The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1071 Friday, 25 June 1999.
From: Richard Burt <
Date: Thursday, 24 Jun 1999 23:05:00 -0400
Subject: Perry Mason R & J
Episode aired on Tuesday, June 22, in L.A.
I missed the first five minuites or so. 30 minute episode.
The episode concerns a troupe of actors who are performing Romeo and
Juliet and who have recently come from a tour in South Africa. Helen
Lawson, a woman who was supposed to play Juliet but who was replaced by
an inferior actress, Claire Adams, first visits Mason. One of the
actors, Steve Brock, is accused of embezzlement by the leader of the
troupe France Larkman. Brock claims it was a mistake, that he deposited
a check and that it hadn't cleared. But Larkman won't listen. Brock
overhears him make a call. to the police and he sees that Brock has
heard him. This is all done backstage during a performance of R and J.
We see the scene with Brock as Prais being rejected by Juliet. The
actress has to be prompted about the line "What may be shall be. Della
Street comments to Mason that the actress is inferior to Adams. Then we
see Paris and Romeo dueling at the tomb with Larkman playing Romeo.
Romeo cuts Paris's face, but then Paris gets the upper hand and Della
says "I don't care what Shakespeare wrote. Now my money's on Steve."
and then Paris knocks over Romeo. Someone calls out "Curtain!" then
"Kill the lights." It all goes dark, we see Brock race past Mason and
Street who have gone backstage, and then when the lights come up, Juliet
calls out "Steve! Romeo's been killed."
Brock is of course the prime suspect and goes to Mason who agrees to
defend him. Brock's sword is missing. Mason starts digging up dirt on
Larkman , asking Mrs. Margaret Bruner if Loarkman was playing favorites
with his Juliets, of whom she has once been one. She says there was
nothing except a mentoring relationship. A theatrical agent tells
Mason that Larkman "was interested in playing with girls without being
called a sissy." The possibility that one of the Juliet actresses
killed Larkman out of revenge at being replaced thus goes cold. Mason
also investigates Claire Adams, who it turns out, bought her way into
the company. She has received a check from a Mr. Amos Martin for 10k
(sometimes it is 12k) which Steve had deposited,. She had assumed it
was a belated pay-off for her letting him dump her so his wife would not
sue him for divorce. Mason and Drake visit Martin, but he throws them
off his estate. Brock's sword turns up in a garbage can outside the
theater, and the police detective also turns up when the check returned
check arrives for Brock at the theater. He opens it, and the envelope
is empty. At the trial, things of course look back at first for Steve
Brock. Under Berger's direct, Lawson concedes that Brook was
"disappointed" when he learned that Claire Adams would play Juliet, not
Miss Larson. Steve knew about Mr. Martin and Claire Adams. The check
by Martin was forged.
In a related development, it turns out that the costumes the troupe used
in South Africa were used to smuggle in precious gems. Steve shipped
them and consigned the shipment to himself. He packed the costumes too.
Things are looking bad for Steve. After a commercial break, things turn
around. The jury and witnesses have reconvened at the theater and Mason
asks them all to stand where they were standing just before Larkman was
killed. Brock rehearses his movements and then Mason turns out to Mrs.
Margaret Bruner. He trips her up, and it turns out her husband is the
murderer. His wife did the smuggling. They hated Larkman and were
using the gems to escape the theater. Larkman found out and was going
to turn them in, so they forged the check and set up Brock, and then
Bruner murdered Larkman. In the epilogue (after another commercial
break), Mason, Brock, Street, Drake, and Adams are at a bar, and Mason
fills in some details. After rehearsing the various crimes committed by
the Bruners, Brock holds out his arms and cites Macbeth's "Will all the
sea wash this bloody hand?" without giving the source. After Mason adds
some more details about Mrs. Bruner, Drake misidentifies the play,
saying "Just like that lad in Hamlet." Everyone smiles, he looks
puzzled, and Della says "Lady Macbeth." Drake looks embarrassed. The