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The Foreword

Inside the Unmurdered!

A review of the Allderdice Theatre Department’s fall play: Unmurdered!
Inside the Unmurdered!
Mrs. Teresa Madden-Harrold


The Allderdice fall play just wrapped up and it was a tremendous show! This year’s production of  Unmurdered! was yet another success. 

Despite being relatively short, the show was quite engaging. At only 40 minutes long, the production put on an entertaining show that felt much longer, thanks to many comically gifted actors and all who were involved in the production.

“This play had an unusually large cast and the scenes often involved 10-12 characters in one conversation. It was a staging challenge, but it is great fun for the actors to work in an ensemble like this,” said Allderdice Theater Director Mrs. Madden-Harrold. 

Mrs. Madden-Harrold explained that, “[The show was] a one-act murder mystery set in an artists’ retreat in the mountains of Wyoming.  The large cast of eccentric characters and two unexpected murders keep the audience guessing. Also, it’s a comedy, and laughter is good for us.”

Everything in the show is ironic. The mystery takes place in a hotel that cannot take care of all its guests, and the characters are all artists who value self-expression more than the mere existence of the other guests staying at the hotel. 

The lead, Dashiel Reznor, played by senior Oliver Hsu, is a writer of detective mysteries who is cursed by writer’s block. Dash is in pursuit of regaining an ability that only he believes to have. As an egotistical, narcissistic writer, his qualities throughout the show are largely obnoxious and whiny. His constant selfishness leads him to be more outraged by the state of the hotel than anyone else. Surprisingly, Dash is the character that seems most normal. 

At the hotel, Dash finds himself surrounded by an eclectic bunch of performing artists with peculiar names. Opera singer Anna Maria Mangion, played by junior Cassidy Sluss, will not leave the hotel. Princess Anastasia, played by senior Madelyne Malloy, has tricked herself into believing that she is a long-lost relative of a tsar. The characters are simply bizarre.

The cast brought the set to life. The proprietor of the hotel, Euphemia, played by junior Sadie Primack, sits atop a throne as she commands the guests. One of the notable set pieces was a comically small sofa that Dash is forced into when the hotel reveals that there are no rooms available. 

Realistic interpretations of unrealistic characters added depth to the show. The cast nailed the inflections of artists that become intolerable. 

“It was convenient for me to play Dashiel Rezner because many of the characters are flat for the purpose of comedy. [To be] Dash Rezner, all I have to do is what he would be thinking about. The answer is always himself. So I would be annoyed that he is not getting his [hotel] room. His motivation is simple.” said Oliver Hsu. 

Mrs. Teresa Madden-Harrold

The diverse and talented community of Allderdice Theater contributed to a phenomenal show. The actors were from all different grade levels and many of the cast acted for the first time in this production. 

“We had a great combination of people returning for the second or third year and new members, which was cool,” said Cassidy Sluss. 

The strong passion of those involved in Allderdice Theater is also reflected in the show. 

“Musical rehearsal season is my favorite time of year. I am really looking forward to [the spring]. I am already more than halfway through my time at Dice, so I am hoping the next year and a half will be the best yet!” continues Cassidy. 

Production for the Spring Musical, an annual Allderdice favorite, will be starting soon. The production will be larger scale with an orchestra and more stage props. With many opportunities for all types of roles, new students could join the cast. Auditions for the spring musical are on Tuesday, December 19th after school in the auditorium. Performances for the spring musical will be April 18-21, 2024.

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About the Contributor
Isaac Gildengers
Isaac Gildengers, Staff Writer
Isaac Gildengers is a senior at Pittsburgh Allderdice High School. Outside of school he enjoys playing sports with friends. He also likes to cook with his family.

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