‘Frequency of Death’ in living black-and-white

Trade-secret makeup, special lighting, stylized acting combine to bring 1940’s B&W movies to life

(Lewisville) Pegasus Theatre will present a new production of “The Frequency of Death,” a comedy murder-mystery presented in “Living Black & White,” Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 26-29, in the Black Box at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater.

Evening shows will start at 8 p.m. Jan. 26-28, with 3 p.m. matinee shows on Jan. 28-29. Tickets are $35 for Saturday night, $30 general admission and $20 for students and seniors on Friday night and at both matinees, and “pick-a-price” from $5 to $20 on Thursday evening.

Tickets are available at the Winspear Box Office of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora Street in Dallas; online at attpac.org; or by phone at 214-880-0202. Advance tickets cannot be purchased at MCL Grand.

“The Frequency of Death!” takes place in the studios of radio station WKIL during a live broadcast of “The Mystery Challenge.” The program is hijacked by a mysterious voice — that of Dr. Big, a demented but brilliant scientist bent on revenge, who has rigged the building to explode if anyone tries to enter or leave. The only hope for inept but endearing would-be actor turned would-be detective Harry Hunsacker is to stop Dr. Big before the program signs off … permanently. An affectionate parody of detective films on the 1930s and 1940s, this show will delight the whole family.

Kurt Kleinmann, artistic director for Pegasus Theatre and creator of the “Living Black & White” series, returns as Harry Hunsacker in the Lewisville production. The outstanding cast is directed by Robert Bartley and includes Broadway and Off-Broadway star Susan Mansur, Ben Bryant, Chad Cline, Christopher Curtis, Gordon Fox, Charissa Lee, Leslie Patrick, Caroline Perryman, Greg Phillips and Ben Schroth.

The well-known and much beloved series of “Living Black & White” shows has been designed and produced by Pegasus Theatre since 1986.  It uses a technique developed at Pegasus Theatre that combines trade-secret makeup, special lighting, meticulous costuming and set creation, and stylized acting to create the illusion that the audience is watching not just a play, but a 1940s black-and-white movie brought to life on stage.

Pegasus Theatre is a professional not-for-profit theatre that began operations in October 1985. The mission of Pegasus Theatre is to “produce new and original comedies in a professional setting, highlighting the talents of North Texas theatre artists.”

For more information, visit pegasustheatre.com.

Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater is located at 100 N. Charles Street, between Main and Church streets. To reach the MCL Grand from Interstate 35E, take exit 452 and proceed east on Main Street to Charles Street. MCL Grand will be on the left. Free public parking is available along Main and Church streets, or at Lewisville City Hall across Church Street from the center. Parking is not allowed on the grass lot across Church Street from MCL Grand.

About the performers

Robert Bartley is a New York director with strong North Texas roots who brings with him an impressive directing resume, including Broadway Backwards now in its 7th incarnation on Broadway. This premier fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids has starred more than 100 performers including Betty Buckley, Whoopi Goldberg, Len Cariou, Neil-Patrick Harris, F. Murray Abraham, Clay Aiken, Alan Cumming and Florence Henderson. Other New York directing credits include: The Cuban and the Redhead (LA Festival, Village Theatre, Revision, York Theatre), Fiorelli (NYMF); and Hair (Peculiar-Works).

Susan Mansur is a veteran of Broadway and Off-Broadway. She got her start in the original production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas playing the lonely waitress Doatsey Mae. Mansur was in the revival of Damn Yankees with Jerry Lewis and toured with White Christmas for five years, ending up back on Broadway. During her years in New York, Mansur created many roles including Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Myrna Thorn in Ruthless, Icy Spoons in Night of the Hunter, Meemaw in Stand By Your Man and Pricilla Vanderhosen in Cy Coleman’s Lovers, Lawyers and Lunatics (with Robert Bartley.) Her other favorites include Dolly in Hello, Dolly, Rev. Mother in Nunsense and Dotty in Noises Off.  Since returning to her native state, Mansur has had the great pleasure to work in the Dallas area at WaterTower Theatre in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (along with Gordon Fox) and Valley of the Dolls for Uptown Players. She can be seen in two recent Austin films, Five Time Champion and Abel’s Field as well as the TV movie Marry Me on Lifetime and the motion picture Universal Soldier 4.

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