By Joe Hadsall
Globe Features Editor
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Joplin Little Theatre and its patrons love Mondays.
The series of plays featuring the Sam Spade wannabe, Detective Harry Monday, has been featured at the theater over the past few years. The latest chapter, "Murder's Bad, But Monday Can Kill You," will be presented next week.
And this will be the last hurrah for Harry at the theater. Director Chet Fritz said he and Monday actor Todd Loudis are ready to say good-bye.
"It takes a special person to be Monday, because of the dialogue," Fritz said. "Todd isn't Harry Monday, but he understands where Monday is coming from, and defines that humor well."
The plays feature a quick-paced humor that was popular in the era of Bob Hope radio shows, Fritz said.
"All of the characters are stereotypes of popular comedy players of that era," Fritz said. "It takes you back to another time. It's not the type of shock humor in today's movies."
The story, written by Pat Cook, sends Monday to a psychiatric annex in search of the people responsible for the death of three characters. When he finds out that all the patients have multiple personalities, he discovers that the three murdered people are all the same guy.
The play closes out the 2012-13 season at the theater.
Many of the cast members are veterans of "Monday" plays, which include "Three Murders and It's Only Monday," "If It's Monday, This Must Be Murder," "Monday Always Leads to Murder," and "If It's Monday, This Must Be Christmas" -- most of which have been presented by the theater.
Other cast members include Becky Seidl, Gary Roney, Gina Robbins, Karen Eckhardt, Bill Welsh, Angie Beal, Tony Flint, Aaron Davis and Marilyn Marshall-Six.
The play will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, May 18, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19.
Tickets: $13, $11 for seniors and students, $5 for kids.