DaSN is a loving old dark house parody. It is based on films like The Old Dark House, The Thirteenth Guest, House on Haunted Hill, and And Then There Were None. Several guests, relatives and strangers are trapped in an old house by a storm. There are mysterious murders, surprising revelations, creepy retainers, secret passages, madmen or -women in the attic (or cellar), ghosts and sometimes a gorilla. They don't usually take themselves too seriously, embracing a camp, over-the-top style. Nonetheless, they have been parodied many times, notably by the Three Stooges and Abbot and Costello, and movies like Clue.
True to form, DaSN starts with a large mixed group of people gathering to hear the reading of Sinas Cavinder's will, which will decide the disposition of the Cavinder estate. A pretty typical assembly:
- The heir and his wife, Burling and Pritsy Famish
- Pritsy's lover, Happy Codburn
- Two reporters, 8 O'Clock Farrel and Billy Tuesday
- A niece, Sabasha Fanmoore and her guardian, Seyton Ethelquake
- A psychic, Mrs. "Cup" Cupoard
- Someone who came in when his car broke down, Ray Vestinghaus
- The safari guide of the deceased, Jack Tugdon ("I was his only guide for 20 years. Toughest four days of my life")
- An upperclass twit, Lord Partfine
- An old lady (who may be there by accident) - played by Betty Garrett! Who was the cabdriver who tried to shanghai Frank Sinatra in On the Town! And is 90 years old!
- The lawyer
- Jeens the butler, a maid and a cook
The humor is dry - mainly straightfaced readings of lines which wouldn't stand out in one of the real movies. I guess the characters' names are the best indication of the flavor. I wish I could tell you to rush out and see this, but I don't know how you can - unless you own a theater, in which case, book this now! Everyone else, get Lost Skeleton.
I actually drove 5-1/2 hours for the opening of this show at the Egyptian in Hollywood. I got to see Larry Blamire close up, and there was a Q&A and everything. The crowd was about 50% cast, crew and friends of cast and crew. And the theater still wasn't full. Damn shame.