“It’s A Grand Night For Murder” rounded out the trio of plays featured in this year Year End Series (Y.E.S.) Festival running from April 16 to April 26.
The play, opening with a strange phone call between the main characters, Phil, portrayed by junior acting major Rhys Boatwright, husband to Sally, portrayed by junior acting major Emily Fry, gives way for little character development throwing you straight into the thick of the plot.
Phil wants to get out of his marriage to Sally without giving her half of everything so he hires dimwitted assassin in training Ginger Baer, portrayed by Robert Macke, to kill off his wife.
The rest of the first act follow Baer’s twisted plans on how to kill Sally by somehow gaining her trust first.
The second act of “It’s A Grand Night For Murder” however takes a weird turn as the entire cast end up at Phil and Sally’s cabin while the play turns to poorly delivered one liners and an abundance of sexually driven and uncomfortable situations.
For a play set in modern times, writer Joe Starzyk clearly has a unique perspective on the position of women in today’s society, or at least in this play. With little plot development, women in the play are portrayed as nothing more than an inconvenience and only there for sex and to cater to a man’s needs.
While Starzyk has seen success in recent years with his plays being performed around the country it’s strange that his play was selected to be a part of the Y.E.S. Festival.
Adequate at best, many of the actors seemed to struggle through their lines and delivered them in an unbefitting dictation. Maybe it was set design or the younger styling of the costumes, but with characters who were supposedly older, you could only see the actors in their college age.
“It’s A Grand Night For Murder” wasn’t as grand as it could have been. The lack of development and the stern sexual comedy was off-putting and left your seldom laughter with a bit of a grimace taste in your mouth.