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By Beki Pineda

SOMETHING’S AFOOT – Written by James McDonald, David Vos and Robert Gerlach; Directed by Bob Wells.  Produced by Town Hall Arts Center (2450 West Main, Littleton) through March 25, 2018.  Tickets available at 303-794-2787 or townhallartscenter.org.

Devilishly fiendish things are definitely afoot at Town Hall.  In a delightful mash-up of classic Agatha Christie’s complicated murder mysteries and the equally classic English music hall productions, this allows for improbable plot twists, diabolical methods of murder and the suspense of the unknown killer.  It accommodates the ingénue bursting into songs of love and longing.  Stock characters such as the stuffy colonel and the older (but wiser) femme fatale are allowed a shot at rekindling an old romance.  The sexy maid and the lecherous caretaker chase each other through the scenes.  All is right in the theatre world because everyone knows their role in the grand scheme of things.

Nine strangers are invited to an English manor house expecting just “A Marvelous Weekend” in the country.  But soon a storm strikes, washes out the road and they are stranded.  They are soon joined by one more unexpected stranger, making it ten little targets.  One by one, they become victims in a fiendish plot by an  unknown killer, each being dispatched in an imaginative way that tested the skills of the technical crew.  The ending brings a climax even Christie wouldn’t have dreamed up.

But in the meantime, the audience is treated to Eryn Carman as Grace, a long lost lover serenading “The Man With the Ginger Moustache”.  We admire LuAnn Buckstein as Miss Tweed as she tries to follow the clues to some logical conclusion and admitting “I Owe It All” to her murder mystery mentors.  We have the pleasure of watching the sweet young thing – Lynzee Lee Jones – break into song at the drop of a glove and fall instantly in love with Carter Edward Smith as Geoffrey, the handsome stranger who “Fell Out of the Sky” unexpectedly.  There’s always the fun of watching Ben Hilzer doing his best to pinch all the female characters on the bum and entice them with his “tiny little dinghy”.  All in all, just a bunch of silly fun – just what you’d expect from a murder mystery musical.

The previously mentioned technical staff met the challenges of this script with creativity and imagination.  The manor house designed by Michael Duran and dressed by Rob Costigan is a place in which you’d love to spend a weekend. . .under different circumstances.  The costumes by Susan Ramsdorff-Terry – especially the women’s flowy gowns – made you long for the more elegant times past.

You’ve one more weekend to catch this cute and surprising production.

A WOW factor of 8!