Press Release

Oil Lamp Theater Announces Par for the Corpse

Oil Lamp Theater Announces Upcoming Production of Par for the Corpse by Jack Sharkey

Directed by Keith GerthWho's the killer?

October 12 through November 19, 2017

Glenview, IL – Executive and Artistic Director Keith Gerth and Associate Artistic Director Stephen Smith of the Oil Lamp Theater in Glenview announce their next production, the exciting “whodunit” Par for the Corpse, a homicidal comedy by Jack Sharkey. This production is directed by Keith Gerth and will be performed from October 12th through November 19th 2017 at 1723 Glenview Road in Glenview.

Par for the Corpse is a delightful mystery that deftly blends comedy and suspense, hilarity and shocking surprises. The story is set at the Catskill retreat of novelist Alexandra Ellis (Rachel Silvert) who lives there with her housekeeper and “factotum” Gert Hartman (Kirsty Collins). When Alexandra invites a group of friends to her home for a dinner party one wintry evening, a blizzard unexpectedly strands her guests – but the blizzard proves to be the least of their problems!

The party takes a dark and murderous turn when one of the dinner guests is poisoned and the others quickly realize they have a killer is in their midst. As the group desperately tries to solve the mystery, everyone, even the hostess, becomes a suspect. Murky motives are revealed and unexpected plot twists play out as the hostess and her guests examine clues and make deductions in an effort to identify the culprit and solve the crime.

Plenty of laughs are mingled with shrieks of terror in this delightful mystery that will challenge audiences, along with Andy’s houseguests, to work through the many twists and turns of this mystery — and the odds are good that no one will guess the shocking surprise ending!

Alexandra’s dinner guests include the popular young star of the stage, Mark Taggart (RJ Cecott), the wealthy but discontented “power couple,” Rick and Hazel Corlian (Jeff Smith and Rachel Whyte), and the clever jet-setter, Bettina Redmond (Elena Tubridy). Thelma Alban, Hazel’s very concerned mother, is portrayed by Laura MacGregor. Daniella Jessup, a famous fashion model, is played by Mary O’Sullivan. Rounding out the stellar cast are Oil Lamp veteran Rob Weinstein as Jed Stebbins, a local handyman, and Nick Dorado as Lionel, an unscrupulous broker.

Are you looking for something special to do on Halloween evening this year? Why not join Alexandra and her guests for the special Halloween performance of Par for the Corpse on Tuesday, October 31st at 8 pm? Be a part of the Halloween mayhem and merriment as Oil Lamp Theater sets just the right mood for the most scary-spooky night of the year!

The cast of this Oil Lamp Theater production of Par for the Corpse features Rachel Silvert, Kirsty Collins, RJ Cecott, Jeff Smith, Rachel Whyte, Elena Tubridy, Laura MacGregor, Mary O’Sullivan, Rob Weinstein and Nick Dorado. Savannah Clements serves as Stage Manager.

Jack Sharkey (Playwright) was born and raised in Chicago and began writing when he was 10 years old. After graduating from college with a BA in English and working for a few years as a schoolteacher, he enlisted in the Army. Upon completing his service, he began a full-time freelance writing career in New York City. During this period he wrote science fiction stories, mysteries, magazine articles and novels. He returned to Chicago in 1961 where he worked as a humor editor for Playboy Magazine. He then served as the editor of the Allstate Insurance Company Magazine for eleven years. Mr. Sharkey wrote his first stage comedy in 1965. In 1975, he decided to devote himself exclusively to playwriting. A prolific writer, Mr. Sharkey published 83 published plays that are regularly performed throughout the world. Some of his other works are And Then I Wrote…, Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra, Dream Lovers, Murder Room and The Saloonkeeper’s Daughter.

Keith Gerth (Artistic Director and Director) founded Oil Lamp Theater in 2005. Prior to establishing the Theater,

which was located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Keith held a number of positions with wide-ranging skills. After high school, Keith was a carpenter for eight years with Murray Countertops in Streator, Illinois. Keith left that position in 1989 to obtain a degree in Financial Accounting from Illinois State University. Keith graduated with honors and began working for the global professional services firm of Deloitte in 1991 and became a Certified Public Accountant. He worked at Deloitte for fifteen years in the Audit and Assurance practice, which he retired from in 2005 at the level of Director. Keith was professionally trained in acting at Act One Studios in Chicago, Illinois. Keith has been actively involved in the community through Chicago Cares and has served as a board officer for The Illinois Fatherhood Initiative and the Glenview Art League. Keith has also served on the board of Factory Theater in Chicago. Keith is married to Carole Flamm. They live in Northbrook.

Performances of Par for the Corpse are presented Thursdays through Sundays, with evening performances at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees at 3:00pm. Tickets are $35 and include complimentary cookies and soft drinks. Oil Lamp Theater is BYOB with complimentary corkage and glasses.


Oil Lamp Theater is located in downtown Glenview, Illinois, at 1723 Glenview Road. Free parking lots are available immediately west of the theater and across the street. Street parking is also available throughout downtown Glenview. Handicap parking is available adjacent to the theater.

The theater may be reached by car (approximately one mile west of I-94) or by Metra (three blocks east of Milwaukee District/North – Glenview Station).

Title:            Par for the Corpse

By:               Jack Sharkey

Dates:         First performance and press opening: Thursday, October 12, 8:00pm

Closing performance: Sunday, November 19, 3:00pm

Schedule:    Thursdays through Sundays. Evening performances at 8:00pm, Sunday matinees

at 3:00pm

Location:     Oil Lamp Theater, 1723 Glenview Road, Glenview

Prices:         All performances $35

Group and student rates are available