New Albany News

Cloak & Dagger

Sock-hop musical mystery features a lethal plotline

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Mark Hale Jr. as Moose, Lorelei Moore as Principal Preston and Angie Austin as Julia June Dewlop rehearse a scene from Sock Hop Homicide , a Cloak & Dagger production that will be presented Friday at Shanes Gourmet Market, 447 E. Livingston Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Reservations are required.

Cloak & Dagger will take a walk back to the days of poodle skirts, doo-wop and horned-rim glasses.

Its latest production, Sock Hop Homicide, is a funny and warped melding of 1950s gumshoe detective dramas and outer space-themed B movies, said Steve Emerson, artistic director of the company.

The musical is set at a homecoming dance in 1953 at Mountain Valley High School.

"There are weird things happening -- strange lights in the sky, people are disappearing," Emerson said. "The teachers are dropping like flies."

Detective Max (played by Michael Galusick and Gavin Haab) turns up to investigate, aided by Julia June Dewlop (Angie Austin and Jocelyn Tannis), a high school student and amateur sleuth.

Emerson, who wrote the script, said he was partly inspired by 1950s: Building the American Dream, an exhibit at the Ohio Historical Society.

The Cloak & Dagger show also features 13 original songs. David Stone, lead singer in the local band Seasonal Help, is the show's music director.

Emerson said the two have worked on a couple of songs for more recent Cloak & Dagger productions, such as Spyballs: Death of a Secret Agent, Mayhem at the 5 Aces Casino and Brewlesque.

"I think he's interpreted the 1950s for a modern audience in a modern way, a funny way," Emerson said.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and shows start at 8 p.m. each Friday through Nov. 29 at Shanes Gourmet Catering, 447 E. Livingston Ave.

Admission is $49.13, which includes a buffet with a 1950s-style menu featuring items such as pot roast, meatless Johnny Marzetti, fried chicken and pie. For reservations, call 614-842-2583.

As always, audience participation is an integral part of the show.

Audience members are asked to don apparel of the era, enter a dance contest and help elect a homecoming king and queen.

There's even punch, which adults can have "spiked" with alcohol.

Emerson said it's a theme that resonates with the audiences of all ages.

"Everybody has that image of the '50s being all Leave it to Beaver," he said. "There is this sense everything was perfect.

"I think there was something bubbling under the surface," Emerson said.