Plot twists and mystery abound in Macon Little Theatre’s ‘Game’s Afoot’

lshirley@macon.comOctober 11, 2013 

A cast of eccentric characters will take the stage in a Sherlock Holmes drama inside a Ken Ludwig comedy-murder-mystery, “The Game’s Afoot,” opening Friday at Macon Little Theatre.

And that’s just one of the twists and turns the play takes.

“It opens with a play within a play. It’s about a group of actors performing in a Sherlock Holmes production on Broadway, and they all end up traveling to Connecticut to visit William Gillette, who had the lead in the play,” director Weldon Ledbetter said.

While the group is together at Gillette Castle, one of the actors is murdered, and Gillette must take on the persona of his beloved Sherlock Holmes to try to solve the mystery. Billy Bishop, a local actor and church music director, plays Gillette.

“He is brilliant, a very experienced actor, singer and performer, and he captures all of the eccentricities of Holmes, whom he is obsessed with,” Ledbetter said.

Dan Byrd plays Felix, who plays Professor Moriarty in the Holmes play, and Georgina Olson plays Felix’s wife, Madge, who is an actress named Marion in the Holmes play. And while they “capture the essence of a long-married couple,” according to Ledbetter, a real-life married couple also performs in “The Game’s Afoot.” Bryson and Catherine Holloway play Simon, a clean-cut young actor, and Aggie, an ingénue, respectively.

Lianne Treiman plays Daria, an obnoxious theater critic who joins the group at the castle, Jaloo Zelonis plays Gillette’s doddering mother, Martha, and Rachel Johnson rounds out the cast as an inspector who appears out of nowhere in a snowstorm and from whom the characters try to hide the murder.

“It’s a wonderfully broad cast, with one person (Johnson) who is performing in her first role,” Ledbetter said. “The show has a brilliant twist so you really get to see all of the characters develop.”

The play is set in 1936, and the castle set is beautifully done in the Art Deco style, she said. The costumes include evening gowns and fur coats.

“We have a very talented costume designer, Emoryann Childers, who is very knowledgeable about time periods and has been a great asset,” Ledbetter said.

Local theater patrons will recognize playwright Ludwig’s work, as his “Fox on the Fairway” was recently performed at Theatre Macon.

“Ludwig is a talented playwright who writes very good physical comedy. I’m excited because I studied a lot of physical comedy, and it’s fun to get to use those stage skills,” Ledbetter said. “ ‘The Game’s Afoot’ is well-written and very funny.”

“The Game’s Afoot”

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 11-12 and 16-19; 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 and 20

Where: Macon Little Theatre, 4220 Forsyth Road

Cost: $18 adults; $15 seniors and students

Information: 478-477-3342; www.maconlittletheatre.org

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