“The Murder Room ”
by Jack Sharkey
directed by Rod Pintello
“Murder has never been this funny!”
“…witty and sophisticated…”
A madcap murder mystery farce will be the next comedy play at Pintello Comedy Theater. Directed by Rod Pintello and written by Jack Sharkey, “The Murder Room” is a spoof of British mysteries, like Agatha Christie and even The Pink Panther.
This new show will open on Friday, November 2, and run Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. for four weekends. One matinee will be presented on Sunday, November 18, 2007, and one show will be interpreted for American Sign Language by Stephanie Pintello on Saturday night, November 3. Reservations and information are online at www.PintelloComedy.com or by calling 408-776-8004, or e-mail Pintello@charter.net.
Produced by Rod and Marion Pintello, the comedy play is being presented in the Gilroy Grange Hall, 8191 Swanston Lane in Gilroy. The popular comedy troupe continues to present full-length comedy plays featuring local actors, comfortable table seating, coffee and cookies, and their trademark friendly welcome.
Beginning with a murder but no body, each member of the peculiar household works to figure out the mystery, some suspiciously intense, some suspiciously dim, the whole cast contributes to the outrageous events. Director Pintello laughs, “Each character is more eccentric than the previous one. I’ve wanted to do the show since John first described it to me. As promised, the dialogue is quick and witty. And this cast is perfect for the fun!”
Local actors appearing in the play could be familiar to community and college theater audiences. Laura Glasspool is the beautiful and evil matron of the manor, opposite John Brewer as her new husband. John appears in a dual role as both lord of the manor and, later, the police constable. His superior police officer is played by Steve Spencer. The romantic young engaged couple is played by Allyson Finn and Simon Pintello, and of course there’s a cockney maid with an attitude, played by Christine McElroy.
Besides family helping and enjoying the time together, Pintellos are often joined by friends who work and play alongside. For “The Murder Room,” Karen Pogue is the rehearsal assistant, keeping track of the cast and working on their lines. She can run rehearsals and reports to the director. In the tech booth, Matt Haluza will be handling lights and sound effects – a busy job for this show.
John Brewer, formerly in “Office Hours” at PCT, appeared last Fall in “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” in San Jose. John actually brought the script for “The Murder Room” to the Pintellos. He’d worked backstage years ago and always wanted to perform in the comedy. Laura Glasspool is also a veteran at Pintello Comedy Theater, appearing in “The Supporting Cast” which was the premier production on the new stage. Even more recently Laura played dual roles in SVCT’s Morgan Hill production of “California/Plaza Suites.”
Pintellos’ son Simon is involved in every play at the playhouse, onstage, house managing, or in the tech booth. He’s a veteran actor, growing up in community theater playing roles as diverse as Prince Charming in “Cinderella” and Simon the Zealot in “Jesus Christ Superstar.” His adorable stage wife is the only newbie on the set of “The Murder Room.” Allyson Finn plays Susan, empty-headed and sweet, a terrific comic foil. One of Allyson’s favorite roles in her acting career was as the mute in “The Fantasticks” where her expressive face encouraged lots of laughs.
Rounding out the cast of this Pintello Comedy Theater production are two veterans of PCT and other local venues. Christine McElroy worked audiences’ emotions as one of six sisters in “Belles” but will work their funny bones as Lottie the housekeeper at this English manor. Steve Spencer is accomplished in most aspects of theater, having directed, acted, stage managed and produced, with acting being his favorite. His dry delivery struck director Rod Pintello as a perfect asset for the Inspector of the Harrugate Police Force whose own motives are as questionable as those he’s investigating.
Bringing five new comedies to the stage in their first year at the Grange Hall has been a labor of love, says producer Marion Pintello, and she adds that the family is very happy with the central location off Leavesley Road between Monterey and Forest. “Our most recent show set attendance records, we’re very pleased with the enthusiasm of our audiences; our patrons have become friends.” Because their daughter-in-law, Stephanie Pintello, is a sign language interpreter, she volunteers to see that each show is interpreted for American Sign Language (ASL) at least once. “The Murder Room” will have sign language interpreters highlighted on the first Saturday, November 3rd.
Opening night at the cabaret-style theater will be Friday, November 2, with performances continuing Friday and Saturday nights through November 24. Information and reservations can be found at the web site www.PintelloComedy.com, or by calling 408-776-8004. Or you can reach the Pintello family on e-mail at Pintello@charter.net.