Killing Time: A Game Show Musical, presented by Mixtape Projects, is a solid piece of escapist musical comedy. With book by Margot Greve, music and lyrics by Ben Kopp, the story is an affectionate spoof of whodunit murder mysteries set in the world of a popular game show.
When the lights go out on the set of Killing Time, Sloane Sherman (Nick Dolan), the triple threat—charismatic, problematic, egocentric—host is suddenly shot. To Detective Madeleine Murphy (Holly Scott-Black) and Lieutenant Gregory Green (Kole Durnford), everyone is a suspect.
A series of hilarious interrogations ensue, showcasing our line-up of eccentric, endearing characters. There’s the contestants: obsessed fan-girl Emma Everett (Claudia Adamo) and awkward oddball Shaun (Steven Hao), just Shaun, like Cher. Under-appreciated producer Wendy Watson (Kendra Cordick). Flashy showgirl Alexa Alberts (Maddy Hodges). And over-worked, put-upon stage manager Todd Tweedie (Ben Yoganathan).
As workplace grudges and love affairs are revealed, the plot thickens and delightful antics abound.
Given the large ensemble and moderate runtime, it is impressive how much attention the script gives to each character. Never rushing, nor plodding, the story moves at a brisk pace and everybody is given their chance to shine. The entire cast holds their own—drawing our attention and sympathies in key moments—while consistently supporting the whole.
In her choreography and direction, Greve maintains a fine balance between earnest spectacle and self-aware schtick. The show genuinely cares about its characters, but it also knows that it’s a Musical Comedy Murder Mystery. It has no shame indulging itself and the audience. The design team—Theo Belc (set) Alessia Urbani (costumes), Mathilda Kane (lighting)—fills the stage with bright, dynamic colours and textures that feel iconic.
The only element that felt a little off was the sound mixing; some vocals were hard to hear, specifically in ensemble numbers.
Though this production is persuasive and compelling throughout, the material doesn’t really transcend itself. The story, the songs, the clever stage business: it all works beautifully, but isn’t especially memorable.
I caught this late in the run—last show, in fact. I wish I had been able to shout this company out earlier. Though, given the full crowd on closing night, it seems Killing Time found the appreciative audience it deserved. I look forward to catching whatever Mixtape Productions does next.