<em>Death on Delivery!&nbsp;</em>at Pegasus Theatre

Review: Death on Delivery! | Pegasus Theatre | Eisemann Center

Labor Day

Laughs, gags, groans and birth pains enliven Pegasus Theatre’s 18th Living Black & White play, with Death on Delivery at the Eisemann Center.

published Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Photo: Alan Abair Photography
Death on Delivery! at Pegasus Theatre


Richardson — A drop-dead funny new whodunit in Living Black & White, featuring Harry Hunsacker, world-class bumbling detective and wannabe actor, is always something to celebrate. Just ask the sold-out crowd of Harry’s fans who regularly flock to the Eisemann Center on New Year’s Eve to see what their favorite noir sleuth is up to.

Pegasus Theatre Artistic Director Kurt Kleinmann, playwright and creator of the trademark makeup, costumes and soundscape spoofing ’30s and ’40s films, celebrates the company’s 31st season with the world premiere of Death on Delivery!, the 18th play in the popular series.

Photo: Alan Abair Photography
Death on Delivery! at Pegasus Theatre

With the new play, Kleinmann not only delivers a newborn into the series, but also hands over the role of Harry, which he has played for 30 years, to veteran Pegasus actor Scott Nixon. Mother, child and the new incarnation of Harry are doing fine. Certainly, Nixon, a large man with a tenor-ish voice and puppyish eagerness, brings a fresh innocence and lost-in-the-funhouse curiosity to the role. In his three-piece suit (costumes courtesy Jen J. Madison) and presenting Harry’s familiar narcissistic tendencies, Nixon’s Harry explains, “When the conversation isn’t about me, I lose interest.”

Attaboy, Harry. Some things should never change.

This time Harry and his sharp paid-by-the hour assistant Nigel Grouse—played by handsome, stylish Ben Bryant, returning to keep stiff posture and a tie-straightening nod to the ladies alive on the stage—find themselves in City Hospital. They’re there in support of the third member of their crime-solving trio, Lt. Foster, who’s just become a father. Chad Cline’s Foster is his usual grumpy self, even more annoyed by hapless Harry than usual because his beautiful wife Bubbles (a perfectly dimpled and sweetly effusive Leslie Patrick) has named their newborn Harryette.

Director Michael Serrecchia, back for his sixth Harry whodunit, keeps the highly stylized acting fun to watch, and achieves some cool stage sleight of hand in the comings and goings of suspects and detectives between closet doors, curtained beds, and corridors.

Ah, but City hospital is more than just the new baby wing. We all know that death can be delivered anywhere in a hospital, from the busy nurse’s station to the white, black and gray-toned halls of a curtained hospital room in Robert Winn’s simple and door-filled set design. Harry barely has time to chat up a pretty patient before the first body drops with a thud that gets everybody into detective mode.  The game’s afoot! Or maybe that was just Harry stumbling over somebody’s shoe.

Suspects abound, and Harry and his team are not exempting anyone, not the handsome intern (stylish Johan Munroe) or the brilliant lady doctor (elegant Alex Moore) or Lt. Foster’s delightfully derisive mother-in-law (petite and forceful Allyn Carrell), who Lt. Foster calls “a pain in the patoot.” Ah, noir. And that doesn’t include all the other suspicious looking staffers.

In his brilliant deductive manner, Harry sums it up for Nigel. “If one of these people is a murderer and they all say they are not the murderer, that means somebody is lying. Right?” Who can argue with such rigorous logic? That Harry has a mind like a steel trap. Of course, we always hope our slow-on-the-uptake hero doesn’t fall into one during the play.

At intermission, guests are invited to guess the real culprit to win a spiffy T-shirt. All the suspects appear guilty, and there are so many possible murderers, you feel a little like Harry. This time there’s a special twist that you need to see to believe. Warning: if you’re laughing too hard, you might miss it.

And given how funny Death on Delivery! is, that's likely. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
Labor Day
Laughs, gags, groans and birth pains enliven Pegasus Theatre’s 18th Living Black & White play, with Death on Delivery at the Eisemann Center.
by Martha Heimberg

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :