Fans of murder mysteries will appreciate the many nods and pokes at the genre with Hudson Players' production of "Something's Afoot," which opened Feb. 1.
There are the two servants, Lettie and Flint (played by Jennifer Matas and Fig Jankowski respectively), who work at the beck and call of the guests at the country estate of Lord Dudley Rancour. Lettie especially is put upon for requests of tea and harder drinks as the mysteries deepen and the body count increases. There is the stuffy, punctual butler Clive (played by Jerry Schaber), who tries to keep things running smoothly. There's the innocent ingenue Hope Langdorn (played by Martha Kriley), who has a mysterious past. There's the distinguished Dr. Grayburn (played by Gary Maher). There's Nigel Rancour (played by Mike Guffey), the scheming nephew of Lord Dudley. There's Lady Grace Manley-Prowe (played by Kathy Steiner), the proper woman with a few skeletons in her closet. There's Colonel Gillweather (played by Mark Levigne), who has a distinguished military career and never hesitates to bring it up. There's the unexpected guest, Geoffrey (played by Kirk Worcester). Finally, there's Miss Tweed (played by Holly Reimer), an artist who turns amateur detective as the household occupants proceed to get dispatched in creative and macabre fashion. They have all been assembled at the estate for some unknown reason (Agatha Christie fans will see a lot of nods to "And Then There Were None,") and it's up to Miss Tweed to try to piece together the clues.
"That's what we try to maintain, is the stuffy English characters you find in the shows," said director Dave Stebbins. "The sleuth, the colonel, the butler, the maid, they are all here."
Stebbins said a challenge with this production was with the special effects required.
"Our set designers deserve a lot of credit," Stebbins said. "We spent a lot of time on the moving parts of the effects of the show. This cast has been a blast to work with. Everyone contributed to the ideas. It really was a group effort."
Maher said he was a fan of the mystery genre.
"I love mysteries," he said. "I've done the interactive ones and I've loved doing this. I did this show 28 years ago. It's one of the few shows I've done twice. I played Geoffrey then."
Ticket and show information
"Something's Afoot" can be seen through Feb. 23. Tickets are $14.
The Hudson Players stages its shows at the Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt St. in Hudson. For details, visit www.hudsonplayers.com or call 330-655-8522.
Performances are scheduled for Feb. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23.
Next on stage
The final production of Hudson Players 2012-13 season will be the musical "Little Shop of Horrors," which will be staged April 26 through May 18.