BWW Reviews: Pioneer Theatre Company's SOMETHING'S AFOOT is Irresistibly Entertaining
You may not be familiar with the musical SOMETHING'S AFOOT, but that won't hinder your enjoyment of its intrigue and wit.
SOMETHING'S AFOOT (book, music, and lyrics by James McDonald, David Vos, and Robert Gerlach; additional music by Ed Linderman) is a spoof of the murder mystery genre, and especially the stories of Agatha Christie. In the midst of a storm, ten guests and servants are trapped within a mansion as murders are committed around them. Who is the culprit? What is their motive? Who has the most showstopping number?
The show begins as a rather straightforward, old-fashioned musical that seems very much in earnest. But as we get to know the cast of characters, and as the plot moves forward, tongue is placed more and more firmly in cheek. Some of the gags fall flat, especially at the beginning, but the zanier the show gets, the more entertaining it is. By the end, the story and characters have become irresistible.
Pioneer Theatre Company's production of the musical, directed and choreographed by the theatre's artistic director Karen Azenberg, adds its own charms. The staging and choreography are crisp and inventive, the costumes by Carol Wells-Day nicely evoke the 1930s time period, the special effects are exciting, and the scenic design by George Maxwell is at once lavish and appropriately cartoonish.
The cast members have an impressive array of Broadway credits to their names, and each has their own moment to shine. They include Paul Castree (Flint), Laura Hall (Hope), James Judy (Colonel Gillweather), Kate Marilley (Lettie), Joseph Medeiros (Nigel), Will Ray (Geoffrey), and Rebecca Watson (Lady Manley-Prowe).
Especially delightful is Tia Speros as the prim but fierce amateur detective Miss Tweed.
If you enjoy shows that are a little off the beaten path, you will certainly want to investigate what is afoot at Pioneer Theatre Company.
SOMETHING'S AFOOT plays through October 5, 2013. For tickets, call the box office at 801-581-6961 or visit www.pioneertheatre.org.