Better Half Dead

by  Joan Torres

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  3m, 2f

"Wicked dialogue. Very clever." - The Chicago Tribune

"Wonderfully wacky." - DramaLogue
"A real twister! Hilarious!" - The Star Telegram
"The play is a howl." - WMAQ Radio

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Better Half Dead

by  Joan Torres

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 2f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller

Additional Info

Rena is sick of her sinking beach house and her husband Dermot, a disinherited son of "The Landfill King." She's packing, taking a gun and returning to her first husband, the artist Stanley Riverstein. Stanley wants his painting returned with his ex wife. Dermont protests, there is a struggle, the gun goes off and Rena falls to the floor dead. Stanley will remove the body, for a price. Dermot agrees. Rena's sister Jodi, who was dumped by Dermot but still loves him, is told that Rena has gone back to Stanley. Dermont fails to mention the gun, the body or blackmail. But wait! Things are not what they seem. Who's shot and who's not? And why? Is another murder imminent? The mayhem includes a storm, a disguise, a strangulation and a murderous fur coat.
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Reviews

"Wicked dialogue. Very clever." - The Chicago Tribune

"Wonderfully wacky." - DramaLogue

"A real twister! Hilarious!" - The Star Telegram

"The play is a howl." - WMAQ Radio

Considerations

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Setting: The living room of Rena and Dermot's contemporary beach house in Yapaponack, Long Island. July-September. The present.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

3m, 2f
RENA BRADDOCK - acidic sophisticate, married to Dermot.
STANLEY RIVERSTEIN - macho artist, once married to Rena.
DERMOT BRADDOCK - charming sportsman, married to Rena.
GERALD LEVINE - gay attorney, friend of Stanley's.
JODI BOYD - unstable optimist, Rena's younger sister.
DR. STAHL - Jodi's psychiatrist, over 70, Viennese lady.
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

DR. STAHL and JODI BOYD are played by the same woman. For the purpose of surprise, Dr. Stahl should be billed as a separate cast member, using an invented name, biography and photograph ("Georgette Spelvin)".

Resources

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Authors

Joan Torres

Joan Torres

BETTER HALF DEAD was first performed at The International City Theatre in Long Beach, California in January 1991. Directed by Peter Grego

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