Pat Cook’s play "You Have the Right to Remain Dead" has the cast and the whole Shawnee Theatre audience getting into the act of solving a mysterious murder. From Jonathan Maranday’s very funny opening monologue through the actual murder, the investigation, the touting up of clues and the audience’s votes on which of suspects was the murderer, the Bloomfield theatre audience was thoroughly involved and entertained.
"You Have the Right to Remain Dead" begins as a parody of "Cat on the Hot Tin Roof." In this very humorous, purposefully awkward play, everyone has motive and means for murder. Lights go out, shots ring out and there’s a body, but not one that anyone was expecting. The play stops as the cast, all under suspicion, regroup under the supervision of a detective played with often-humorous command by Mike Price.
Soon the ring of suspicion is widened and the whole audience along with the cast became suspects. Things got wilder and wilder as time lines, motives and opportunities were explored. The detective sought help from the audience in quizzing the actors. The actors, in retaliation, came right off stage and quizzed some of us. The final voting by the audience for the murderer-most-likely revealed some distinct favorites and then…to many of us…the surprising revelation.
"You Have the Right to Remain Dead" directed by N. Christian Bottorf, at the Shawnee Theatre, just south of Bloomfield, plays this evening and Saturday at eight with a final matinee on Sunday at two.