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Murder mystery musical to hit the stage in Columbus

Courtesy of Ryan Kovalaske


While dialogue is often considered a fundamental part of any play, one murder mystery coming to Columbus is letting contemporary music do the talking.

“The Manila Envelope: The Secret’s Within,” a murder mystery which follows the events surrounding four college students following one’s death, will be presented by SNAP! Performance Productions. The show will be performed at the Lincoln Theatre May 5–7.

“The Manila Envelope” is a high-energy show with no spoken lines, as the story is told through use of modern music.

“It’s not like you’re going to see an actual musical,” said Jenny Messersmith, who plays the character of Alexis in the show. “It’s more like a concert with a storyline pieced throughout it.”

The show will feature music from Lady Gaga, Wicked, Stevie Wonder and others.

“I think a lot of people would compare this to Glee,” said Erin Bonner, one of the leading dancers in the show. “It’s such a part of pop culture, I think anyone can relate to it.”

Members of SNAP! write their own scripts for all the shows and work to create original ideas and storylines. This year’s show has a twist.

“The really unique thing, and maybe kind of a bit scary, the cast actually doesn’t know the ending,” said Lynette Shy who co-founded SNAP! in 2003 with Dyanne Lewis. “The cast isn’t going to find out until the audience finds out. Opening night will be very interesting when they find out ‘who do it.'”

Shy said students can find connections within the show and attending is an easy way to make a contribution outside of the campus area.

SNAP! is a local performing arts organization that provides annual shows with the help of local volunteer performers to benefit non-profits. This year SNAP! is working with Recreation Unlimited.

“Recreation Unlimited is basically camp for kids that have disabilities,” Shy said. “So kids who go to camp there can enjoy that camp experience the way other kids can. We donate a portion of our proceeds from the spring show to (them).”

Organization members also contribute to Recreation Unlimited throughout the year by providing special performances and helping to maintain the campgrounds, Shy said.

“I think that students are the audience that is probably going to enjoy it the most,” Shy said. “It’s a great way to help the community without having to go out and do anything.”

Bonner said SNAP! is unique not only because they support non-profit organizations, but all members are volunteer performers who love what they do.

“All of us are working young professionals,” Bonner said. “Everyone works but we all have a passion for the arts and this allows us to have our artistic outlet.”

Students who are currently involved or interested in performing arts can look at the show as a potential opportunity.

“If you love theater or if you love singing or love to dance, then you need to be there,” Shy said. “I think a lot of students, if they come and see what it’s about, I bet they’d be at auditions in the fall.”

Tickets are $25 and are available from www.ticketmaster.com. Student tickets are available for $5 in limited supply from the CAPA box office at 55 E. State St.

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