Something's Afoot -- Saved by the Production
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
Bob and I saw Something's Afoot at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam recently.
This show, which originated at Goodspeed in 1976, is a spoof the conventional Agatha Christie, British murder mysteries so popular on public television.
The plot is typical: a disparate group of people are invited to a mansion for a weekend; soon it is discovered that the host is dead and they are stranded due to a terrible storm. Quickly, other guests and servants begin dropping like flies, though in imaginative ways. And of course, there is a spinster lady who is an amateur detective who is among those trying to unravel it all. Who is the murderer? The Colonel, the impoverished society lady, the maid, the caretaker, the host's dissolute nephew?
We won't give it away, but suffice it to say that EVERYONE has a motive.
Intermixed with the deaths and the mystery are some songs -- perhaps the best is the opening number which sets the scene -- "A Marvelous Weekend" and the witty "I Owe It All to Agatha Christie."
As usual, Goodspeed has done a bang up job with all the production elements. The set, designed by Adrian Jones, offers lots of opportunities for murder; the costumes by Tracy Christensen capture the vintage look, the lighting and sound by Jason Lyons and Jay Hilton add to the fear factor.
Overall, the cast is quite good. We both really liked Ed Dixon as the slightly obtuse Colonel, and Benjamin Eakeley as the nephew who hopes to inherit it all. Audrie Neenan as Miss Tweed, the amateur lady detective, at times seems to trying too hard and ends up sounding shrill.
This may not be a particularly memorable musical, but with Goodspeed's excellent production, it provides a fun-filled evening, especially for all those English mystery fans.
Something's Afoot is at Goodspeed Musicals through December 9.
This review aired on WNHU, 88.7 fm and www.wnhu.net