June 2016
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
... 6 7 8 9

10

11

12

13 14 15

16

17

18

2:00 pm 7:30 pm 8:00 pm
talk-back after 8:00 pm show

 

 

SEASON

PATRONS

ABOUT

JOIN US!

The Game's Afoot or Holmes For The Holidays

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.


By Ken Ludwig


Cast
William F. Braak as William Gillette
Rosemary Gehrlein as Martha Gillette
Jason Kramer as Felix Geisel
Cheryl Balas as Madge Geisel
Paul Recupero as Simon Bright
Laura Watson as Aggie Wheeler
Julie May as Daria Chase
Barbara Sherman as Inspector Goring
 

Staff

Producer: Dee Henken
Director: Eileen Ciccarone
Assistant Director: Thom Harmon
Stage Manager: John Henken
Lighting and Sound Design, Sound Operation: Steve DiNenno
Set Design and Decoration: Rusty Muglia
Props Design: Marianne DiNenno
Assistant Stage Manager: Doug Smith
Lighting Operation: Dean Soltes
Costumes: Eileen Ciccarone, Robert Marsch, Tessa Raum
Master Carpenter: Steve Gehrlein

 


The Game’s Afoot
by Ken Ludwig is fast-paced and murderously funny. 
The play is based on real life actor William Gillette. 
Who was William Gillette you say?

Gillette was the first American matinee idol. He was wildly eccentric with stunning theatrical successes and a romantic reputation.  Actor, playwright, inventor, in 1899 he gave his first performance as Sherlock Holmes on stage.  He wrote the play himself with the blessing of Arthur Conan Doyle, who eventually become his life-long friend.  The play became an instant hit, earning millions.  Gillette used the proceeds to build a stone fortress on the Connecticut River and outfitted it with newfangled inventions, such as the first intercom, mazes, and hidden rooms.  Gillette ended up acting in it for the remainder of his life, racking up over 1300 performances in both America and England.

            Ludwig states in his essay The Strange and Wonderful History of William Gillette, “Gillette not only looked like the Sherlock that Conan Doyle described in the stories, he also brought lasting innovations to the character.  It was Gillette who made the deerstalker cap a symbol of Holmes.  Gillette also adopted the famously curved meerschaum pipe, and he did it for a wonderfully theatrical reason.  He found that a straight pipe, as Conan Doyle described, would cover his face to the audience.  The meerschaum provided the perfect solution.”

            Join us for this snappy, clever drawing-room mystery.  Or, better yet, come and audition!

 

The Plot

The plot is pure Agatha Christie, played as farce.  William Gillette is wounded following an attempt on his life at a performance.  While he is recovering, he invites a few friends over for a Christmas Eve celebration at his Connecticut mansion.  In the vein of “whodunit” murder mysteries, the plot takes many twists and turns.  When a murder happens at the mansion that evening, Gillette puts his Sherlock Holmes skills to the test in an attempt to solve the crime before something else goes awry.

The script is well written and the dialogue is witty and fast-paced.  Just when you think you’ve figured out who the bad guy is, the plot takes an unexpected twist.