Murder at the Howard Johnson’s

Death, mayhem and mirth mix it up in Ron Clark and Sam Bobrick’s classic 1979 comedy Murder at the Howard Johnson’s, about a woman and the men who love her in spite of her inability to make up her mind. The play opens in room 514 of an old-fashioned blue-and-orange Howard Johnson’s. There sit Arlene and Mitchell, two lovers who have a plan to get rid of Arlene’s husband Paul. The used-car salesman thinks of himself as the perfect husband, but Arlene calls him shallow, dull and gloomy.

Eventually the audience figures out Arlene and Mitchell plan to drown Paul in the room’s bathtub if he won’t give her a divorce. Paul’s murder never happens, and the next scene features Paul and Arlene, months later. You see, Arlene’s grown weary of her lover, so now she and Paul are planning Mitchell’s end.

In the final scene, the two men finally have seen the light and joined forces to off Arlene. The show closed four days into its Broadway run — but since then, this goofy comedy has become a mainstay of community theaters across the country. 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; additional performances 8 p.m. June 19 and June 26. Theatre Suburbia, 4106 Way Out West Drive. For information, call 713-682-3525 or visit $12 to $14.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: June 3. Continues through July 2, 2011

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Lee Williams