State Street Theater presents . . . The Butler Did It
The performance is directed by Wendy Tuttle and is a nonmusical parody of Agatha Christie mysteries.
Playwright Tim Kelly wanted to parody not just Dame Agatha’s Miss Marple (here called Miss Maple,) but a host of others of the genre, among them Charlie Chan (Louie Fan) Nick and Nora Charles (Rick and Laura), who enter carrying their dog, Napoleon, and drinking champagne, and Sherlock Holmes, who appears as Peter Flimsey.
The characters are all supposed to be the authors who are disguising themselves as their own creations for a weekend at Miss Maple’s estate, which is, of course, isolated. It’s called Ravenswood Manor, on Turkey Island, off the coast of San Francisco.
Lurking about is Haversham, a housemaid who is really a convict serving time in Miss Maple’s manor as part of a prison work program and Rita, a social secretary, who stalks around clutching her hat box and sneaking up on everybody.
Miss Maple seems too preoccupied with proper pronunciation to pay attention to the foul play in her midst, or to the news about an escaped ”killer of 40 faces” who may appear out of the fog at any moment.
Instead of outwitting one another, each character/author is in his/her own fog, more dense than the others. Louie Fan, who never gets anything right, comes off as the prize fool. Fan was even turned down by the Nostalgia Book Club, one of his rivals says, and the only ”dragon” thing about him is his book sales. Yes, many of the lines are like that, and they work painlessly, often to the right silly effect.
Miss Maple, who has the reputation for ‘clever’ weekend parties, invites the detective writers to eerie Ravenswood Manor on Turkey Island where they are to impersonate their fictional characters. The hostess has arranged all sorts of amusing incidents until a real murder takes place.
With an assortment of laughs throughout the performance, the climax will keep the audience on the edge of its seat as the true killer is unmasked and almost everyone turns out to be someone else.
Also, Theatre After Hours will be held at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 at MonaLena, 225 North Minnesota Street. It will feature local wines and appetizers served by butlers. The is an age 21-over event.
General admission seating is $12.50 in advance or $15 at the door. Sunday matinee Senior Discount admission is $12.50. Theatre After Hours tickets are $10. Tickets are available until October 10 at the Chamber of Commerce, MonaLena, or online at https://sstc_butler.eventbrite.com.
Those interested in purchasing a season pass for $50, a savings of more than 30 percent. Also, group packages of 15 tickets are only $150. Anyone who would like to purchase a group package of more than 15 tickets or would like multiple dates, can call 507-359-9990.
For more information, email email@example.com or visit statestreetnewulm.org.
HAVERSHAM: Hannah Larson
RITA: Mary Kay Holland
MISS MAPLE: Vickie Tambornino
FATHER WHITE: Tom Kaehler
CHANDLER MARLOWE: Robert Docherty
LOUIE FAN: Paul Henning
RICK: David Henning
LAURA: Michelle Gag
PETER FLIMSEY: Michael Bovee
CHARITY: Marie Guggisberg
The Butler Did It
If you go:
7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12,
7 p.m., Saturday Oct. 13
2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14
State Street Theater, 1 North State Street, New Ulm
$12.50 general admission in advance, $15 at the door. Sunday matinee senior discount is $12.50. Theatre After Hours tickets $10. Tickets are available until Oct. 10 at the Chamber of Commerce, MonaLena or online at https://sstc_butler.eventbrite.com.