Night of Intrigue: ‘Encore for Murder’ to help Art Center

MUSCATINE, Iowa — As any good story grows in the narrative, the upcoming Friends of Muscatine Art Center fundraiser has turned into an exceptional evening of entertainment. When Karen Cooney, a member of the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center, began planning the event, she hoped to find a suitable radio show-style scenario for a small group of actors to perform in the music room of the Muscatine Art Center, similar to an event they had done in the past. Reviewing the scripts, she discovered “Encore for Murder: Encore for Murder: The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer”, written by author and Muscatine musician Max Collins, who created the piece from a single page of notes written by Mickey Spillane, a noted mystery writer with whom Collins had worked on several projects.

Thrilled by the local connection, Cooney began working with Collins to make the show a success. Incidentally, Cooney joked that the production would benefit from having Gary Sandy, a stage and film actor well known for playing Andy Travis on the television comedy “WKRP in Cincinnati” in the late 1970s and early 1970s. 1980s, because he had interpreted the main role. in “Encore for Murder” in its two previous performances. The stars have aligned. Collins contacted Sandy, who graciously volunteered to accept the role, bringing a remarkable amount of star power to a local theater production.

Since then, the cast of “Encore for Murder,” which includes many local actors and personalities, including Pearl City Players member Cassidy Probasco, local radio fame Brian Linderman, president and CEO of the Stanley Center for Peace and Security Keith Porter, Muscatine High School Drama Counselor Rene Mauck, Chad Bishop, Muscatine Community College Media Production Specialist and Small Business Owner, as well as Courtney Cooper, Chris Causey, Rob Minder, Evan Maynard, Randall Cooper and Judy Wilson worked diligently to bring this piece to the stage. . In a radio show-style play, the actors pretend to broadcast a radio show, using their voices and the sound effects generated by their noisemaker to bring the story to life. However, visuals such as projections help bring the show to life, immersing audiences in the experience of broadcasting a live radio thriller. “It’s a hybrid between a radio show and a play because it’s still very visual,” Cooney pointed out.

A one-night-only production, “Encore for Murder” will take place September 17 at 7 p.m. in the Muscatine High School Auditorium, located at 2705 Cedar Street in Muscatine. Theatergoers can buy tickets online before the show with general admission tickets costing just $15 each, plus a $3 processing fee.

For members of the public who want an all-inclusive experience, they can purchase VIP tickets for $50. These tickets will grant premium seating in the theater as well as access to a special after-party at the Merrill Hotel at 119 West Mississippi Drive in Muscatine. Attendees will be able to taste special desserts, sip prosecco and participate in a Q&A with Collins and Sandy, take photos with them and even enjoy exclusive perks that organizers will reveal on the night of the event.

With all funds raised to support Muscatine Art Center programming and staffing, Cooney hopes to have a huge turnout for this once-in-a-lifetime event. “It is important that we do all we can to support the arts and the arts center in Muscatine and Muscatine County,” she stressed. “It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the arts.