Monday, November 19, 2012


Once you eliminate the butler, the maid, the caretaker, the valet, the chauffeur and the cook, in other words the staff, all you have left are the invited guests and one stranger who wanders in from the storm.  the fact is they only one you can actually promise isn't the murderer is the butler because he is the first one to meet a grisly end.  Or does he?

You'll need to stay on your toes and scrutinize the clues as Goodspeed Musicals presents a musical whodunit worthy of a Miss Marple or Agatha Christie in "Something's Afoot" with music, book and lyrics by James McDonald, David Vos and Robert Gerlach, with additional music and lyrics by Ed Linderman.  This intriguingly fun murder mystery musical has already been extended to Sunday, December 9.

In the late spring of 1935, Lord Rancour issues six invitations to come to his retreat for the weekend.  Each guest mistakenly assumes he is the only one to receive the coveted missive.  The ingenue Hope Langdon, a pert and pretty Julis Osbourne, is the first one to arrive, quickly followed by the family physician Dr. Grayborn, a chipper Peter Van Wagner.  Next to cross the threshold is the unhappy nephew Nigel, a sulking Benjamin Eakeley, who fears he has been disinherited by his uncle, the Lord of the manor, and Lady Grace, a gracious Lynne Winterstellar, who as the ex-wife doesn't expect any financial favors.

Rounding out the usual suspects are the military man Colonel Gilweather, a starchy Ed Dixon, who had a romantic arrangement with Lady Grace in another lifetime and the industrious, problem solving and take-charge Miss Tweed, a practical and to-the-point Audrie Neenan.

They are all greeted by the staff, the butler Clive, a no nonsense Ron Wisnicki, Lettie the flirty maid, an easily seduced and spooked Liz Pearce and the caretaker Flint, a knowledgeable industrious Khris Lewin, who knows where all the bodies are buried until he becomes one.

When Clive the butler meets his grim end and the body of Lord Rancour is discovered in his bed, dead, the shenanigans take a decidedly shady turn.  Miss Tweed, in the tradition of famous flinty female detectives before her, makes assumptions and leaps to conclusions, that include the last arrival to the castle, a youthful innocent who lost his way in the storm, Geoffrey, an eager to please Hunter Ryan Herdlicka.  Vince Pesce directs an choreographs this jolly journey where one by one the suspect list declines as the list of victims multiples.

For tickets ($27 and up), call Goodspeed Musicals, on the Connecticut River in East Haddam, at 860-873-8668 or online at  Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  On Friday, November 23 there is an extra show at 2 p.m.

It's murder, in any number of ingenious ways, worthy of an Alfred Hitchcock plot, and you'll love weighing the clues...or just sitting back and enjoying the deadly fun.

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