About 17 years ago in the town of Boulder, Colorado, one of America’s most tragic crimes occurred: the murder of six year old JonBenet Ramsey. It was a case that got America in a stir. Who could ever do such a thing to an innocent little girl? It’s been 17 years, is it still too soon to talk about JonBenet? Not according to MediumFace Productions! And they’re not just talking. They’re singing and dancing and poking fun at the Ramsey clan.
In JonBenet Ramsey: Murder Mystery Theater, we get an outrageously comical inside glimpse of what actually happened inside the Ramsey home on the evening of December 25th, 1996. Just who exactly are the Ramseys? Well, you have boozed up, cancer-laden, jealous drunk Patsy, or Mom Benet, inappropriate, pedophilic, daughter-loving John, or Dad Benet, and awkwardly revolting, forgotten child Burke. Could one of these people be the murderer? Well, they all certainly have a motive, singing and joking through the sixty-minute romp. The Ramseys are joined onstage by the zany roving local reporter Cougar Jones, who wants nothing but to break the story wide open however she can. The ensemble of four do a nice job keeping the comedy lively though it occasionally drags on like one of the more recent “Saturday Night Live” sketches. April Kidwell, with her over the top accent, and Tobly McSmith offer standout performances as Cougar Jones and Burke respectively. It’s McSmith’s Burke that you wish would get his own spin-off because of his beyond outrageous behavior and retorts, constantly begging for attention in all the wrong ways.
The real trouble with JBR:MMT is it lacked clear direction. The comedy was there but the story telling was severely lacking. The transitions between scenes were longing for music or sound effects or something to cover for the silence in the blackouts.
JonBenet Ramsey: Murder Mystery Theater is a caricature-filled spoof that is not afraid to push the boundaries for a hearty laugh, bringing the dark into the light. If you’re cringing already, it’s probably too soon for you to experience JonBenet Ramsey: Murder Mystery Theater.