Living Black & White™This Pegasus staple has been wowing audiences since 1986
Living Black & White™
A technique developed at Pegasus Theatre which through the use of trade-secret makeup, special lighting, meticulous costuming and set creation, combined with stylized acting creates the illusion that the audience is watching—not just a play—but a 1930’s-40’s black-and-white movie brought to life on stage!
Line drawing by Philip D’Amore of Kurt Kleinmann as Harry Hunsacker – www.damoreartistry.com
The Living Black & White™ timeline
All Dressed Up and No Place to Die!
By Kurt Kleinmann
(Dateline: October 31, 1932)
In this adventure, the action takes place aboard the Monogram, a zeppelin similar to the Hindenburg. Guests aboard the largely automated Monogram have been invited to a Halloween party. Much to the dismay of Lt. Foster (who has been employed to provide security for the event), Harry and Nigel are among the guests. One of the guests, however, has more on his mind than pleasant party chatter! Harry’s wits will be tested by a nefarious villain as Lt. Foster’s patience is tested by Harry’s every move. Can they join forces long enough to prevent a murder? Join us for an evening of mystery and mirth to find out!
Full Moon Murders!
(Dateline: October 31, 1933)
It’s Halloween, 1933, and a series of local murders leads Detective Lt. Foster to the doorstep of Creighton Manor, whose tormented owner believes he’s the victim of a family curse and may be responsible for the killings. Matters are complicated by kissing cousins, a mysterious gypsy servant, and a secretive gardener who appears to come back from the dead.
Into this mix arrives Harry Hunsacker (world-famous detective and aspiring actor), who is trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with his good friend and paid-by-the-hour assistant Nigel Grouse. As night falls and a full moon rises, can Harry beat a centuries-old curse before it’s too late?
A Minor Case of Murder!
(Dateline: New Tear’s Eve, December 31, 1933)
It’s New Year’s Eve, 1933, and world-famous detective and aspiring actor Harry Hunsacker faces one of his most puzzling cases ever! Will good win the day, or will the forces of evil triumph?
A Degree of Death!
Harry Hunsacker, would-be actor turned would-be detective, and his paid-by-the-hour assistant and friend Nigel Grouse head west. On the journey to Los Angeles, their bus breaks down in Rioville–a nearly deserted town in Nevada which will soon be swallowed up by the waters of Lake Mead when the Hoover Dam is complete. They find themselves smack in the middle of a mysterious disappearance, a lost treasure, and a mad scientist’s evil plot to–naturally–take over the world!
Death Is No Small Change!
(Dateline: November 13, 1936)
The play takes place in November of 1936 on the private island which is home to the Yarazelski Brain Institute. A string of murders has been committed where the victims have been strangled and their brain removed surgically casting suspicion on the doctors of the Institute. Harry Hunsacker, would-be actor turned would-be detective, and Nigel Grouse, his paid-by-the-hour assistant, along with Lt. Foster of the real police have less than 2 hours before the killer will strike again!
(Dateline: March 1937)
Three Pulitzer prize-winning journalists believe they have been marked for death–by a man sitting on death row awaiting execution that very night! With impeccable timing, Harry Hunsacker arrives too late to save one of the three men. Can he save the others? More to the point, can he solve the case in less than two hours? Because in two hours Harry has an audition and he’s not going to miss that for anything!
The Frequency of Death!
(Dateline: October 1937)
The play takes place in the studios of radio station WKIL during a live broadcast of “The Mystery Challenge.” The program is hijacked by a mysterious voice—that of Dr. Big! A demented but brilliant scientist who’s crossed paths with Harry, Nigel, and Lt. Foster before, Dr. Big is bent on revenge—no matter the cost. He’s rigged the building to explode if anyone tries to come in or leave. The only hope our heroes have is to stop Dr. Big before the program signs off—permanently!
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder!
(Dateline: December 24, 1937)
Something sinister for Christmas? Someone is bumping off department store Santa’s and Lt. Foster has just taken a part-time job at a department store as Santa Claus! Meanwhile Harry Hunsacker is obsessed with finding just the “right gift” for Lt. Foster as he and Nigel shop for Christmas. And Eve Grayson, the man-eating department store owner, sets her sights on Nigel Grouse. Can Harry stop the Santa slayer in time to save Lt. Foster? Let’s hope Harry gets more than a lump of coal for Christmas!
A Trifle Dead!
(Dateline: January 14, 1938)
It was a bitterly cold night in January. It was the sort of night where only a fool would go out. Harry Hunsacker, would be-actor turned would-be detective, barely made it to millionaire industrialist Edward Stone’s house. Stone feared his life was in danger. He had hired Hunsacker as a bodyguard. It was a fatal mistake. Soon Harry, with the aid of his paid-by-the-hour assistant and friend Nigel Grouse, and Lt. Foster of the real police, is investigating Stone’s murder. The mansion is filled with suspects–Sinclair, the butler always making coffee; Robert, the alcoholic good-for-nothing son; Pamela the strong-willed daughter; and the glamorous Helen Reeves–a movie star and Edward Stone’s mistress. One thing is certain–someone killed Edward Stone and with Harry Hunsacker on the track they might just get away with it!
Another Murder, Another Show!
(Dateline: January 31, 1938)
It’s the night of The Wallys–an awards show that honors excellence in theatre–and last minute rehearsals are under way. Stumbling into the wrong theatre are Harry Hunsacker, would-be actor turned would-be detective, and Nigel Grouse, Harry’s paid by the hour assistant and friend. Before they can be ushered out of the theatre a murder is committed and Harry has a plan to sleuth out the identity of the murderer. Harry and Nigel will adopt a series of disguises to keep the murderer off-balance and make him (or her) think an army of famous detectives is hot on the trail!
(Dateline: February 1938)
In an effort to prevent Harry Hunsacker (would-be actor turned would-be detective) from ruining his wedding, Lt. Foster arranges for Harry and Nigel Grouse (Harry’s paid-by-the-hour assistant and friend) to be on a cruise ship and out of the country. Escorting them onto the boat Lt. Foster ends up trapped on board as the ship sets sail. Harry gets our trio kicked off the boat in Egypt and soon our heroes stumble onto a motion picture being filmed in an actual pyramid. In no time at all the over-bearing and womanizing producer of the film is murdered and everyone is trapped in the pyramid!
(Dateline: October 1938)
It’s “All Aboard!” for murder as DEATH EXPRESS!, by Kurt Kleinmann, takes place on the Trans-Continental Express from Los Angeles to New York. Inept but endearing detective Harry Hunsacker and his paid-by-the-hour friend and assistant, Nigel Grouse (along with Lt. Foster of the real police) find themselves trapped on a train headed for murder! Who is the vicious killer determined to slay everyone on board the train? Could it be the Conductor? What about the European starlet, Valentina Benet? Perhaps the murder-mystery novelist is trying out crimes for her new book? And who is the mysterious Mr. Wainwright? Murder and mayhem abound in this delightful tribute to old black-and-white movies, brought to life on-stage.
A Critical Case of Murder!
(Dateline: March 10, 1939)
Someone is murdering the theater critics in town one by one. Lt. Foster has summoned his suspects to police headquarters along with the two surviving theater critics. It appears he’s in command of the situation until Harry Hunsacker, would-be actor turned would-be detective, and Nigel Grouse, his paid-by-the-hour friend and assistant, enter the scene and gum up the works as only Harry Hunsacker can! With Harry on the scene, the murderer’s chance of “getting away with it” just got a whole lot better.
Death On Delivery!
By Kurt Kleinmann
(Dateline: March 11, 1939)
The setting is City Hospital where Lt. Foster’s wife (Beverly, a.k.a. Bubbles) has just given birth to their first child, Harriet. But danger lurks around every corner! Our intrepid trio (Harry, his paid-by-the-hour assistant Nigel Grouse, and Lt. Foster of the “real” police) must solve a mysterious string of murders before a madman claims one of their own. With Harry on the case, it should be “child’s play”!
Death is a Bad Habit!
(Dateline: May, 1939)
Bishop Perkins suspects that something is amiss at Our Lady of Perpetual Weepiness and has asked Harry Hunsacker, World famous detective and aspiring actor, to check into things at the convent. Harry, Nigel Grouse, and Lt. Foster find themselves in more trouble than they could possibly imagine. What sort of trouble? Why, Nun, of course!
Mind Over Murder!
(Dateline: November 1939)
Who murdered famed magician Marko the Magnificent? Could it have been his manager? Or his wife? Perhaps his assistant. All of the suspects and more are gathered at the mansion that was Marko’s home on the the 1 year anniversary of his death while performing the death-defying “bullet catch” for the reading of his will. The terms are clear–everyone must be present and if anyone leaves before the night is through they will forfeit their share of the inheritance. But one of the people in this room is the person who sabotaged the trick and killed Marko! Into this situation stumble Harry Hunsacker and Nigel Grouse–the would be actor turned would be detective and his paid-by-the-hour friend and assistant. Joining them is Lt. Foster since his car broke down and Harry and Nigel are giving him a lift. Can Harry Hunsacker solve this crime before it’s too late? The real trick will be if he can!
The play takes place backstage at a Broadway theatre. It’s opening night of a new play by famed playwright, Clayton Farrell. The tyrannical director, Douglas Mallory, wants to make a last-minute change to the climactic scene of the play. A shot rings out and someone falls dead! Fortunately for the killer, Harry Hunsacker (would-be actor turned would-be detective) has stumbled into the wrong theatre , and things just get a lot more complicated!
The Color of Death! (Formerly: The Time of Death!)
This is the only 3-Act Hunsacker adventure—and Act 2 is in Technicolor! Harry Hunsacker, would-be actor turned would-be detective, and his paid-by-the-hour-assistant and friend Nigel Grouse are enlisted by the Army to join forces with Lt. Foster and go undercover to infiltrate a top-secret Nazi research lab in Bavaria. They quickly discover the Nazis have a history-changing weapon they are about to unleash which will dramatically alter the world as we know it. It’s up to Harry to destroy this weapon before it can be used. Better send flowers!
Rehearsal for Murder! (Formerly: The Color of Death!)
The year is 1946. Lt. Foster has inherited a guest inn in the Green Mountains of Vermont currently run by Mrs. Holmes (the housekeeper) and Seth Murdock (the groundskeeper.) The guest inn is hosting famed writer/director Adrian Garson and a troupe of actors in rehearsal for a new Broadway play (Miracles Can Happen) away from the scrutiny of the Manhattan theatre critics. When one of the actors, leading man Allen Simpson, falls to his death from Eagle Point, Lt. Foster suspects foul play but before Lt. Foster can even unpack, Harry Hunsacker and Nigel Grouse arrive to gum up the works. Will the murder be solved before Lt. Foster loses his sanity?