From the intriguing opening mini play within a play to the surprise last scene a split second before final curtain, The Game’s Afoot gives you everything you love about great live theatre. Billed as a comedy thriller you will find yourself swept along for a wild and funny ride.
One of the fun aspects of the play is it does not let the “mystery” bog down the clever banter and fast pace mad cap comedy that races throughout the production. Of special note is the grand entrance of famed theatre critic Daria Chase (Erika Rolfsrud) and the cutting repartee´ between her and the rest of the cast. Brilliant timing and truly funny lines combine to make it one of the many highlights of the play.
Donald Sage Mackay plays William Gillette and the stage Holmes. His Gillette character is based on a real life turn of the century actor who lived in a ConnecticutCastle he built. With his tall angular build and strong facial features Mackay carries the dual role off very well. He is the straight man of the troupe trying to keep the situation from spinning completely out of control.
Patricia Kilgarriff is an absolute delight as Mrs. Gillette (William’s churlish mother) who sets the laugh bar high from her first entrance and carries the merriment to the end.
Rob McClure as Simone Bright and the stage Count Zerlinsky and Mattie Hawkinson as Aggie Wheeler and the stage Alice together play a young innocent acting couple who are newlyweds. Although their demeanor is light and carefree, one suspects a strong undertow of sinister intentions below the surface. But who knows for sure (after all it is a mystery).
Eric Hissom as Felix Geisel and the stage Moriarty is paired with Lise Bruneau as Madge Geisel and the stage Marian who supply much of the delightful slapstick comedy that gives a physical presence to the dialog gags. They work as a fine tuned machine working off each other’s strengths.
Erika Rolfsrud stars as Daria Chase whose flamboyant entrance as a white mink wrapped theatrical word angel of death steals the show with her barbed tongue and ripping assessments of those unfortunates who dare to cross verbal swords with her. To the delight of all, she is the victim du jour whose death scene is a classic…again and again and again.
Filling out the cast is Sarah Day who plays no-nonsense but slightly confused Inspector Harriet Goring who channels the spirit of past great frumpy detectives such as Miss Marple and Jessica Fletcher.
It had been said before, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and so it is with this cast, who rather than upstaging, work as a team to bring the greater part of enjoyment to the audience.
Special mention must also be made of those who work so tirelessly behind the scenes but for without their efforts, the production could not go on. Among them are: Daniel Conway, Scenic Designer who’s magically appearing castle interior brought oohs and ahhs from the audience. Costume Designer Linda Roethke has shod the actors in creative, functional and believable garb thus adding to the realism. Lighting Designer Thom Weaver’s use of shadows and light lends a gothic feel to the set and sets the tone for the scenes. James C. Swonger is the Sound Designer who’s perfectly on cue sound effects brought gasps of amazement from the audience. Impeccable Casting was accomplished by Elissa Myers and Paul Fouquet, CSA who found and put together this nearly perfect ensemble. Fight Choreographer Ron Wilson did a stellar job in training his combatants. Also in the mix is Marie Sproul as the Assistant Director, Kathryn Herman as Production Assistant, Byron Brubaker, John Rose-Caron and Amanda Piccirillo as the Run Crew, Caitie Martin as the Dresser, Tim Callaghan, Julie Harter and Megan Mingus as Scenic Artists and Rebekah Solt as Stitcher.
The CPH production of Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot (or Holmes for the Holidays) will be running at the Allen Theatre at PlayhouseSquare (located at 1407 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio) through Saturday, December 24, 2011. Tickets are available at PlayhouseSquare ticket office by calling 216-241-6000 or online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Ken Ludwig’s The Game’sAfoot is presented with support from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Ohio Arts Council.
Starting times for the performances are:
Tuesday Evenings: 7:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays Evenings: 7:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday Matinees: 2:30 p.m.
Weekday Matinee: 1:30 p.m., Thursday December 8
· Pre-show Conversations– Join us 45 minutes before every performance for a lively discussion with a member of the cast or creative team.
· Post-show Discussions – Sunday, December 11; Sunday, December 18, 2011 – Join actors from the cast for these post-show discussions moderated by a member of the artistic staff.
· Student Matinees -Wednesday, December 14, 2011. For details, call (216) 400-7061.
Single ticketsare on sale now; prices range from $49 to $69. Tickets are $15 for all students under the age of 25. For single tickets, please contact the PlayhouseSquare ticket office at 216-241-6000 or online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Groups of 10+ save up to 50% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027 or email email@example.com.
Founded in 1915, Cleveland Play House is America ’s first professional regional theatre. More than 11 million people have attended over 1,100 productions at Cleveland Play House – including more than 100 American and/or World Premieres. Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Bloom and Managing Director Kevin Moore , Cleveland Play House is an artist-driven theatre that serves the community by holding true to its mission: To inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohioby producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards.
Cleveland Play House is funded through the generosity of Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and The Ohio Arts Council helps to fund Cleveland Play House with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.