‘Murder in the Knife Room’ opens Thursday at Steamboat Springs High School
Steamboat Springs — Steamboat Springs High School director and theater teacher Jamie Oberhansly understands there are plenty of variables that go into getting students to participate in a production.
Some are old pros, veterans of the bright stage lights. Some do it to join friends, and some do it to try something new.
But with the school’s latest production, “Murder in the Knife Room,” Oberhansly has found a way to attract her biggest — and most diverse — cast in three years.
The play is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the high school. The run time is about 70 minutes with a 15-minute intermission. The cost is $10 for adults, $8 for students and $4 for children and activity pass holders. Tickets can be purchased at the door, at All That Jazz or at the high school.
If nothing else, Jonathan Rand’s play is timely, whimsical, contemporary and features just the right amount of jokes that a 10-year-old can laugh at and a mid-50s, working-class person can enjoy.
“It’s a silly murder mystery,” Oberhansly said. “It’s high brow and silly humor. People like both types.”
It certainly comes out in the characters, who fulfill stereotypes and poke fun at themselves and society in general.
The premise is classic murder mystery littered with comedic moments in a who-dun-it format.
There is a murder, and there are 20 suspects. The trusty, omniscient inspector thoroughly eliminates each one with great character portrayals and a tremendous cast that does a re-enactment.
“It’s funny in that cliche type of way,” said Kris Kolvereid, who plays the inspector and is the president of the theater club. “I think it’s relatable in that sense.”
The jokes are timely throughout, poking a finger at popular culture and mass stereotypes. Just by the character names, it’s evident what the audience is in store for.
Southern Belle is what you’d expect: Southern drawl, perfect life but maybe an unexpected problem.
Washed-Up Actress could have made it but hates everyone for not making it.
Diehard Broncos Fan is insufferable in his fandom.
The politician smiles, gives thumbs up and votes any way that will keep her in office.
Put them all together, and the play hits on many levels. The production doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the characters are genuinely interesting in their portraits of the stereotypes attached to their names.
“There are jokes that just a lot of adults would get,” said Sara Stout, who plays the Mysterious Host. “I think it’s for people our age but adults would find it funny.”
Production on the play began in early October. The next production will take place in February with a musical.
“I think interest in theater is because the past success we’ve had,” Oberhansly said. “Students look at it and go, ‘I can do that, and it can be fun.’”
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