CSz Presents 'Murder Manor: The Golden Girls Edition' this April

ComedySportz CSz Murder Manor The Golden Girl Edition Cast


This April, when CSz Worldwide (the global improvisational ComedySportz Network), presents the newest iteration of Murder Manor, their live experience based on the board game Clue, it will tap into a Glamorosi Magazine favorite: the classic sitcom, The Golden Girls. The show, now in syndication, is beloved original fans and new younger viewers who tune in to watch Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty navigate their lives as mature adults in Miami, Florida. Produced by the famed Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions team from 1985 to 1992, the show is still stunning, not only for its caustic humor, but for its frank and funny depiction of sexuality amongst older adults.

So rich and inspiring was the humor of The Golden Girls, that a remake of the series is in the works. As reported by Variety, a gay-themed version of the show titled Silver Foxes is being planned by several Golden Girls script writers with potential stars including George Takei, Leslie Jordan and Bruce Vilanch.

As for CSz Philadelphia's Murder Manor: The Golden Girls Edition, it runs every Friday in April starting on the 6th. Audience members will enjoy a fully interactive improvised murder mystery experience based on the board game Clue, but featuring characters from The Golden Girls. The audience plays into the whodunit: was it sarcastic Dorothy (or her cheating ex-husband Stan), flirtatious Blanche, dimwitted Rose, or firecracker Sophia? We spoke with Don Montrey, Executive Director of CSz Philadelphia – “Philly's Longest-Running Comedy Show” – about The Golden Girls.

A.D. Amorosi: Why did you encourage CSz company member Kristin Finger to do a Murder Manor: Improvised Game of Clue in the first place?
Don Montrey: We are always open to our performers coming to us with their ideas for shows we could produce. Kristin was passionate about the idea of doing an improvised version of Clue, so we wanted to support her and help her realize that vision. Sometimes one of our performers has an idea, but needs help to see it through. We started a program last year that gives them free rehearsal space so they can work on the concept and rehearse the show. Plus, we are always there to give feedback and assist with technical details. We want to combine our theatrical backgrounds with our improv backgrounds to create a richer, grander, improv comedy show.

A.D.: How and why did The Golden Girls become part of that concept? Are you be a fan of the show?
Don: Kristin has been a life-long Golden Girls fan, and when we found out that the makers of “Clue” had released an actual, physical Golden Girls Edition, we knew it would be a perfect addition to our Murder Manor concept. It was a no-brainer.

A.D.: How and why did you cast each Golden Girl? For example, why Stephen Cole as Blanche?
Don: Kristin cast each character by finding the performer who had the right energy for that particular role. Stephen, for example, has the skills to take on a role like Blanche. Kristin didn't want to cast actors that could do a dead-on impression, just actors that could embody the soul of each character which was created by the original cast.

A.D.: How and why does the audience interact with the show?
Don: As the audience enters the theater they are asked to write down on slips of papers a juicy piece of dirt on each of the four main characters. These suggestions are put in a mug with each character's face on it. As each character enters the stage they choose a suggestion from their own mug and use that suggestion as motive for the show and potentially murdering someone. The reason we do this is because improv is an interactive experience. We don't want it to just be "sitting and watching in the dark." The audience loves it when they hear their suggestion, or line of dialogue or "secret" used by a performer on stage. They become invested; it makes them a part of the show which is fun for everyone.

A.D.: Who do you believe will wind up as the murderer - just a guess?
Don: At the top of the show a CSz rep will have a person in the audience choose one of the four playing cards, just as you would the board game. Each card has either Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, or Sophia on it. The card they choose will not be seen by anyone until the big reveal at the end. So it's completely random.

A.D.: What television series do you and Kristin have coming next?
Don: We have a few ideas we are considering. It certainly doesn't have to be a TV show. The makers of Clue have shown that you can take any brand and slap it onto the murder mystery genre, so we have a lot of options. However, the original cast of Murder Manor: An Improvised Game of Clue will be back on Fridays in October 2018.

Murder Manor: The Golden Girls Edition runs Fridays in April at 8PM at CSz Philadelphia, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $15. For more info visit ComedySportzPhilly.com

Cast photo by Kevin Regan courtesy of CSz. L to R: Stephen Cole as Blanche; Kristen Finger as Dorothy; Alli Soowal as Sophia; Sarah LeClair as Rose.

Posted on Friday, April 6, 2018