Death By Chocolate

Death By Chocolate

About the Play

Nick Noir, private eye, has fallen on hard times. His botched last case has cost him whatever jobs may have come his way. Now he’s at the end of his rope and is forced to fire his devoted secretary Selma. That is, until a call from Coco Purvis offers a tantalizing case that just might pay off for Nick.

Coco and her sister, Bonbon, run Precious Perks Coffee Shoppe, which is known for its signature drink, Death by Chocolate. Unfortunately, the name came all too true for a fellow named Vinnie the Leech who died while drinking it one month earlier. Now, business has fallen off and the shop might have to close unless somebody figures out what happened to Vinnie.

Nick is immediately confronted by some pretty strange characters. Bobbie Sue, the waitress, warbles like a country singer who can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Bonbon is a sour, bitter woman who doesn’t like to stir things up. Her “twin” sister, Coco, is the exact opposite, a bubbly, homespun treasure. Henry, an old man who wears cross-trainers and hasn’t a wrinkle on his face, sits and watches all the action. Francois, more French than a bottle of Bordeaux, hides behind his newspaper. And who’s the woman dressed in black, including a veil that hides her face? A dowdy bag-lady type turns out to be a restaurant critic and a perky twenty-something suddenly starts paying attention to the old man. All these characters were sitting in these exact spots the night Vinnie the Leech fell over dead.

Though he fired her, Selma keeps showing up at opportune moments with tidbits of background information that help him piece together the puzzle, though he often gets the pieces in the wrong way. After a second death under the same circumstances as Vinnie’s (which had been caused by poison), and the disappearance of Bobbie Sue, Selma plays a psychic who—with the help of her ever-present Blackberry—reveals some deep secrets.

Armed with motives and opportunity for each suspect, Nick weaves his way through a lot of false deductions, but it all clicks just as a third murder is about to be committed. The motive for the murders? Money, of course—a lot of it, left to the twin Purvis sisters by an uncle they never knew they had. Nick earns kudos, and now maybe he can afford an office—and Selma.

Death By Chocolate is produced by special arrangement with Heuer Publishing

For full gallery of production images… Click here to visit our Facebook Page!

When I first read the script of Death By Chocolate I fell in love with it – it is so delightfully corny, and yet has so many possibilities, making it fascinating and challenging. Some of my theatre friends said it was a groaner. I hope that we have brought out the opportunities of infectious entertainment it provides with laughter rather than groans. The support from cast and crew has been superlative – that sounds like a cliché, but I can truly say this has been a rewarding, enjoyable and fun play in every part of its development. Thanks to all who have brought this production to fruition. – Clive Sanders

Welcome to the second production of our 2010/2011 season of wonderful live theatre! This play is sure to entertain and please you as the story unfolds with several twists and turns along the way. We are sure that your enjoyment will bring you back to many more plays here in the Theatre at Hendry Hall. Do spread the word to your family and friends and be sure to book your tickets for our annual Christmas pantomime, Beauty and the Beast, the proceeds of which will go to the North Shore’s Harvest Project – Sue Worrow

CastCrewProduction InfoAbout the Company
Character Played by
Nick Noir  Paul Griggs
Selma  Kim Gordon
Bobbie Sue  Michelle MacTaggart
Bonbon Purvis  Margot J. Leviton
Henry Higgins Hickenbottom  Kris Michaleski
Coco Purvis  Maria Teresa Morabito
Francios Lepew  David Wallace
Georgia Gore  Yvonne Arnason
Yolanda Lamb Jannen Karr
Juniper Berry Jennifer Huva
Director Clive Sanders
Author Craig Sodaro
Production Manager Sandy Branning, Liz Massil
Stage Manager Leslie Whittaker
 Set Designers  Clive Sanders, Glynnis Brassil
 Set Construction  Clive Sanders, Bob Martin, Gordon Pope, Andrew Massil, James Gordon
Set Painters and Decorators Glynnis Brassil, Linda Sharp, Nancy Richer
Lighting Designer Phil Messenger
Sound Designer Anne Marsh
Lighting and Sound Operators Sandy Branning, Phil Messenger
Properties Kathleen Denkewalter, Helen Dobric, Liz Whittaker, Heather Macfarlane
Costumes Maggie Mason, Sharon Alexander
Hair and Make-Up Elizabeth Aeberhardt, Lisa Woolley, Leslie Whittaker (Mentor)
Graphic Artist Linda Sharp
Publicity and Program Anne Marsh
Front-of-House Coordinator Barb Brolly
Box Office Sue Worrow
Photographer Gary Schwartz
Videographer Chris Wolfe
Original Performance Dates October 22 to November 6, 2010
Venue The Theatre at Hendry Hall, North Vancouver, BC
Production Length 1 hour and 40 minutes
Production Style Comedy
Special Thanks To Booster Juice (Park and Tilford), Pacific Restaurant Supply and Design House
Delany’s (Edgemont Village), Jeff and Maura Whittaker, Jon Sanders, George Sayle
Clive Sanders Director – Clive first directed in 1970 and has never looked back. He inherits his theatre interest with a grandfather in the old Music Halls, and a father who taught Clive his first party piece – I Want Some Red Roses for a Blue Lady – when he was four years old. Clive was recently seen on-stage in Lock Up Your Daughters, and as a director for Anniversary, Are You Being Served and The Memory of Water, all with NVCP.
Yvonne A. Arnason Georgia Gore – Yvonne was in our last production, Barbecue Blues, as Karen the clairvoyant dipsomaniac and as early as 1985 when she made her first appearance at Hendry Hall in Top Girls. This award-winning actress has appeared in film and TV and professional theatre and has acted in many community theatres around Vancouver..
Kim Gordon Selma – After appearing in NVCP’s Jack and the Jumping Beans (2007 panto) and Here on the Flight Path (2008), Kim changed gears in 2009 and directed Moon Over Buffalo. This busy mother of three finds herself onstage once again in this wacky role, which she never envisioned doing. Thanks, Clive! It has been both a challenge and a blast. Thank you child minders!
Paul Griggs Nick Noir – Paul Griggs is pleased to be making his Vancouver theatre debut with NVCP. Previous credits include various film and television (including one Leo nomination), and most recently as assistant director at Neanderthal and Walking Fish Festival at the Cultch. Trained at New York’s Circle in the Square, Paul dedicates this show to Neil Griggs – a father who continues to provide inspiration and support.
Jennifer Huva Juniper Berry – Jennifer is very excited to be performing in her first of two consecutive shows at the wonderful Hendry Hall Theatre! She is thankful that her first big show back in Vancouver after three years of work and study in LA has been such a fun one, with such a brilliant (and crazy!) cast. Jennifer loves sci-fi, cooking, and the colour orange.
Jannen Karr Yolanda Lamb – Fresh off 2009’s Doubt, Jannen is pleased to return to the NVCP again this year. Moving from screen to stage in 2008, she was truly honoured to receive the Theatre BC North Shore Zone Best Actress and Mainstage’s Best Novice Performance awards.
Margot J. Leviton Bonbon Purvis -Margot’s past shows include Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof, Hair, You Can’t Take it With You and Our Town. Margot would like to dedicate this run to her mom (1953-2007) and Pa. Thanks to Andrew, Nat and Pher!
Michelle MacTaggart Bobbie Sue – Michelle is excited about being Bobbie Sue and to be a part of such a talented and fun cast! Some of her favourite credits include: Always, Patsy Cline, High School Musical, Lost Vegas Live, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A Chorus Line, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story and Leader of the Pack among others.
Kris Michaleski Henry Higgins Hickenbottom – Death By Chocolate marks Kris’s first production with NVCP. He couldn’t have asked to work with a more pleasant and professional cast and crew. Having recently completed a 2-year program at New Image College of Fine Arts, Kris continues to build his acting experience working in local film and theatre.
Maria Teresa Morabito Coco Purvis – This is Maria’s debut at Hendry Hall. She returns to the stage after a long hiatus preparing for her role as Secondary School Teacher and more recently as Mama to Ellysia and Jack. Maria’s credits include plays such as Graceland and Little Women, Theatre Sports and co-hosting MTV’s Hacked. Thanks Mike!
David Wallace Francois Lepew – David is pleased to be back at Hendry Hall having last appeared as Lou in Light Sensitive and before that Scotty in Tribute and as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night. Some favourite roles include: Don Quixote in Man of la Mancha (Presentation House), Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Salt Spring Island), and Gerry in Time of My Life (Deep Cove).