservations available at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis online.   Modeled after a similar...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

0 users and 6532 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook