Strange things are afoot with the Mystery Writers of America. In their first-ever Pre-Edgar Awards ceremony (the prizes that honor the best in mystery writing), John Astin and a veritable mystery musical and movies "hit parade" will entertain guests while benefitting the Riverside Opera Ensemble's programs for young singers and actors.
Astin will present an extended excerpt from Paul Day Clemens and Ron Magid's Once Upon a Midnight, a dramatization of the life and writings of America's darkest poet and storyteller, Edgar Allen Poe. Best known for the amusingly creepy Gomez Addams on the "Addams Family" TV series, Astin is currently traveling with his first tour of Midnight.
In a salute to Edgar Awards past, the program's song list will include pieces from Edgar winning movies, TV shows and musicals, including "Charade" and "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" from the films of the same name and classical musical like "Les Sons et Les Parfums Tournet dans l'air du Soir" by Debussy (featured in "The Usual Suspects").
2000's Edgar nominees include several "Law & Order" episodes, Julie Taymor's "Titus" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and two plays, Thulani Davis' Everybody's Ruby and Joe Di Pietro's The Art of Murder.
Tickets for two are $100 plus the post-performance champagne reception (single tickets are $35). St. Peter's Church at the Citicorp is located on Lexington Avenue at East 54th Street. To reserve tickets, send an order form to the Mystery Writers of America, 17 East 47th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017 with checks payable to the Riverside Opera Ensemble. The Mystery Writers of America are on the web at http://www.mysterywriters.net. -- By Christine Ehren