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The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

‘Next Victim, Please’ has killer cast



After the stress of finals, the Cal High drama class’s production of “Next  Victim, Please” was gladly welcomed by Cal students.

The satirical play about murder mysteries, which ran Jan. 31-Feb. 1, revolved around a family gathered together to read their elderly father’s will.

Suddenly members of the family began to die and as the story continued, the dwindling members of the family tried to find the murderer.

“Next Victim, Please” opens in a 1970s sitting room with the maid Fifi (senior Courtney  Glickman) introducing the members of the family as they gather to hear the reading of their father’s will.

The bulter, Higgins, (senior Devin Deihl) wheels in Colonel Murdock (junior Abby Radermacher), the elderly father.

It becomes clear that each member of the family feels that they are entitled to their father’s huge fortune and immediately begin bickering amongst each other.

Murdock reads the will, saying that his children, Susan (junior Angela Pardini) and Clifford (junior Mohammed Syed), are the heirs to his fortune. His sister, Pricilla (senior Sarah Glugatch), and her husband Herbert, (junior Charles Nault) are next in line.

Pricilla plans to kill Clifford and Susan by poisoning their tea, but the tea cups are switched, so Pricilla and Herbert end up dying instead.

The killings continue as such, two deaths by knife, three deaths by gun, and two deaths by electrocution until there is no one left but Colonel Murdock. He decides to leave his fortune to Higgins, who turns out to be the killer. Higgins then stabs Murdock to get his fortune, and Fifi arrests Higgins because she was an undercover detective all along.

This production was also performed at the Lenaea High School Theater Festival, a competition for high school drama students, which took place Feb. 1-3 near Sacramento.

Junior Cameron Coy, who portrayed Detective Swift, won a special recipient’s award for his original monologue. Senior Jonathan Akkawi, who played another one of Colonel Murdock’s sons, Lawrence, won gold for his monologue.

The play was definitely competition-worthy as well as very entertaining.

“I think this is a really strong competition piece, and I had actors that could play the parts,” said drama teacher Laura Woods, who was very pleased with her students’ performances. “I think it went very well.”

The comedic timing was perfect and the cast interacted well with each other. The hard work the cast and crew put into the play was evident throughout.

“We had a couple months,”  said senior Laryssa Chan, who played the adventurous Aunt Rebecca. “It was really well prepared.”

Cal students also noticed the hard work and standout performances of the production.

“Best Cal High play I have seen,” said senior Miranda Shakes.

Junior Dallin Slavens  agrees with Shakes.

“The best play this school has ever seen,” said Slavens.

I would also have to agree that “Next Victim, Please” went off without a hitch.

The acting of  Radermacher as Colonel Murdock was amazing.

She perfected the old man’s voice and delivered the most convincing performance of the entire cast.

Coy’s performance was also very strong and he never failed to draw a laugh when he stepped on stage.

Diehl gave a stellar performance as the butler-slash-killer, Higgins.

He was perfectly stoic the whole time, keeping a straight face even at the funniest moments of the play.

The play did have a small problem of overacting, which took away from the humor and mystery of the play. Some did  not seem fully invested in their character or the plot line.

But the standout performances were able to compensate for the overacting, making the production a hit.

I rate “Next Victim, Please” 3 out of 4 Grizzly paws.

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Sabine Hrkalovich
Sabine Hrkalovich, Opinions Editor

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