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December 2, 2016

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, __T - PAGE6 POST-GAZE'I-I'E, DECEMBER 2, 2016 Theatre to Die for Murder for Two at the Lyric Stage Jared Troilo and Two actors playing 13 char- acters while singing, dancing, and playing the piano. Sounds a bit complicated. That's what I thought as Murder for Two began Sunday afternoon. How would I ever be able to keep track of all that was going on? Well, when the two actors are Jared Troilo and Kirsten Sal- pini, it is not a problem. Add in the fine direction of A. Nora Long and a very funny and fast- moving script and music by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, and you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy a great time at the theater. The story is set at the home of the great American novel- ist Arthur Whitney where his wife has arranged a surprise birthday party for him. Unfor- tunately for poor Arthur, he runs into a bullet before he is able to open his presents. This is where police officer Marcus Moscowitz (Jared Troilo) comes on the scene. Moscowitz is mis- taken for a detective, confusion he does nothing to dissuade the suspects from believing. Marcus sees cracking this case as his ticket to a promotion, as long as he can do it before his superior officer gets there. He is going to go strictly by Protocol, which also happens to be the name of his first musical number. He begins interviewing the suspects, all of whom are played by Kirsten Salpini. She also plays the members of a boy's chorus who have been hired to provide entertainment for the party. Ms. Salpini switches roles from moment to moment without the aid of costume changes. She manages this, and very well I might add, by changing her voice and accent along with some very creative body language. I have seen some impressive performances Kirsten Salpini. (Photo by Mark S. Howard} where one actor plays multiple roles solely by changing voice and movement, most notably Chaz Palminteri in A Bronx Tale and John Douglas Thompson in Satchmo at the Waldorf, and while Kirsten Salpini does not rise to their level, she is certainly a contender and does a fine job in her many roles. Ms. Salpini is funny, creative, and a joy to watch. Her singing is the icing on the cake. dared Troilo as pseudo Detec- tive Moscowitz is right at home in his role as the nervous cop trying to solve the big crime. His singing and dancing is a reminder of how much fun theatre can be, even if it's about a murder. While the part was not written for him, he performs it like it was. Finding two actors who can sing, dance, and also play the piano had to be a challenge for director Long. Finding two with these talents who could also work so well together had to be almost impossible, but with Troilo and Salpin'l, she found a theatre match made in Heaven. I will not spoil the fun by let- ting on more about the details of the play, only to say that there was also another crime commit- ted during the party, and those of you with a sweet tooth may consider that one more serious. Murder for Two is a great way to take some time out during this busy time of the year to enjoy a very funny and fun play. A little song, a little dance, a little murder, what could be more enjoyable? Murder for Two is playing through December 24~, at the Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston. For more information, go to, or call 617-585-5678. Federal Trade mmission for the consumer ABOUT THIS 8< THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso Thoughts on the Murder of the Black Dahlia Nearly 70 years later, the murder of Elizabeth Short still fascinates the public and has earned a solid place in the annals of crime lore. In part, this is because it is one of the oldest unsolved cases in the history of Los Angeles. But there are other, more sinister reasons, that the murder of Elizabeth Short is still talked about to this day. It is the test case for the role the media plays in sensationalizing crime and misleading the public, journal- ism ethics, the public's need for involvement in a horrible crime, and a possible link between the media and the public's involvement. Short was born to a working- class family in Hyde Park, Mas- sachusetts, but spent most of her troubled childhood in Med- ford. Her father left the family when she was very young, only to make his presence known years later through a letter. Her mother took odd jobs to support the family, but decided to send Elizabeth to Florida by the time she was 16 (in 1940), and the New England Winters had become too tough on her asthma. Three years later, Elizabeth would move to Vallejo, California, to live with her estranged father. Short showed some signs of wanting to settle in California (she took a job at a post exchange near Lompoc}, but after an arrest in 1943 for underage drinking she was forced to return to Florida. There was nothing particularly alarming about this arrest as underage drinking, although a serious issue, is hardly unusual among teenagers, and there is no evidence of further trouble involving Short. This time around, Florida seemed to offer Short a chance at settling down when she met and became engaged to Major Michael Gordon, Jr., of the United States Army Air Force. This dream was tragically cut short when Gordon was killed in a plane crash in August of 1945. ALmost ayear later, Short returned to California where she would spend the last year of her life and become immor- talized after her murder as The Black Dahlia." Little is known about the last six months of Short's life. On January 15 of 1947, her naked and mutilated body was found in Leimert Park in LOs Angeles by a passerby who immediately phoned the police. Her body had been cut into two pieces and her mouth slit at the corners. Her body had been drained of blood and deliberately posed. Though some theories have circulated, mostly connecting the murder to other unidentified serial killings from around the country with a sLmilar modus operandi, the murder of Eliza- beth Short was never solved. But what remains of interest are two things, the public's hunger for involvement in the case and the media's lack of ethics reporting the case. Almost immediately, police began receiving calls and let- ters from individuals claiming either to be Short's killer or to have seen Short in the weeks leading up to her death. Much of this was' unsubstantiated, although some clues did lead investigators to find some of Short's belongings, and some of her personal items (includ- ing her birth certificate) were delivered to the police by mail from an unidentified writer. Undoubtedly, this was due in large part to the media buzz surrounding the case. The Los Angeles Examiner led the way in the frenzy. It was the first paper to break the story, with two of its reporters reaching the murder scene even before the police, and composed its ,own version of Short's final days based on pieces of evidence it collected with ruthless zeal. The paper spared little melodrama, depicting Elizabeth Short as a lonely woman of easy virtue (contributing to the unsub- stantiated rumor that she was a prostitute}. The Examiner was not above lying to the girl's mother back on the East Coast to get information, telling her that her daughter had won a beauty pageant and that they would like a backstory of her life. Only'after obtaining this did they tell the woman that her daughter was dead. The paper's most lasting influence was dubbing Short =The Black Dahlia" after the dark blouse she was wearing at the time of her murder. The brutality of the murder and the elusiveness of concrete clues are enough to sustain intrigue, but the death of =The Black Dahlia" lives on as a re- minder of how little things have changed. Like the O.J. Simpson trial some 50 years later proved, the media often walks a fine line between capturing the public's interest and turning horror into entertainment. In the days of social media, the line is blurred even further. By early 1947, Elizabeth Short became one of the world's most notorious mur- der victims. Almost 70 years later, her murder case can be seen as a test case. Named Citizen of the Year Haverhill Lodge of Elks Joseph J. Bevilacqua, Haverhill City Councilor, and President/CEO of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce was named the Citizen of the Year for the Haverhill Lodge 165 Benevo- lent and Protective Order of Elks, Haverhill, MA. Bevilacqua was recognized for his work for the City as a long time member of the Haverhill School Committee, and now as a member of the City Council. Bevilacqua is also a past recipient of the Mass. Order Sons of Italy Public Service Award and the Pirandello Lyceum's I Migliori Award. Joseph J. Bevilacqua is pictured with Patrick Dean, immediate past Exalted Ruler. The award was presented at the Elks annual installation of new officers at the Elks Lodge, Haverhill, MA.