Around 40 Centennial High School (CHS) students are slated to perform a play that has only been performed once before the production Nov. 6-9.

The school’s Fall Play, “Murder Crime!” was written by Twin Cities playwrights, one of whom is Edina High School Theater Director Justin Spooner.

CHS Director Eric Webster saw the play at Edina High School last year and knew it would be a great show to put on at CHS. “I saw it and knew instantly I wanted to direct it. It has only been performed once before,” he said.

The basic plot line goes like this ... Some people get invited to a mansion by a ghost, who sends them in search of missing treasure and a lot of people end up dead. “I know that doesn't sound funny on paper, but it is. Trust me,” Webster said. “The plot is really ridiculous itself. It's better to think of the show as a series of jokes and bits. It's a hilarious farce. It has huge exaggerated characters and ridiculous cartoon-like comedy.”

Sophomore Braden Williams plays the role of Pembridge, the butler. “I am the butler who brings everyone in, and no one knows how to pronounce my name,” he said. “My entire character consists of keeping a straight face — and the tuxedo is nice.”

Williams said this kind of comedy is “rare to see.” “It calls itself out a lot and talks to the audience.

It is not something that I have ever seen, and I hope it is something new for other people too,” he said.

This will be Williams’ first time on the stage. Last year he was in charge of lights in the play. “I think I was really waiting for a comedy (to be on stage). I understand comedy more,” he said. “I enjoy making people laugh more than I enjoy making people cry.”

In addition to his role as butler, Williams is also in charge of marketing for the play and wrote a good portion of the music. “All of the music is very impromptu,” he said.

This will be junior Charlotte Taddeo's first time in a play as well. She decided to try out “for fun,” since she knew Webster from improv at Centennial Middle School. “I thought I was going to be on the set crew or something,” Taddeo said. “Webster said the character he imagined (for the narrator) was a lot like what I do in improv.”

Taddeo said she has really enjoyed the narrator role because it means she is on the stage for virtually the entire show. However, memorizing all of her lines has been a challenge.

She described the show as “ridiculous and stupidly funny.” She elaborated, “The humor is very cartoony, it is not very realistic.”

Webster recommends people see the show “because it's funny and accessible to anybody of any age or background. We all really need to laugh and experience something inclusive to anybody.”


Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or

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