Mummy Dearest, Agatha Christie style at the Berkshire Museum Oct. 14-29

What makes for a fun family evening? Try blending an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery with Halloween-inspired spookiness, and then toss in some of the  Victorian-era’s fascination with mummies and you have The Case of the Missing Mummy.

In the lead photo above: Mari Andrejco, Thom Whaley, Peter Goldberg, Julie Webster, Chris Vecchia and Andrew Joffe discuss the arrival of the sarcophagus in “The Case of the Missing Mummy” at the Berkshire Museum.

This spine-tingler has been created by the Castle Hill Theatre Company and will be performed from October 14-29 at 7:30 pm at the Berkshire Museum. The new play is written by Castle Hill Company members Andrew Joffe, Nicki Wilson and Benjamin Elliott especially to suit its surroundings at Berkshire Museum, where Wrapped! Search for the Essential Mummy—including three ancient Egyptian human mummies, plus assorted mummified animals—is on view through October 31. Joffe directs.

 

Jonathan Lasser (Chris Vecchia) teases Alice Wyatt (Julie Webster) about the sarcophagus that has just arrived from Egypt in The Case of the Missing Mummy

 

This original murder mystery, a sort of oversized game of Clue, opens as a group of fashionable London guests assemble for the unwrapping of a sarcophagus straight off the boat from Egypt. (The real-life origins of these so-called “science nights” are detailed in Wrapped! Search for the Essential Mummy.) Just as the guests begin to reveal more about their sullied pasts, one of them is found murdered. And to everyone’s horror, the mummy is nowhere to be found. As things turn more dire, everyone at the party is a suspect, and no one is safe.

“It has been such a joy putting this production together with such a talented group of people,” producer Wilson says. “And I can’t think of a more perfect place to perform this. It’s one thing to put on a murder mystery about a missing mummy, it’s quite another to perform it just down the stairs from real, ancient Egyptian mummies! Hopefully they will all be accounted for by the end of the evening.”

A tightly-knit cast of Castle Hill regulars and select actors from the community present this original production. Joffe plays the esteemed period actor Henry Irving, who takes it upon himself to catch the killer.  He is joined by Peter Goldberg as an American millionaire living in London, Barby Cardillo as his wife, Thom Whaley as the Egyptologist, Mari Andrejco as Madame Ouspenskaya, and other party guests played by Mark Rosenthal, Kathy Jo Grover, Rudi Bach, Julie Webster and Chris Vecchia.

Midway through the play, the audience is asked to submit its guesses as to the true identity of the murderer.  Successful sleuths will be entered in a drawing for prizes including Berkshire Museum memberships, tickets to an upcoming Castle Hill Theatre Company production, and sundry Egyptian merchandise from the Museum shop.

 

The Case of the Missing Mummy performs at Berkshire Museum five times only, on October 14, 15, 16, 23 and 29 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the Museum box office, and are $10 for adults ($7 for Museum members) and $8 for patrons aged 18 and younger ($3 for Museum members). Berkshire Museum is located at 39 South Street in downtown Pittsfield. For more information, or info about group visits, contact Craig Langois at (413) 443-7171 ext 13, or clangois@berkshiremuseum.org.  The Case of the Missing Mummy runs approximately one hour and forty-five minutes, with one fifteen-minute intermission. It is recommended for patrons 12 years and up. A cash bar will be available.

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