‘Murder, ReWrote’ World Premiere Inspiring Huge Laughs

I love going to the theater. There is just something about watching art being created in front of me that astounds, inspires, and takes me on an emotional journey.

Sometimes a show will touch me because the acting is so good and characters so detailed. Sometimes it’s the beautiful way the notes of the score dance in the air that reaches a special place in me. Other times it will be because the comedy is so brilliant it could make Grumpy Smurf erupt in hysterics. 

This is what I have heard is the level of laughs audiences of Murder, ReWrote being presented by Hell in a Handbag Productions at The Den Theatre in Wicker Park.

Murder, ReWrote features book and lyrics by Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by George Howe, direction by Anthony Whitaker and music direction by Andrew Milliken.

Here’s the description of the show:

In the grand Handbag style, this affectionate musical parody of a certain well-known syndicated TV show follows Bessica Feltcher (Britain Gebhardt), a widowed Maine writer of mystery novels who becomes embroiled in murder and mayhem when she, and her nephew Grady (Grant Drager) visit a faded movie star’s mansion. When the star’s extremely annoying daughter, Christina (Tyler Anthony Smith) is murdered, her “Mommie Dearest,” June Crayfish (David Cerda), is the prime suspect. It’s up to Bessica to find the murderer with the help of the audience, and some modern technology! Murder, ReWrote is stuffed with humor for both the casual Murder, She Wrote viewer and the deep-cut Fletcher fanatic.

If that sounds like an invitation for fun to you, then we’re on the same page. I have heard wonderful things about Hell in a Handbag and their zany and irreverent approach to comedy. Murder, ReWrote sounds like more of the same type of fun.

I had plans to be in the audience already for this new production that is drawing rave reviews from the press throughout Chicago. Unfortunately, something unavoidable prevented my originally scheduled attendance to Murder, ReWrote.

Even though I couldn’t be in the audience, I have heard such wonderful things about the show, that I just had to share the invitation to theater lovers around Chicago to give this musical parody a gander.

Colin Douglas at Chicago Theatre Review loved the production. Douglas says, “There’s no denying that when it comes to LGBT+ parodies of 20th century pop culture, Hell in a Handbag is in a class all their own. The witty writing team of Ed Rutherford (book & lyrics) and George Howe (music & lyrics) have given Chicago audiences a world premier to die for!”

That’s not the only great review.

“Expect to laugh, cackle, restrain yourself from singing along,” touts Anne Rakowiecki at Buzznews.net

In fact, all the reviews I’ve seen say Murder, ReWrote is a hit.

You can find a full library of reviews of Murder, ReWrote at Theatre in Chicago – one of the best resources for theatergoers in the Chicagoland area. You can see the full index of reviews of all the best in Chicago theater at www.TheatreinChicago.com.

The cast of Murder, ReWrote includes ensemble members David Cerda, Grant Drager, Ed Jones, and Tyler Anthony Smith with Mark Bartishell, Britain Gebhardt, Caroline Kidwell, Matt Patrick, and Cathy Reyes McNamara. Understudy: Coco Sho-Nell. Swings: Becca Duff and Daniel Hurst.

The production team includes Rose Johnson (Scenic Design), Madeline FeLauer (Costume Design), Liz Cooper (Lighting Design), Miranda Coble (Sound Design), Jamal Howard (Choreography), Cosmo Kay (Prop Design) Jabberwocky Marionettes (Puppet Design), Sydney Genco (Make-Up Design), Keith Ryan (Wig Design), Erik Tylkowski (Production Manager), Taylor Stageberg (Stage Manager), and Brayden Gibson (Assistant Stage Manager).

I am doing my best to shuffle my schedule to be able to see Murder, ReWrote during this initial run. Why don’t you grab tickets too and maybe we’ll see each other there at The Den Theatre?

Murder, ReWrote plays through September 16 at The Den Theatre (Upstairs Mainstage) 1331 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Tickets are available at bit.ly/MurderReWrote and handbagproductions.org

Peace. Love. Trust.

Rikki Lee Travolta

For more reviews visit: Theatre in Chicago – your source for What’s on Stage in the Chicago Area

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