What is your vision for Something’s Afoot?
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Something’s Afoot to life again on the Goodspeed stage and to let this delightful show be discovered by a new audience. There is something special about this particular musical and there is a reason it has a bit of a cult following. When researching the show, there always seemed to be a common thread. The actors always seemed to be having the time of their lives in each production and there was a clear sense of joy and abandon in what they were creating together.
We imagine the production filled with laughter and surprises, but also played with enough honesty and reality that the mystery is honored in a satisfying way. The trap of this show could be to play it for laughs and to camp it up. That would do a disservice to the elegance and the subtlety of the show. It was vitally important to find the perfect company of actors to carry out this vision—seasoned comic performers who would embrace the material and dive into it head first. It seemed that the production could be an extraordinary showcase for the right ensemble of actors. We wanted both the actors and the entire creative team to challenge ourselves to always stay one step ahead of the audience so they get to enjoy the ride.
We aim to keep the pace brisk and the suspense taut, all the while keeping the entertainment value as high as possible and keeping the satirical style of the show in perfect alignment. Each department—sets, costumes, props— were invited to play along, to find their own voice as far as contributing to both the humor and mystery of the show. We adore the musical hall feel of the score; it brings a welcome theatricality and a wink to the world of Agatha Christie spoof. It also allows us to play with these characters in many different styles of dance such as vaudeville, tango, and ballroom. We can mine the comedy in these musical moments, all the while moving the delightful plot forward.
Why do you think Goodspeed audiences will enjoy the show?
Goodspeed audiences will enjoy discovering this charming show, which may not be as familiar to them as others. It will certainly keep them on their toes; it will keep them laughing and it will keep them guessing who the murderer could possibly be every silly step of the way. We do not want to give away any of the secrets of the show, but the murders do rely on a certain amount of special effects expertise for their execution (pun intended) to be successful and we think audiences will get a kick out of the effects, on top of the story.
Tell us about the cast—how you chose them and what the audience can expect to see?
The casting process for Something’s Afoot was a long and meticulous one. It is essential to the show that the company has not only the right skill sets and sense of style but also a certain amount of joy and fearlessness. It was important to keep a playful spirit in the room during the rehearsal process. We were seeking actors who were inventive and eccentric and who would bring their own individuality and wit to the material. The audition process was remarkably clear for this show—certain actors would come in and the material would light up and jump off the page in a brand new way. We would hear a scene twenty times and then someone would come in and we would find ourselves laughing out loud and rediscovering it. It is such a tight ensemble that we needed each color to be exactly right to create the perfect balance among these ten actors. We were relentless and uncompromising in finding the right company and are over the moon about the group of people we have been able to assemble.