‘The Game’s Afoot’ opens tonight at Church Hill

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment -

CHURCH HILL — The Church Hill Theatre will of­fer “The Game’s Afoot; or Holmes for the Hol­i­days,” by Ken Lud­wig, as its fi­nal pro­duc­tion of 2016. Win­ner of the Edgar Allen Poe Award for the best mys­tery play of 2012, this fast-paced who­dunit takes place in a Con­necti­cut cas­tle on Christ­mas Eve in 1936.

As the story goes, Broad­way star Wil­liam Gil­lette, an ac­tor fa­mous for his por­trayal of Sher­lock Holmes, has in­vited his fel­low cast-mem­bers for hol­i­day rev­elry. When a guest is stabbed, Gil­lette as­sumes the per­sona of Sher­lock him­self, to solve the mys­tery be­fore the killer finds an­other vic­tim.

The Cleve­land Ex­am­iner promised, “The Game’s Afoot gives you ev­ery­thing you love about great live theatre … you will find your­self swept along for a wild and funny ride.” Lo­cal res­i­dents may re­call CHT’s pro­duc­tion of an­other Lud­wig com­edy, “Lend Me a Tenor,” which played to en­thu­si­as­tic and ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ences.

“The Game’s Afoot” is di­rected by John Nor­ton, an ac­tor/di­rec­tor with con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence with the Tred Avon Play­ers in Ox­ford. Au­di­ences may re­call his re­cent per­for­mance in CHT’s “Visit to a Small Planet” this past April. Nor­ton is as­sisted in the pro­duc­tion by pro­ducer Nina Sharp and stage man­ager and pho­tog­ra­pher Steve Atkin­son. The set was de­signed by Michael White­hill and con­structed by White­hill and Car­men Grasso, with Wendy Sardo and Brian Draper han­dling set dec­o­ra­tion and Nor­ton pro­vid­ing props. The light­ing de­sign is by Tal­ley Wil­ford and the sound de­sign by Patrick Fee. Tyler Judd is the light board op­er­a­tor; Jor­dan Foltz is the sound board op­er­a­tor. Cast mem­ber Juanita Wiec­zoreck de­signed the cos­tumes.

Jim Land­skroener plays Wil­liam Gil­lette, the noted por­trayer of Sher­lock Holmes. Gil­lette’s house­guests, and po­ten­tial sus­pects, are his fel­low cast mem­bers: Lind­sey Hammer in the role of Ag­gie Wheeler, Kirby Pow­ell as Si­mon Bright, James Diggs in the role of Felix Geisel, and Laura Wallin as Madge Giesel. Other char­ac­ters are Diane Land­skroener, cast as the in­flu­en­tial critic, Daria Chase; Juanita Wiec­zoreck, play­ing In­spec­tor Har­riet Gor­ing; and Mag­gie Garey, in the role of Gil­lette’s mother, Martha.

“The Game’s Afoot” will open at Church Hill Theatre on Nov. 4, with per­for­mances on Fri­days and Satur­days at 8 p.m. and Sun­days at 2 p.m. through Nov. 20. Tick­ets are $20 for adults and $10 for stu­dents, with spe­cial prices for groups of 10 or more. CHT of­fers two for the price of one tick­ets on open­ing night Fri­day, Nov. 4, to those who re­serve by phone. Reser­va­tions can be made by call­ing the CHT of­fice at 410-5566003 or on­line at www.church­hillthe­atre.org.

CHURCH HILL THEATRE

From left, Laura Wallin, James Diggs, Diane Land­skroener, Jim Land­skroener, Mag­gie Garey, and Lind­sey Hammer strike a dra­matic pose as Wil­liam Gil­lette, por­trayed by Jim Land­skroener, at­tempts to figure out “who­dunit” in Church Hill Theatre’s hi­lar­i­ous pro­duc­tion of “The Game’s Afoot; or Holmes for the Hol­i­days.”

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