Stage 43 starts 2013 with a whodunnit
While most people were bustling about for Christmas parties last season, Angela Bell was busy on the entertainment front, too.
Only she was preparing for dozens of shows — with dozens of cast and crew members — in two cities.
“My life’s been insane recently,” said the Coquitlam-raised director and actor. “In November, I went seven days a week without a break.”
From mid-October to Dec. 1, the Centennial secondary graduate was the director and costume and set designer for the sold-out production Christmas Belles by the Langley Players’ Drama Club, of which she is a past president.
At the same time, Bell was also in rehearsal for Murder on the Rerun, the second offering of 2012/’13 by the Stage 43 Theatrical Society, a Coquitlam-based organization marking its 30th anniversary this year.
Bell, who was last involved with Stage 43 in 1988 when she played in The Last Real Summer, said being asked to lead the show “was a real honour.
“They know me from the Theatre BC annual festivals. We tend to be in competition with each other then, but we’re also very supportive of each other’s work as well.”
Penned by Fred Carmichael, Murder on the Rerun follows a similar “thriller” theme as last October when Stage 43 opened its season with Dead Serious.
Murder on the Rerun tells the tale of an Oscar-winning screenwriter named Jane Ackerly, who is determined to solve the mystery behind her own death.
The play also gives a satirical look at Hollywood movers and shakers.
Situated in the 1980s at a Vermont ski lodge owned by Hollywood producer Stanzio, Jane aims to show him her new play, titled The Loves of Laura.
But she winds up at the bottom of the stairs, dead.
Her four friends and husband claim she fell down; however, her ghost — aided by Kitty, an “angel” who has been trying for 200 years to redeem herself in an attempt to get into heaven — wants it to be known she was pushed.
“It’s full of lots of laughs and twists and turns,” Bell said. “It’s a fun play and one that’s presented very well by a community theatre group that pours its heart and soul out. They have a real passion for theatre.”
Featured in the play are Stage 43 newcomers as well as a veteran cast and crew. Among the senior members are Gaye Lepage as the gossip columnist and Richard Paré, the set designer.
Emily Houston and Tara Parker are the rookies while Sharon Kilback, Alannah St. Pierre, Craig McIntosh, Nikki Bryce and Richard Wiens are also on stage.
• Murder on the Rerun is from Jan. 17 to 20 and Jan. 23 to 26 at the Evergreen Cultural Centre (1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam). For tickets, call 604-927-6550 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.com. Stage 43’s next play, Woman In Mind, which runs in April at Evergreen, will be Stage 43’s entry into the Theatre BC Fraser Valley Zone Festival. Visit stage43.org for audition dates.