Whodunit fans may want to break out their dancing shoes, Myrtle Beach’s next murder mystery is also a musical.
“Scorpio’s Kiss: A Murder Mystery Musical,” a play written by longtime local musician Phil Fox, will raise its curtains for the first time Saturday at the Atlantic Stage’s 79th Avenue Theater.
Want to go?
Scorpio’s Kiss: A Murder Mystery Musical
- When | Saturday 8 p.m, Sunday 3 p.m.
- Where | 79th Avenue Theater, 79th Avenue North & U.S. 17 Bypass
- How much | $10
- Call 651-1003 or visit Facebook for more details.
It will be presented by Myrtle Beach’s Avante Garde Theater Troupe, an underground group which staged a raucous production of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in November.
The two-act play follows the story of Tracy Holmes (played by Caroline Meiler), the great-great grand niece of Sherlock Holmes, as she seeks to uncover the cause of a mysterious death within a traveling theater troupe.
Director Alyson McKellar says it is meant to be a farce on the classic whodunit mystery.
But despite the quirky script and a host of fun musical numbers, McKellar says “Scorpio’s Kiss” is more than just a satire.
“There’s a quite nice twist in the end. I think folks will be surprised,” she said.
In addition to being a completely original work, what makes “Scorpio’s Kiss” unique is the music.
Incorporating past works from Fox’s band — popular alt-pop/rock act Wicked Gift — as well as five new songs the score keys on both classical and modern elements.
“So much of the show has that classic musical theater feel to it, but at the same time it contrasts with the actors fronting a rock band from time to time,” said Avant Garde founder Stefanie Glyn Crane. “There’s a lot of modern themes with the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll throw in there for good measure.”
As someone with a rock ‘n’ roll background Fox says he’s always been very interested in where the rock world and the theater world intersect. It’s this intersection that has led him to write and produce a variety of interesting projects such as “Gratisphere: A Sci-Fi Burlesque Show” and “Down For The Summer” in his roughly two years of theater experience.
“We’re targeting that certain portion of the population who’s interested in seeing something they have seen before or even that hasn’t been done before,” said Fox. “We’re definitely carving our own path every time we do something like this.”
It’s a creative process that cast members say is very gratifying compared to more traditional community theater.
“The really cool thing about this sort of theater is that you can originate a role,” says Crane, who also serves as the play’s choreographer. “It’s been really fun to work with Phil on these projects because I know there’s so much of me in them.”
McKellar, who is taking her first turn in the director’s chair, agrees.
She says she hopes that putting on something like “Scorpio’s Kiss” will help to build a following for underground theater locally.
“Myrtle Beach has always had a really good music scene,” said McKellar. “But we don’t really have an underground theater scene for folks of the younger generation, and so we’re just trying to create something new.”
“People think of Myrtle Beach as this cultural wasteland. We’re trying to nip that in the bud right now.”
Crane, meanwhile, sees the chance to work with the Atlantic Stage as a great opportunity to build up Avant Garde Theater Troupe.
“We are hoping this is going to provide us an opportunity to have a venue — an actual stage — and be able to collaborate more with Coastal going forward,” she says.
Find out more about Avant Garde Theatre Troupe or watch a clip of the musical number "Vinny" below: