Saturday night’s installment in the Spokane Symphony’s SuperPops series is an unusual one, to say the least.
It’s a murder mystery, titled “Death on the Downbeat - The Mysterious Affair of the Murdered Maestro.”
How can a pops concert also be a murder mystery?
It can be because this concert is staged with the help of the Magic Circle Theatre Company, which goes all over the country staging exactly these kinds of concerts.
The setup goes like this: Maestro Bigherr was poisoned after arriving at the Opera House to lead the day’s rehearsals. Detective Deuce and his sergeant have a list of everyone in the hall that day - a list which includes musicians, board members, staff, reporters and a mysterious “lady in red.” None seem particularly bothered by the maestro’s demise.
The detective allows the concert to proceed as planned.
So the Spokane Symphony orchestra plays appropriately moody and mysterious music, such as Richard Rodgers’ “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” Max Steiner’s “Casablanca Suite,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide Overture,” and the “Theme from Perry Mason.”
Meanwhile, the mystery is played out during and between the musical numbers. Members of the Magic Circle Theatre Company are joined by a cast of Spokane “celebrities,” who portray some of the suspects: Mayor Jack Geraghty, KZZU-FM Breakfast Boys Dave Sposito and Ken Hopkins, KHQ-6 newscaster Rick Douglas, Spokesman-Review columnist Doug Clark and musicians Aida Ribeiro Mechetti and Tamara Schupman.
The Magic Circle Theatre Company was formed as the Magic Circle Mime Company in 1977 (they recently dropped “Mime” from the name) by Maggie Petersen and Douglas McIntyre. They have performed with numerous symphonies around the country.
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MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: SPOKANE SYMPHONY SUPERPOPS, “DEATH ON THE DOWNBEAT - THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR OF THE MURDERED MAESTRO,” Location and time: Opera House, Saturday, 8 p.m. Tickets: $13 to $27, available through the Spokane Symphony ticket office on the skywalk level of the Seafirst Financial Center, 624-1200, and at G&B; outlets