WESTERLY — The Granite Theatre reopens next Friday with Ken Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot,” the play that won the The Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for Best Play in 2012 and has a setting that will be familiar to many readers: Gillette Castle.
Veteran director Vincent Lupino, who has directed a number of plays at the Granite over the years (“Lost in Yonkers” in 2001, “Crimes of the Heart” in 2012 and “Catholic School Girls” in 2013) and will direct this year’s “A Christmas Carol,” returns to direct the play, which will feature some newcomers (Karen Kessler, Chelsea Ordner and Marc Vakassian) and some veterans (Marcus Fisk of Mystic, Lee Rush, Paula Glen, Judy George, and Warren Usey).
Ludwig, whose plays are produced regularly at the Granite, is a two-time Olivier Award-winning playwright who has written more than 26 plays and musicals, including six Broadway shows and seven that premiered in London’s West End.
His first Broadway play, “Lend Me A Tenor,” won two Tony Awards and was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by the Washington Post. His other awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the 2017 Samuel French Award for Sustained Excellence in the American Theatre, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery of the Year, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Contributions to the American Theater. His book, “How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare,” published by Penguin/Random House, won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of the Year, and his essays have been published by the Yale Review.
Ludwig’s best known works include “Crazy For You,” “Moon Over Buffalo,” “Baskerville,” “Sherwood,” “A Fox on the Fairway” and a stage version of “Murder on the Orient Express” written expressly at the request of the Agatha Christie estate. His newest play, “The Gods of Comedy,” is expected to premiere at the McCarter Theater in Princeton and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego this spring.
“The Game’s Afoot,” a throwback to the mystery dramas that were popular on the English and American stages from the early 1900s through the late 1970s, takes place in December 1936 and features Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play “Sherlock Holmes.” Gillette portrayed Holmes in more than 1,300 performances and is said to have embodied some of the facets of the character still used today in modern interpretations of the role.
The play is set three months after the construction of Gillette Castle has been completed. Gillette has invited his fellow cast members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in the isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. It is then up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. “The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays,” Ludwig said on his website.
“The Game’s Afoot” opens March 22. Performances are Thursday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. except Thursday March 28. Tickets for this show are $20, 62 and older is $17 and children (12 and under) are $12. Reservations are available by calling the box office at 401-596-2341 or online at our website www.granitetheatre.com.
For reservations, directions or other information, visit granitetheatre.com.