Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…

From left: Janette Winslow, Beau Dixon, Amy Fort, Rob Fortin, Susan Newman, Mark Hiscox, Haley McGee and Tim Walker

Alison Jutzi as Florence Kinrade(Cast: 5f, 7m, musician(s) 27+ parts)

“A joyous romp on the somber subject of murder.” Lakefield Herald

This musical murder-mystery comedy uses songs from the vaudeville period, and the various styles of a vaudeville show to investigate one of the most notorious unsolved cases in Canadian legal history:  the murder of Ethel Kinrade in Hamilton in 1909.  Ethel’s younger sister, Florence, claims the murderer was one of the many tramps plaguing the city.  But George Blackstock, a noted QC brought in from Toronto for the inquest, seems determined to turn the spotlight on Florence herself.  He forces her to reveal that during the previous year she was singing at a dime show in Portsmouth while her well-to-do, very religious family thought she was soloist at a church in Richmond. Virginia.   Does wanting to escape a stultifying family lead to murder?

‘Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…’ was, ironically, the signature song of Canadian vaudeville star, Flossie Wright (née Florence Kinrade) in the 1920’s.  So was Ethel’s murderer a tramp or was Florence the Canadian Lizzie Borden?  How far will an affluent, highly respected family go to protect their reputation?   In uncovering possible answers, the action moves back and forth from Florence’s 1922 success, to the deceptions of 1907/8, to 1909 when the seasoned lawyer takes on the performer in an inquest that transfixes North America.

Produced at 4th Line Theatre, Millbrook, Aug. 7 – Sept. 1, 2007 Director: Molly Thom

“A great premiere of an original musical murder mystery.”
Peterborough Examiner

“…a joyous romp on the somber subject of murder…. Last Wednesday (when) the play started under threatening skies; but, during the evening, the sky over the 4th Line barn opened to show a friendly patch of blue, as though even the heavens were enjoying the performance…. Everyone in the cast was involved and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. That they could do so was due to the verve and ingenuity with which Shirley Barrie had written the story, and the truly magnificent direction given by Molly Thom.”
Lakefield Herald

“The players of 4th Line Theatre have mounted one of their most challenging – and most entertaining – plays in the 15 year history of the productions at Winslow Farm.”
Cobourg Daily Star

“4th Line Theatre’s current show, Beautiful Lady, Tell Me…isn’t exactly what you’d expect. It’s so much more…. Applause is especially extended to both playwright Shirley Barrie for scripting such an intricate story that covers the whole gamut of the theatre experience and director Molly Thom, for her captivating use of stage and direction.”
Lindsay Post

The band: From left: Rob Fortin, Beau Dixon, Mark Hiscox, Justin Hiscox.The music stand Tim Walker

Melodrama at the Orpheum: Haley McGee, Beau Dixon, Alison Jutzi as Florence Kinrade and Rick Jongejan

Sample pages

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