The Lady Cries Murder

by  John William See

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  11m, 6f

"It is 1938. A successful radio producer has purchased a detective story from a writer named Raymond Chandler. Chandler is incensed that the producer is rewriting and distorting the story but seems powerless to do anything. With that as a background,…

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The Lady Cries Murder

by  John William See

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    11m, 6f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Placed in 1938, the story is a classic detective tale of the period, cram-packed with twists.  See's plot plays on three levels: First, there is radio scripter, Sartone, who has developed a popular detective series; second, there are the actors playing the characters in his scripts; and, finally, there are characters who think they are real.
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Reviews

"It is 1938. A successful radio producer has purchased a detective story from a writer named Raymond Chandler. Chandler is incensed that the producer is rewriting and distorting the story but seems powerless to do anything. With that as a background, the playwright segues into one of the slickest, smartest, funniest spoofs of the hard boiled detective genre ever to hit the boards." - Los Angeles Weekly

"The best written of its genre and certainly the wittiest." - Los Angeles Times
"One of the more successful spoofs of the hard boiled private eye yarns of the 30s." - Los Angeles Magazine

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Setting: New York City. 1938. In the house of the famous American writer, Charles Sartone.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

11m, 6f
PHILIP DIAMOND - a tough, sincere, hardboiled detective
ANGEL LA TOUR - his tough, sincere, harboiled secretary
MILES SWORDFISH - Diamond's deceased partner
MARSHA SHORTHAND - a red herring dressed in green
EMMA SHORTHAND - a rich dowager
WADSWORTH - her butler
SHANGHAI SUE - a luxurious Asian woman
ERNIE BONE - a piece of muscle
RAOUL JAMAICA - a dangerous lady's man
LIEUTENANT GROG - a tough cop
SERGEANT DUNK - a tough cop's partner
JASPER GRUNT - a corporate bloodsucker
CHARLES SARTONE - a famous novelist
DELORES SARTONE - Charles' batty wife
IAN LATABY - Charles' chauffeur
WILLIAM KRESKIN - a concerned lawyer
MIRIAM BROOKS - Charles' secretary
RAYMOND CHANDLER - a writer of wrongs
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

The following are combinations are suggested for double casting:
MIRIAM/ANGEL
KRESKIN/SWORDFISH
DELORES/EMMA
WADSWORTH/ANNOUNCER/WAITER
RAOUL/IAN
CHARLES/JASPER

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Authors

John William See

John William See

THE LADY CRIES MURDER was first presented at the San Diego Repertory Theatre in 1980. Directed by Christopher R.

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