Our recent warm spell is being partly fueled by the laughter coming out of Sandia Park. That’s where the East Mountain Center for Theatre (EMCT) is running, “My Shrink is Killing Me,” a murder mystery that is both exceptionally funny and surprisingly difficult to solve.

Richard Atkins is celebrating his tenth year of writing and directing his original October whodunits in a dinner theater setting at the Vista Grande Community Center. This year’s annual crime variety allows his well-versed cast to experiment with their theatrical truths on a New York therapy couch under the care of a psychiatrist who is battier than his clientele. The fallout is an assortment of lunacy in the extreme as Atkins gives his players sharply crafted prose for portraying neurotic, irrational, obsessive and downright cuckoo patients.

Scott Claunch does a fine job maintaining his composure as the pre-occupied Dr. Green. His office looks like it was decorated by a color-blind consignment shop owner after his first trip to Africa. Make no mistake, the set is Atkins’ premeditated ploy to reflect the chaos ahead. Playing Mrs. Treefall, Dr. Green’s receptionist, is P.J. Davis who neatly blends mother and charge nurse into a fittingly nice but annoying assistant. As the patients—and future murder suspects—arrive, the silliness builds with each new session.

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