The Gazebo by Alex Coppel, at Main Street Theater, in Belton. Featuring Chad Kawakami as Elliott Nash, and Amanda Carpenter as his wife, Nell, during a recent rehearsal.

Belton Theatre prepares for “The Gazebo” 

“For a murder mystery, The Gazebo is hilarious.” 

By Glen Vaughn-Petersen

A new show is under construction at Belton’s Main Street Theatre. 

The Gazebo is a 1958 play by Alec Coppel, a dark comedy/murder mystery. The day after a man kills his blackmailer and places his body into the foundation of the newly constructed gazebo behind his home, the body suddenly reappears in his living room, bringing all sorts of chaos down on his and his wife’s lives. 

This play is most known for the 1959 film adaptation starring Glenn Ford, Debbie Reynolds, and Carl Reiner. In fact, that very adaptation is how Pam Powell, artistic director at the Main Street Theatre, first watched it and learned of it in the 60s. “I love murder mysteries, and I always have loved them,” says Powell. “For a murder mystery, The Gazebo is hilarious.” 

This love for murder mysteries has extended to the rest of the autumn season productions the Main Street Theatre has had in past years, which Powell sometimes refers to as her “dead body” shows, like Frederick Knott’s Wait Until Dark, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, or Lucille Fletcher’s Night Watch

This show has a somewhat macabre sense of humor about it. If what Powell says is any indication, this new cast is up to the challenge. “Our cast is excellent,” she says. “They’re great physical comedy actors, and this is a show full of that. There are folks dragging dead bodies around, there’s fainting, there’s gunshots. This show’s got it all.” Additionally, several of the actors in the cast are playing double roles; though, according to Powell, one cannot tell on the stage. 

“Making this show doesn’t feel like work,” says Powell of the upcoming production.  “I love to laugh, and it is hilarious!”

The Gazebo is running at Belton’s Main Street Theatre from September 15th to October 1st  on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. For times, ticket pricing, and more, visit the Main Street Theatre website at


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