The Wrath of Comic-Con

The following revolves around the creation of an interactive murder mystery that has since been re-named MURDER: THE FINAL FRONTIER.


                Space...the very last place...these are the voyages of the Star Truck...Innerthighs...

So begins the latest interactive murder mystery comedy written by someone who needs no introduction, but is near and dear to all of your hearts...and if he isn't, he soon will be because...that's the kind of guy he is.

It's me, damn your eyes! Yes, I'm at it again or at least I was a few months ago when I first wrote this here piece o' work that is debuting this month for Mel O'Drama Theatre in the one and only Nashville, TN. (Even though this is my second time in Music City, it's so mind-blowing that something I wrote is playing in that iconic city)

The show in question is indeed STAR TRUCK; THE WRATH OF COMIC-CON. Set at a sci-fi convention called Imaginacon, a tribute to the classic TV show STAR TRUCK is underway with members of the cast including Leon Portnoy, the actor who is forever known as First Officer Mr. Spark, Jean Roddenreel, widow of the show's creator Dean Roddenreel and of course Captain James Tyrannosaurus Kork himself, the inimitable Wilson Chadwick. Also appearing at the convention is the star of STAR BOARS, Carrie Fishwich and someone who may or may not be an alien.

As you can tell unless you're not paying attention, this is all fodder for jabs at STAR TREK, STAR WARS
and basically all things in the geek universe which, in this day and age, pretty much everything. Of course. I include myself in these ranks, having been a geek since the day I first crawled the earth back...well, none of your damn business.. It is also a gold mine of comedic opportunities that I take as full advantage of as I possibly could given the parameters of the murder mystery format. There are digs are the aforementioned STAR shows as well as DOCTOR WHO, THE WALKING DEAD, LORD OF THE RINGS and so on and so forth. Plus I have concocted some of the very best (or worst) puns I have possibly ever concocted. If you think punning is lowest form of wit, well, you're half right. Which half, I don't know.

The inspiration for STAR TRUCK derives from the underrated classic GALAXY QUEST (1999), which brilliantly mined some of the same tropes, Mad Magazine's classic parody STAR BLECCH (love that title) and, of course, the SNL "Get A Life!" sketch starring William Shatner. The latter is undoubtedly the Genesis Project for the whole enterprise (wow, two references for the price of one!) Not only does it set up what I wanted to accomplish with this script, but it was also a turning point for Shatner himself. This was when he reinvented himself, understanding that he knew he was the butt of many a joke and now he was in on it too. He could make fun of himself and do it better. Oh yeah, he was Captain Kirk but now he became in full caps WILLIAM SHATNER and he never left. Therefore the victim of my murder mystery just had to be the William Shatner character. It was like MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Who killed Richard Widmark? Everybody! That's the spirit I wanted to convey. Who wants to kill Wislon Chadwick? Everybody! Hopefully, not the audience too.

The icing on this cupcake was that when I wrote in Shatner's voice, in his cadence and his goofy sensibilities, I had as much fun as I ever had creating a character. I love this guy and sure hope that it shows. I had some struggles concerning the passing of Leonard Nimoy that I wrote about earlier this year. (See blog post:  HIGHLY ILLOGICAL) Some of the other characters proved a bit more difficult to put together, but fortunately not Dewey Osgood, the host of Imaginacon who turns out to be the hero of the piece. I based Dewey on comedian Patton Oswalt, a kindred spirit and King of All Geeks. Patton's recent book SILVER SCREEN FIEND is a fantastic movie memoir, not unlike my own IN THE DARK but light years beyond in both style and substance. Carrie Fisher who has had a long gestating and ridiculous feud with William Shatner is obviously the model for Carrie Fishwich. Majel Barrett is Gene Roddenberry's widow, but I based her character on the role she played as Deanna Troi's mother on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION. And I paid homage to Portland home-girl Katee Sackhoff's BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA Starbuck persona for Nirvana Nightengale.

The original cast of Mel O' Drama Theater's production of STAR TRUCK
Thanks to producer Melanie Roady of Mel O'Drama Theater for giving me another shot after last year's PERILS OF FRANCOIS. Recently Mel accepted the position of Executive Producer of the theater at Events on 3rd in Nashville. Good on her.  And a big shout-out to director Andy Johnson who played Pierre Perrier in FRANCOIS and another fellow geek, a perfect fit for this show. Finally to a cast that I'll not only never meet but never see perform my work in front of a (hopefully) live audience, I can only say in the grand tradition of theater...break a leg.


For myself, I'll hoist a toast on opening night from across the country. Here's to another original script under my belt. This is also the fourth production of one of my plays this year, one more than 2014. I would have had five, but the theater that had scheduled the show met with some very hard times, a result of the recent flooding in South Carolina. I wish them and everyone back there the very best.

It's been two years since I was first contacted by the Great American Melodrama to have one of my scripts performed which has led to this sudden resurgence as a playwright. It appears that the third act of my life I've been searching for is one that I'm writing myself. Imagine that.

So beam me up, Scotty. Oh, wait. That's me.


MURDER: THE FINAL FRONTIER IS NOW AVAILABLE AT OFF THE WALL PLAYS

Performance rights are available!

For info about my other scripts or even if you just want to send me a mash note (look it up, young 'un),
please e-mail me at: writenbysc@gmail.com



La Rue-Here, There and Everywhere

Here are but a few of the fine theater companies over the years  that have produced LA RUE'S RETURN or HOW'S A BAYOU?, the Cajun-spiced comedy melodrama written by Edward Thorpe and myself.

Let's start here with the most recent production.

Graham Regional Theatre in Graham, Texas



A charity DVD produced by Actors Studio in Baker City, OR
















Reader's Theater presentation presented by Mt. Vernon Community Theatre in Mt. Vernon, MO

















Co-author, best friend and proud papa Ed Thorpe outside The Great American Melodrama and Vaudeville in Oceano, CA













And where it all started, many moons before this second production at the late, lamented Palace Showboat Dinner Theatre at Pollardville in Stockton, CA. (Please ignore the crappy Pepto Bismol colored program.)

For more info about this show, please read the previous blog post; 

or contact me at: writtenbysc@gmail.com


Roxanne of the Islands

 

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, kids of all ages...

It is with a great deal of pride and pleasure that introduce to the world, the latest love of my life.
Her name...

ROXANNE OF THE ISLANDS

Roxanne is the lead character in what I am calling a tropical adventure comedy melodrama, a mouthful to be sure while the full title of which is:

ROXANNE OF THE ISLANDS
or
THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SARONG

This piece of pure Cherney-ana has been published by Off the Wall Plays, the first of all my works not published by yours truly, a major moment in the life of me.

The story of this epic revolves around the brave and beautiful Roxanne on her home of Ooaheek Island in the South Pacific after World War II. Not only must she contend with a lovesick witch doctor named Zhivago and a 1000 year old goddess with daddy issues who's after her ship-wrecked sea captain boyfriend but also a volcano that just won't give a poor girl a break.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

ROXANNE-the brave, beautiful heroine of Ooaheek Island

CAPT. JEFF COOPER-the young man of the sea and skipper of the good ship Oh You Squid

WITCH DOCTOR ZHIVAGO-an evil little weasel on two legs

BARBARINA-the voluptuously seductive high priestess with a mean streak a mile long

SVEN BJORN BJORG GUNTHER-Jeff’s Swedish first mate

FRED-Roxanne’s none-too-bright but oh-so-big-hearted sister

UNCLE ALPO-Roxanne’s lazy, good-for-something uncle

YOYO-Zhivago’s henchman…uh, native

TIME: Late 1940s, post-World War II

SETTING: In and around Ooaheek Island in the South Pacific 


ROXANNE is based on a sub-genre of films from the late thirties-early forties set in far off islands in the South Seas, the more exotic, the better and accuracy be damned. Titles ranged from John Ford's THE HURRICANE to what became the norm, B-programmers like ALOMA OF THE SOUTH SEAS.

Both of these movies had another thing in common besides their theme and locale. They starred the enchanting and drop dead gorgeous Dorothy Lamour. Known mostly today as the foil of Hope and Crosby ROAD pictures, Lamour had quite a career prior to meeting the boys beginning as a big band singer in the 1930s. After moving to Hollywood, it wasn't long before she donned her first sarong in THE JUNGLE PRINCESS, which was such a hit for Paramount at the time, it type-cast from there on in. Dotty was major pin-up girl during WWII and sold so many war bonds she was nicknamed The Bombshell of Bombs. I wanted to write a melodrama with a strong heroine, deviating from the damsel in distress normally seen in this type of show and one not dependent on being rescued by the handsome hero. Dorothy Lamour fit the bill for me.


I drew a lot of inspiration, as I always do with my melos, from the cartoons of Jay Ward Productions, most famously the creators of Rocky and Bullwinkle, among others along with my own personal fave, GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE. Much of my humor stems from this deep well of brilliant absurdity. My penchant for titles and sub-titles is straight out of a Rocky and Bullwinkle cliffhanger, many times my favorite part of an episode. ROXANNE itself is chock full o' references from the villain's name (Witch Doctor Zhivago) to Roxanne's sister, Fred  ("Papa wanted a boy." "Close, but no cigar.") and the setting, Ooaheek Island, which is the sound a bird makes when it flies to close to the volcano.

What really fueled my muse was when I decided to add a couple of musical numbers including a swing dance number to open ACT II. I couldn't think of a better tune in the world than Benny Goodman's Big Band classic interpretation of Louis Prima's "Sing Sing Sing" with the incomparable Gene Krupa on the drums. I listened to this constantly and found that it really drove the project home.


So there you have it, kitty cats. That's the origin of ROXANNE OF THE ISLANDS. Take a bow, sister. May the world fall in love with you as much as I have.

To read an elongated excerpt or to buy a copy (hint! hint!) go to OFF THE WALL PLAYS . Performance rights are available from Off the Wall. Tell 'em Fred sent you.


The Legend of the Rogue

 NOTE: Three of the plays written by yours truly have been published by Off the Wall Plays, the third as recently as last month. 


It's a triple play...literally!

My first solo script, written WAY back in the latter part of the 20th century and produced on the stage of the late, great Palace Showboat Dinner Theater at Pollardville in Stockton, California, has just been published by Off the Wall Plays. 

This is my third script to be picked up by Off the Wall after the tropical adventure comedy ROXANNE OF THE ISLANDS and the interactive murder mystery MURDER-THE FINAL FRONTIER.

I hereby present to you...THE LEGEND OF THE ROGUE or MASK ME NO QUESTIONS.

Hard times have fallen on the Clayfoot Indian tribe with the arrival of Randolph Hitlear, an ex-Confederate general obsessed with idea of starting a second Civil War under his leadership. To finance this effort, Hitlear searches for the Clayfoot's mountain treasure, the Tomb of GoldWith the help of his dastardly henchmen, Ashley and Rhett, Hitlear forces the tribe into slavery to dig for the gold including the Clayfoot leader, Chief Boyardee. His daughter, Fawn, is a mystic who has the ability to speak to the Great Spirits. From them she learns of a prophecy that states that "the dark cloud of evil shall ride a warrior of good who shall become a savior". With that thought in mind, Fawn seeks the help of Brian Ryan in nearby Parched Throat, Arizona, a handsome young lawyer who moonlights as sheriff of this one lizard town. Brian falls in love with Fawn at first glance, raising the ire of saloon singer Sugar De Spice who wants to put her claws into the novice lawman herself. When the sheriff agrees to help, a jealous Sugar, along with the weasely corrupt Indian agent Percival P. Pestt, inform Hitlear. Laying in wait for the sheriff, Hitlear gets the upper hand upon Brian's arrival and in the fracas, Fawn is killed. When Brian is left for dead himself in the desert, Sugar has a change of heart and rescues him. Back in town, Fawn's spirit comes to him in his delirium and empowers Brian with special abilities given to him by the Great Spirits since he is indeed the warrior of good in the prophecy. Brian dons a mask and adopts the persona of the masked avenger known as The Rogue. He catches up to Hitlear just as he enters the fabled Tomb of Gold and thwarts his plans once and for all, saving the Clayfoot tribe and the nation from this vicious war criminal. And the rest is legendary... 

Performance rights are available for both professional and amateur theater productions including community groups, dinner shows, fundraising events, high school and college drama departments.  

CLICK HERE TO READ A PREVIEW OF LEGEND OF THE ROGUE AND FOR INFORMATION ABOUT PERFORMANCE RIGHTS

PLUS

THE LEGEND CONTINUES: AN INSIDE LOOK AT LEGEND OF THE ROGUE




MURDER-THE FINAL FRONTIER AN INTERGALACTIC INTERACTIVE MURDER MYSTERY



ROXANNE OF THE ISLANDS or THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SARONG-A TROPICAL ADVENTURE COMEDY

All In


Below you will find all of the interactive murder mystery and melodrama scripts we have available for both professional and amateur theater productions including community groups, dinner shows, fundraising events, high school and college drama departments. 

MURDER MYSTERIES


DEAD TUESDAY by Scott Cherney



MELODRAMAS

LA RUE'S RETURN or HOW'S A BAYOU by Edward Thorpe and Scott Cherney


Performance rights for all titles are available. Royalty is $40 per performance. For more information and a FREE perusal script, contact: 
Scott Cherney 
writtenbysc@gmail.com

And please check out these three plays by Scott Cherney available through Off the Wall Plays

MURDER-THE FINAL FRONTIER-The intergalactic interactive murder mystery

LEGEND OF THE ROGUE or MASK ME NO QUESTIONS-A western comedy melodrama 





Murder-The Final Frontier


BOLDLY GO WHERE NO MURDER HAS GONE BEFORE! At a sci-fi convention reunion of the cult TV series STAR TRUCK, there is only one question on everyone's lips: Who killed Captain Kork? Could it be First Officer Mr. Spark? Maybe it's Carrie Fishwich, the blowsy actress from the rival franchise, STAR BOARS? And that alien over there...is that a raygun in its pocket or it just glad to see me? MURDER: THE FINAL FRONTIER is an interactive, intergalactic murder mystery comedy play with a cast of 3M/3F. Perfect for dinner or community theater audiences.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

DEWEY OSGOOD-Organizer and host of Imaginacon, geek extraordinaire and proud of it.  Finds himself in the unenviable position of solving the murder, though he discovers his inner super-hero as a result.
WILSON CHADWICK-The one and only Captain James T. Curt of the Star Freighter Innerthighs from the cult TV show STAR TRUCK. He is brash, over-bearingly charming with a voracious appetite for life and everything else for that matter. Considers himself the center of the universe with everyone else as satellites orbiting about him.
JEAN RODDENREEL-Widow of STAR TRUCK creator/producer Dean Roddenreel. Hollywood royalty in exile (and denial) with champagne tastes on a beer budget. Had an illicit love affair with Chadwick during the run of the series that produced a long-lost off-spring.
LEON PORTNOY-The inimitable Mr. Spark, forever type-cast as first officer of the Innerthighs and second banana to Wilson Chadwick which has made him bitter beyond belief. Now works as Jean Roddenreel’s man servant.
CARRIE FISHWICH-Longtime nemesis of Chadwick, co-star of rival franchise STAR BOARS. Loose cannon with a hair trigger who blames Chadwick for all her personal failures. Social media maniac.
ALIEN-Supposed STAR TRUCK fan who may or may not be of this world, until Chadwick’s murder when it is revealed this she is actually rising starlet and current geek icon (with attitude to spare) NIRVANA NIGHTENGALE, star of the hit TV series BATTLESTAR GALLIFREY

PREVIOUS PRODUCTIONS:
Mel O' Drama Theater Nashville, TN
SLV Theatre Co. San Luis Valley, CO (TWICE!)
Brickstreet Players Clovis, NM
Sugar High Theatricals Galesburg, IL
Rio Linda Elverta Community Theater Rio Linda, CA
Sanzman Productions Los Angeles, CA
 
MURDER: THE FINAL FRONTIER is now available at Off the Wall Plays. Yes, performance rights are available.



And to read excerpts from my other scripts and/or books (including RED ASPHALT and SONG OF THE CANYON KID), please go to my website
WRITTEN BY SCOTT CHERNEY



Song of the Canyon Kid or Poem on the Range



This here's a song of the lone prairie

It's a tale of woe and of misery

It's a tale of right and a tale of wrong

All about the weak and the very strong


(sung to the tune of BURY ME NOT ON THE LONE PRAIRIE)

So begins SONG OF THE CANYON KID or POEM ON THE RANGE, a western comedy melodrama originally written by Scott Cherney and first produced on the stage of the Palace Showboat Dinner Theater at Pollardville.

When the straight shooting, and guitar strumming singing cowboy hero known as The Canyon Kid, returns to Dirt Clod, Missouri, he finds his hometown in the grips of a tyrannical albino “hanging judge” named Basil Kadaver and his evil co-horts, including the slinky gypsy seductress Nastassia Kinky and her half-wit brother, Two Gun Boris. To make matters worse for The Kid, he also discovers that his childhood sweetheart, Darla Darling, is engaged to Dalton Doolin, a known desperado who is now the town sheriff. The action culminates in a knockdown, drag out slugfest on the streets of Dirt Clod when justice at last triumphs and The Canyon Kid saves the day.

CAST OF CHARACTERS
 
THE CANYON KID…………….the straight shooting, guitar strumming, two fisted cowboy hero 
DARLA DARLING……………..the schoolmarm childhood sweetheart of The Canyon Kid 
JUDGE BASIL KADAVER…….the villainous albino known as “The Hanging Judge” 
SHERIFF DALTON DOOLIN….the supposedly reformed outlaw who now wears a badge 
CHARLENE ATLAS…………...the town’s female blacksmith who is no smarter than the anvil she pounds 
MAYOR DARLING……………the absent minded elected official and Darla’s father 
NASTASSIA KINKY…………..the slinky gypsy seductress who runs the saloon, The Golden Goulash 
HONEY DARLING…………….the mayor’s wife, Darla’s mother and dingier than a church bell 
TWO GUN BORIS……………...the fastest gun this side of the Ukraine 

Previous productions of SONG OF THE CANYON KID 
PALACE SHOWBOAT DINNER THEATER AT POLLARDVILLE-STOCKTON, CA
GREAT AMERICAN MELODRAMA-OCEANO, CA
FOOTHILL THEATRE CO.-JACKSON, CA
CHEYENNE LITTLE THEATER PLAYERS-CHEYENNE, WY
BRAZOS THEATRE GROUP-WACO, TX
THEATRE SUBURBIA-HOUSTON,TX
MANTORVILLE THEATER-MANTORVILLE,MN
CATS PLAYHOUSE-LUBBOCK,TX

Performance rights for SONG OF THE CANYON KID are available for both professional and amateur theater productions including community groups, dinner shows, fundraising events, high school and college drama departments.  

Royalties are $40 per performance. Script fees are completely waived so theater groups may copy as many as they require from a PDF after a signed contract.

For more info and to receive a FREE perusal script, contact me at: writtenbysc@gmail.com


SONG OF THE CANYON KID has also been adapted into a novel and is available in paperback or Kindle from Amazon




Dead Tuesday


International playboy Francois Fibian is the one one who can solve the murder of a prominent new Orleans socialite during a Mardi Gras costume ball, but unfortunately, he has his own problems. Someone is trying to frame him for the crime. To make matters worse, a a voodoo curse is turning into a frog.

Yes, really.

Written by Scott Cherney with characters created by Nashville artist Jann Harrison, DEAD TUESDAY is a comic, mystical interactive murder mystery play with Louisiana flair, Cajun spice and beaucoup fun

 
Cast of Characters
Bob Boudreaux-Oozing with Southern charm and smarm, Bob is the host of a Mardi Gras ball in his French Quarter family mansion.
Bunny Boudreaux-Bob’s wife, rather a bully of a woman who now owns the Boudreaux name, is loud and often obnoxious. In her defense, she’s also possessed by the spirit of a long-dead voodoo priestess.
Dee Dee Demure-Bob’s personal and very private secretary. Dumber than a box of rocks or is she the most devious one in the room?
Lola Piccard-A wronged woman in love with a man who doesn’t know she exists. She gives airs of being a woman of mystery and high drama, though it’s only a ruse to cover up her broken heart.
Inspector Pierre Perrier-A French policeman with a very obviously fake accent who is actually Dee Dee’s cousin Dennis, a nitwit of the highest order.
Francois Andre Midas Fibian V-An international playboy, philanthropist and all around bon vivant who is going through a transitional phase in his life.  In short, he’s turning into a frog.

Previous productions of DEAD TUESDAY 
Mel O' drama Theater Nashville, TN
StageCoach Theatre Company Loudon County, VA
Sugar High Theatricals  Galesburg, IL
Rogue Theatre Company Sturgeon Bay, WI
Delton ACT Delton, MI
SanZman Production Los Angeles, CA
State College Community Theater State College, PA

Performance rights for DEAD TUESDAY are available for both professional and amateur theater productions including community groups, dinner shows, fundraising events, high school and college drama departments.  

Royalties are $40 per performance. Script fees are completely waived so theater groups may copy as many as they require from a PDF after a signed contract.

For more info and to receive a FREE perusal script, contact me at writtenbysc@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXTENDED EXCERPT FROM DEAD TUESDAY



 

 

La Rue's Return or How's a Bayou?

 Time to switch gears as we head into the wonderful world of melodrama.

Evil always returns...
only this time, it has a bad French accent!

First production of LA RUE'S RETURN at Pollardville

Oh, he's back alright. Jacques La Rue, that is. He's the villain in the very first theatrical venture show written by Edward Thorpe and myself. a little melodrama called LA RUE'S RETURN or HOW'S A BAYOU?.

Curtain Up!




Good evening (morning, afternoon, time is relative) everybody out there in virtual land and welcome to a brand new site by me, Scott Cherney, author of the long-running (yes, still) SCOTT CHERNEY'S ETC.

It's high time that I had a dedicated site for the plays I have been promoting forever and a day, those that I have written. These plays have been performed across the US of A from one coast to the other-East to West and vice versa and as far north as the Canadian border all the way down to where the stars at night are big and bright (clap clap clap clap) deep in the heart of Texas. The plays I will be referring to are of specific nature, falling into the genres of interactive murder mysteries and melodramas, all under the banner of comedy. 


I began my writing career co-authoring a melodrama with my best friend Edward Thorpe for a dinner theater in Stockton, California that produced melodrama and vaudeville shows. The Palace Showboat Dinner Theater at Pollardville was a great training ground for me, allowing me to write two other melodramas as well as a half-dozen vaudeville shows which I also directed. While my shows got a handful of productions early on, it wasn't until the Internet came along and sent me on my merry way to sort of fame and nowhere near fortune, but far more successful for which I am very grateful. As far as the murder mysteries go, I sort of fell into them face first. I was soliciting one of my melodramas to a theater group in Nashville called-ironically called Mel O'Drama Theater. Little did I know that they specialized in murder mysteries. However, the producer, Melanie Roady (she being the Mel of Mel O'Drama) asked if I would like to try my hand at penning one of her shows. Son of a gun, I done did it and thanks to Mel, I had a new avenue to pursue.

Interspersed within this here post are the various scripts in my catalog. Among them are:



My two murder mysteries DEAD TUESDAY and MURDER-THE FINAL FRONTIER as well as the melodramas LA RUES' RETURN (co-authored w/Edward Thorpe), SONG OF THE CANYON KID, LEGEND OF THE ROGUE and ROXANNE OF THE ISLANDS.
The posts that follow will focus more on the individual titles that are available. But for now, I will give you the basics. Performance rights are available for both professional and amateur theater productions including community groups, dinner shows, fundraising events, high school and college drama departments. Further information about these titles including obtaining perusal scripts may be directed to me at:
writtenbysc@gmail.com

 You can also discover more at my other website WRITTEN BY SCOTT CHERNEY


Abyssinia!

The Wrath of Comic-Con

The following revolves around the creation of an interactive murder mystery that has since been re-named  MURDER: THE FINAL FRONTIER.       ...