SEQUIM — There’s a familiar feeling in Olympic Theatre Arts’ whodunit “Something’s Afoot.”
The musical murder-mystery is a “spoof of a farce,” said director Ron Graham.
“It’s an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None,’ ” he said.
“It’s a comedy, musical and murder-mystery all wrapped up in one genre. There are people you’ve seen in every kind of mystery [like] the colonel, the lady down on her luck, the nephew who is the black sheep of the family.”
Sequim’s show opens at 7:30 tonight and will run for three weekends through Nov. 13. As tradition, special performances include a pay-what-you-will show Thursday.
For each show, Olympic Theatre Arts accepts donations for the Sequim Food Bank for the holiday season.
Advanced, reserve seating tickets are available online; at the theater box office, 414 N. Sequim Ave., from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; or by calling 360-683-7326.
In the play, 10 invited and uninvited house guests find themselves stranded in Lord Dudley Rancour’s estate as murders begin to transpire.
“Something’s Afoot” was last produced in Sequim by Olympic Theatre Arts in the Howard Wood venue in 1999 with one actor, Dave McInnes, returning.
He played Nigel Rancour, the black sheep nephew, which is now played by Kai Lavatai. McInnes opted to try out as Flint the caretaker for a chance to work with Graham again.
“I’ve worked with him in shows before, but never with him as director,” he said. “Plus it’s just fun. Theater is in my blood.”
Cathy Marshall holds fond memories of the show, too.
She played Lady Grace Manley-Prowe 32 years ago in summer repertory theater in Salt Lake City and takes on the part again in Sequim.
“I have always loved this show, and I was excited to get the opportunity to do it again,” she said.
“I think it’s more fun now, though. I’m more the right age for the character. I can play older a lot better now.”
Even though OTA is returning to the play 17 years later, Graham feels it remains a good fit and the characters are fleshed out nicely.
“It works because it still deals with love,” he said. “A couple meets and falls in love instantly. The uncle feels he’s not getting his due. There’s an older couple who have become separated but reunite after years. There’s a frisky caretaker and a maid out for more in life and willing to do anything to get it, and a lady who thinks she’s an amateur detective.”
“It’s just a fun, happy play,” Graham said. “There’s not a deep, meaningful message like in ‘Skylight.’ It’s just one of those things that’s a diversion from real life. You’ll walk out happy and humming a couple of tunes to yourself.”
Marshall said everything that happens in the mystery is unexpected and those who do die do so in a hysterical manner.
“It’s fun, it’s light and appeals to all ages,” she said.
Valerie Lape, who plays Miss Tweed the amateur detective, echoed others’ comments about the level of fun to be had in the play.
“Even though [the audience] may never have seen it before, there will be things familiar to them,” she said.
Along with Graham directing, Mark Lorentzen serves as musical director. Other actors include Merv Wingard as Clive, K MacGregor as Colonel Gilweather, Debbie Embree as Dr. Grayburn, Ginger Moore as Hope Langdon, Jade Evens as Lettie the maid and Randy Powell as Geoffrey.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.