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Our Annual Mystery Comedy Musical

Every year, The Titanic Players put on a show to raise funds to help First Unitarian pay its due to People Acting in Community Together (PACT), and important social justice partnership for the community. The 2018 show is "Mr. Peeper's Peppered Pickles Radio Hour," set in 1938 and featuring the WDYK-AM radio drama, "Come Into My Garden." There will be four performances:

  • Saturday, September 29, 7 p.m. (includes dinner) $25
  • Sunday, September 30, 2:30 p.m. (snacks available) $15
  • Saturday, October 6, 7 p.m. (includes dinner) $25
  • Sunday, October 7, 2:30 p.m. (snacks available) $15


As usual, one of the cast members will be murdered and another will be the murderer, but it will be different for every performance, and the audience has the chance to decide using Murder Motive Telegrams ($5 in advance / $10 on the night). But who are these potential murderer and victims?


Wendel Thomas Francis (WTF) – Station Announcer & MC for the Radio Hour. (Henry Ruddle)

Oscar Meyer Gunman (OMG) – Station Manager and Director of the Radio Hour. (Art Henrick)

Lucy O'Laherty (LOL) – Sings ad jingles and reads ad copy. (Tina Hemenway) Note: the ad jingles are all original compositions by Choir Director John Ector and Choir Accompanist Chris Pasillas

B. Ted Waterdrum (BTW) – Sound effects guy for the station & the Radio Hour. (Greg Smith)

Dash Pivot – Known as “Script Boy” to the cast and crew, he wheels in to give everyone their scripts, insisting on a fist bump or other gesture from each one. (Keith Kingston)


Jim Kingston (JK) – Youthful, handsome actor who plays the leading man Brock Babcock. (Ro Morris)

Isabelle Dunne Chime (IDC) – Older actress, once famous, now retired from her glory days in the movies, who plays the cougar Veronica Seville. (Torchy Hunter)

Charles Underdown (CU) – A blustery, long-time stage actor famous for his emotive monologues, forced to take a paycheck by playing Daniel Deville, the ex-husband of Veronica Seville. (Dan Zulevic)

Belinda Fine Day (BFD) – A young, up-and-coming, flirty actress who plays the not-so-innocent ingenue, Savannah Sweet. (Amanda Sullivan)

Billy Lovett (BL) – A comic friend of Jim, who recommended him for the part of his funny friend on the Radio Hour, Gallagher Sutton. (Federico Zappiola-Madden)

Ida Mary Owen (IMO) – A comic friend of Belinda, who recommended her for the part of her funny friend and sidekick on the Radio Hour, Sasha Sayso. (Jenny Cressman)

CAMEO PLAYERS (Acts 2 and 3)

Moe Frank – His show comes on before the Radio Hour. He reads quirky stories in a breathy voice. (Doug Zody)

Sal Wood – The WDYK janitor who seems to only ever say, “It's all good.” (Paul Milleson)

Madame Minkleberry – A speech coach with a Russian accent. (MM Felman)

Frau Hannah Hinkel – A friendly representative from the Austrian Embassy reading a PSA about how everything is fine in recently annexed Nazi Austria, there's nothing for Americans to worry about and the Fuhrer is really a nice guy. (Amy Baldwin)

Ronald Crump – The owner of WDYK Radio who visits to read an official WDYK editorial deploring the immigration of the Irish and Germans. (Bob Owen)

Sofia/Serge Fairlane – A singer off to make a Broadway debut who stops into WDYK to share a very special song. (different actor for each performance) Maiclaire (twice), Rev. Nancy, Tariq

The Titanic Players

The group's name comes from the first show, a mystery dinner staged in 2010, "The Picasso on the Ocean Floor," which was set on the Titanic. The shows became musical mystery comedies starting in 2013 with "Ticket to Ride," based on "When Prophesy Fails" by Leon Festinger about a UFO cult. The 2014 show (video below) was "Starship Kelvin," a Star Trek parody. The 2015 show (video below) was "Ultimate Idol," a parody of TV talent shows. The 2016 show (video below) was called "Last Chance Lounge" and was set in a restaurant piano bar.

The 2017 show was "The Tremendous Old West," set in a tent revival that has come to the town of Blessed, Texas in 1893. The twist? It’s a Unitarian revival. In addition to that headache and troubles at home, the sherrif has heard that the town’s most notorious criminal — a wealthy real estate developer with a tremendous way of speaking — has been freed from prison and will arrive on the noon train. A lot of people in town are looking forward to his arrival for reasons of their own. Many of them sing and make jokes about it.

NOTE TO UU CONGREGATIONS LOOKING TO JUMPSTART A FUN FUNDRAISER: All of the shows below were a lot of fun for a dozen or so members to produce, included a mix of big and small parts, featured fun audience participation, made the community proud, attracted new members, and raised $2,500-$5,000 to support our social justice programs.

Writing a show is also fun, but challenging, so the author of these shows, Henry Ruddle, will happily share the script, sheet music and graphics we used for advertising with any UU congregation that would like to mount their own production. As long as you credit the author and mention that the show originated at First Unitarian Church of San Jose, you are free to modify the script to suit the needs of your particular congregation and cast. If you are within a reasonable drive of San Jose, Henry will buy a ticket and come see how you do. Contact Henry at rcreative1@gmail.com

2014: Starship Kelvin

2015: Ultimate Idol


2016: The Last Chance Lounge


2017: The Tremendous Old West