WJTN To Air Chautauqua Play?Live

“Hearts, Spades, and Bullets,” a one-act play about a game of bridge that drew an overflow audience at Chautauqua Institution this summer, will be performed live on Jim Roselle’s morning radio show on Saturday.

The broadcast will be over station WJTN 1240 on the AM dial. It will start at 10 a.m.

Written by David Zinman and directed by Bob McClure, both year-round Chautauquans, the radio version will include most of the original cast.

Based on a true story, the play tells what happened after Myrtle Bennett and her husband John traded insults as they played bridge with another couple. Suddenly, in front of their stunned house guests, Bennett slapped his wife three times. She responded by getting a gun and shooting him.

The bizarre incident actually happened in Kansas City in 1929. It led to a sensational trial covered by major newspapers from all over the country.

Actors include Gwyn Tigner in the leading role as Myrtle Bennett and Jerry Vanim and Don Kirsch as dueling attorneys. Also in supporting parts are Carl Badger, Joe Goldfarb, and Jane Stirniman. Roselle will play the part of a radio announcer.

Most of the cast are members of Friends of Chautauqua Theatre, a group that supports the professional summer company.

At Chautauqua. a capacity crowd attended a staged reading of the play in August.