A new actress takes over the part of Juliet in a theater company's L.A. show, upsetting the members. Steve Brock is especially upset when his girlfriend loses the part. He is charged when the theater company owner is killed after a fight scene with him.
Franz Lachman's traveling Shakespearean theater company arrives in Los Angeles but they are now so broke he doesn't even has enough money to pay the shipper to clear their costumes through customs. He gets something of a windfall when he's offered a substantial amount of cash - a thousand in cash and a $10,000 check - to take on an aspiring actress, Claire Adams. His decision to cast her as Juliet - with himself as Romeo - requires others in the company to take on lesser roles. Hostilities grow between Lachman and Brock as financial problems still pop up with the new cash infusion. Perry Mason and Della Street are there on opening night as one of the actors, Steve Brock, is the brother of a good friend. The play goes badly and with the curtain down and the lights out, Lachman is killed with a sword and Brock is arrested. Perry agrees to defend him and learns that far more than professional jealously led to Lachman's murder. Written by
Plenty of suspect to choose from in this different ending mystery
In an episode that remind me more of 'Murder, She Wrote' than a 'Perry Mason' show, we get a nice little mystery that is interesting and entertaining.
The Franz Lachman's Theater Group has been performing on a world tour and now back to LA. However the tour did not go as well as expected and the group has come back to America bankrupted. The only way they are going to open is if they can come up with some money--and fast.
Just so happens that untested young actress wants a part in the show. If they will let her play Juliet in the upcoming shows she will donate money in order to keep the tour group going. So the owner, Mr Lachman, agrees to let the women play Juliet must to the dislike of the regular group.
Because Steve Brock, a cast member, is a friend of Perry's-- Perry and Della attend the opening of the show which is becoming a miserable failure as the women playing Juliet cannot remember her lines. And with the cast in uproar and rebelling, the entire performance is lacking.
When Steve Brock, playing a character in the show, gets into a sword fight with Franz Lachman playing Romeo the fight does not go as plan when Brock knocks down Lachman. From backstage we here 'close the curtain' and 'cut the lights'. Next thing we know is that Franz Lachman has been killed with the sword that belong to Steve Brock. Perry will defend Steve Brock in court on warrant for murder.
This tale is a classic who-done-it type show. With many suspects to choose from it will be difficult to decide just who wanted Franz dead the most. It will not be until Perry assembles all the characters on the theater stage, that the true murderer will be revealed. Perry will have all the people return to their exact spot and say the exact words as he recreates the night of the murder.
Not the most surprising mystery but one that was different from the regular courtroom performance.
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