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Monday Monster Musings

I should have known what kind of a day I was going to have when I cut my grapefruit in half and forgot to cut on the equator.  I haven’t done that since my sister showed me after she learned it in Home Economics!  (So I already knew it when I took Home Economics two years later; sometimes it’s not so bad being a little sister.)  So I did learn something today:  it is possible to eat an incorrectly cut grapefruit with a spoon.

I know, other people had other things happen to them — their own fault or otherwise — that were far more uncomfortable, inconvenient, or worse.  But I was struck by my own ineptness and wanted to mention it.

Could this be the reason I mis-cut my grapefruit?

I thought I would add a picture to pep things up and found this little cutie in my Media Library (I tried searching for something new, but had no luck and less patience).  So here we have a Monstrous Monday post.

It is also a Post-Rehearsal Post, because I have recently returned from a rehearsal of A Trivial Murder, the interactive dinner theatre we are putting on to benefit the Herkimer County Historical Society (perhaps you read my other blog posts bout it).

Our host doesn’t look like this, but he has a more winning smile.

That is the cover photo on the Facebook event of the mystery.  Murder is pretty monstrous, right?

I hardly ever share this monster, but it is almost Halloween.

Here is another monster who is supposedly human. (Spoiler alert: I’m about to talk about endings of Halloween movies!).  I say supposedly, because I saw Halloween II, where he walked out of a flaming room in flames himself and flopped down on the floor, continuing to burn.  I could buy that he got shot and walked away after the first Halloween; maybe they missed all vital organs and it only looked like a lot of blood.  Those flames would be really hard to live through.  I did not see another Halloween movie till Halloween H2O, and I don’t remember how they dispatched Michael Myers in that one (although I saw it just now when I Googled Halloween H2O to see how to spell “Michael Myers”) (and I still think it’s funny that he has the same name as the guy from Wayne’s World).

So this is my Monday post.  Sufficiently monstrous, I trust.  I hope to see you all on Tuesday, when I hope not to be too Tired.

 

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Wednesdays are Murder

Shall we blame this on menopausal brain fog, seasonal allergies, or, well, me?  The fact is, after Monstrous Monday and Tired Tuesday, today is Wuss-out Wednesday.  But perhaps I can give another plug to A Trivial Murder, the interactive dinner theatre to benefit Herkimer County Historical Society.  I just got back from another rehearsal.  I need to learn my lines.

The setting is a special taping of “Who Knows Herkimer History?” that popular game show, with our new host, Gary “Herk” Henderson.  The previous host, Jack German, died under mysterious circumstances, but let us not allow such gloomy thoughts to intrude. Tonight is also exciting, because of our returning champion, Ned Frances, who has been winning for an unprecedentedly long time.  Will someone cut off his winning streak?  Will our glamorous Prize Girl, Scarlett Scarsdale, be awarding cash and prizes to a new champion?  According to producer Evelyn Moore, our resident historian, Dr. D. Devonshire, has promised some tough questions.  All the excitement will be recorded by Bernie Woods, writer for Game Show Gambit magazine.  Things will be started soon by our announcer, Rod Toddman.

How does that sound for program notes? I think I’ll email it to the historical society and see what they think.  In the meantime, local readers might like to make reservations for the show:  Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, 6 to 8 p.m. at Ilion Moose Lodge, 302 Barringer Rd., Ilion, NY, doors open at 5 p.m. $25 per person for turkey dinner and the show.  For reservations, contact the society at 315-866-6413.  For more information, consult the Facebook event.

 

What Would Clara Bow Have Done?

I was about to title this one Post Rehearsal Post, but then I thought it might be a Non-Sequitur Thursday, in which case, the title ought not directly reflect the content of the post.  Oh the conundrums of the daily blogger!

I just returned from the first rehearsal for A Trivial Murder, the murder mystery we are putting on to benefit Herkimer County Historical Society.  It will be Saturday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m. (doors open at 5), at the Ilion Moose Lodge.   The cost is $25.00/person. To purchase tickets, stop by the Society, Monday-Friday, 10-4, or send a check in the mail and they’ll send your tickets to you – HCHS, 400 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY 13350. For more information, call 315-866-6413.

I brought my Tablet to take a couple of pictures, but neglected to actually take any.  Instead, I offer a picture of a previous murder mystery for the Historical Society.

That was a fun cast, yes, but this one will be great, too!

Before rehearsal, my friend Kim and I went up to the costume rooms at Ilion Little Theatre (ILT) looking for a 1920’s costume for me for the Ritz and Ragtime at Rutger Park fundraiser on Saturday.  We and a other members of LiFT (Little Falls Theatre Company) are volunteering and must look the part.  I did not want to wear the dress I wore last year (also borrowed from ILT) (and returned); I wanted to wear the dress worn by another character in Rubbed Out at Ruby’s (a murder mystery presented by LiFT last year).

This is what I wore last year; some people thought I looked pretty fine.

 

I was looking for the black dress on the girl sitting next to me who is NOT strangling me.

However, after looking for a while, I just wanted to find ANYTHING that worked.  Eventually I found a black velvet gown that will do. Alas, it does not look like a flapper dress.  Maybe I’m a little too old to be a flapper.  SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!  After rehearsal (which went pretty well), I went home and sought out accessories to make the gown 1920’s ready.

So this is my Non-Sequitur Thursday post.  At least I plugged two upcoming local events, and included a couple of pictures.  I call that respectable.  Happy Thursday, everybody.

Oh crap, I still have to think of a title.

 

Was it a Killer First Draft?

Words to live by!

Of course, the first draft I just finished should have been done a week ago, but we cannot always live up to the ideals we set for ourselves.  The important thing is, I wrote it, I typed it into the laptop, I printed it out, I will edit and polish it, I will email it to the cast.  Then it’s on to rehearsals and performance, but right now I’m writing about writing.

Well, maybe a little about rehearsal and performing.  The draft I finished was for A Trivial Murder, the interactive dinner theatre we are presenting as a fundraiser for Herkimer County Historical Society.  The performance will be Saturday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m. at the Ilion Moose Lodge.  For further information, you can reference the Facebook event.

I feel a little self-conscious admitting in public like this that I am just finishing the script.  We are a month away from performance!  Well, murder mysteries don’t take as much rehearsal as a full-blown play.  Up north, where we had a company called Murder For Hire, we used to put them together in three rehearsals:  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and go on Saturday!  I was younger and more energetic in those days.  Now I feel more secure with a little more time.

However, I am feeling increasingly good about this show.  After a few glitches, I got a really wonderful cast.  I think everybody will fit their part fine and fill it out with little touches I didn’t even think of when I wrote the lines.  That is why writing scripts is more exciting than writing novels.

Writing a novel, incidentally, is my next project.  Why don’t I have a novel published yet?  I am almost 55.  I was about to say, time to get off my butt, but in fact it is time to sit on my butt in front of a notebook or keyboard and get going.  I’ll write a few blog posts about it along the way.

 

Post Show Post

I had meant to have a pre-show post, but time got away from me.  In my defense, I went running.  And to Valley Wine and Liquor for a gin tasting.  And to dinner at Sorrento’s.  Then to the show, which was Shattered Angel presented by Herkimer County Historical Society at Ilion Little Theatre.

As you see, still a couple of opportunities to see it.

The show was excellent.  It was interestingly staged and emotionally involving.  My steady diet of true-crime documentaries on television gave me a good perspective on the proceedings, as did my previous obsession with shows like LA Law and Boston Legal.  I have a pretty good idea of how things may have transpired in a modern courtroom.  But never mind my silly opinions and perspectives. Instead, here are a couple of pictures of the show (taken during rehearsal, of course.  One does not like to take flash photos during a performance).

I think this one is suitable for framing.

This shot was purely staged for the picture; the actual pose was never seen in the show.  But that is appropriate, since the show is not precisely what went down in the courtroom.  I believe I mentioned before how characters are combined and testimony condensed to give us the feel of the whole without simply presenting the transcript verbatim (have you ever been to a real trial?  It sometimes takes a LONG time to get to the point).

One of the most moving scenes of the play.

I really enjoyed the performances.  I’m too tired to give a real review, mentioning names and detailing specific parts deserving praise.  But I guess that is appropriate for Lame Post Friday. Let’s just give a shout-out and drive on.

The play continues Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m.  I can’t guarantee they haven’t sold out, but if you’re local and want to take a chance, go to 13 Remington Ave., Ilion, NY.  It’s a great show!

 

Up Next: Murder Most Trivial

I went to work this morning determined to write on breaks and lunch, as well as right before the first buzzer rings.  I usually get to work early.  I used to always write my blog post at that time. Did I do so this morning?  Alas, no.  What the hell happened to me?

However, the news is not all bad.  While I was working, I got a couple of good ideas for my next murder mystery.  I quickly jotted them down when I got a chance.  I was mysteriously unable to write any more, but one does what one can.  Herkimer County Historical Society, beneficiary of the murder mystery, had asked for the premise and title for their Facebook page.  I thought I could manage that much.  This is what I messaged them:

The title of the mystery is “A Trivial Murder.” We’re all here for a taping of the game show, “Who Knows Herkimer History” with our host, Gary “Herk” Henderson. Gary is actually the new host. The original host died under mysterious circumstances, but let us not allow such gloomy thoughts cloud our evening! You should also just ignore those rumors that our returning champion has been given the answers in advance. There’s no scandal here! That journalist is here to do a puff piece, not a muck raking scandal-monger.

Looking over it again, I see where it could be improved.  And improve it, I will!  But not for this blog post.  For one reason, this is Wuss-out Wednesday, and I am only slightly less brain dead than I was yesterday (which I just now realize I should have categorized under “Tired Tuesday”) (another indication of my brain dead condition).  Then again, slightly less is still less.  I bet I’ll have that murder mystery finished in no time!  Can better blog posts be far behind?

 

Another Shattered Shout-Out

This was printed on a post card I sent to a few people.

As I sit here typing in my blog post, the cast and crew of Shattered Angel are at Ilion Little Theatre enjoying their final dress rehearsal. I’m just happy all of them are going to be actually dressed, since my name is in the program under “Costumes.”  Full disclosure:  I personally did very little in outfitting the cast.  I like to think I helped, though.  I like to think I can also help publicize the event with my little blog here.  So here is another shout-out to our play.

Shattered Angel, as you may have read in this space, tells the story of the murder of an area school teacher by one of her students in 1914.  It is a sad story, and a fascinating one, because the defense was not guilty by reason of mental defect, a new idea at the time.   The staging is interesting, too, because although all the action takes place in the courtroom, it is not a straightforward depiction of the trial. Through the use of flashbacks and strategic condensation of testimony and arguments, we get a fuller picture in a shorter time.

The lady in the black dress is not actually in the courtroom, if you see what I mean.

Director Stephen Wagner wrote the script, based on the book Murder of a Herkimer County Teacher: The Shocking 1914 Case of a Vengeful Student by Dennis Webster, and courtroom transcripts.

This is one of my favorite shots.

I stole these pictures from the Herkimer County Historical Society’s Facebook page.  Historian Caryl Hopson took them at rehearsals.  I suppose I should have stayed at dress rehearsal with my Tablet and taken a few pics of my own, but Caryl does such a good job at it.

Once again, performances are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday Sept. 16 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday Sept. 23 at 2 p.m., at Ilion Little Theatre, 13 Remington Ave., Ilion, NY.  For tickets, contact the Historical Society at 315-866-6413.

One more picture I found on Facebook.