Mighty Corson Art Players ring in holidays with murder mystery comedy

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Staff report
Kelly Walker (from left), Jeff Weber, Alyssa Volmer-Johnson, Logan Erickson, Rob Simmermon and Kylie Murray rehearse “Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot” at the Corson Playhouse last week. The show debuts Dec. 6. Photo/MCAP
 
Corson-based non-profit community theater Mighty Corson Art Players’ winter production, “Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot” or “Holmes for the Holidays,” runs Dec. 6, 7, and 8 at the Corson Playhouse.
“The Game’s Afoot” is as compelling a mystery as it is a humorous holiday show. Winner of the 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Play, the show centers around a real-life Broadway star, William Gillette. It is December 1936, and the Broadway star, admired the world over for his leading role in the play “Sherlock Holmes,” 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 this 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. 
This marks MCAP’s second production by famed American playwright Ken Ludwig in two years.  
“Ken Ludwig is a prolific playwright, with 28 musicals and plays, including ‘Lend Me a Tenor,’ ‘Moon Over Buffalo,’ and ‘Crazy for You,’ said Ryan Howe with the MCAP Board of Directors. “Whenever his name is on a script, you can bet that you’re in for an excellent, well-crafted story.”  
This hilarious whodunnit is bolstered by a talented cast of eight, the largest cast that the Mighty Corson Art Players has had in some time.  
“We were blessed with a strong turnout at auditions. This is just the type of show that everyone wants to not only see, but be in, too!” said Brian Schipper, managing artistic director of the Mighty Corson Art Players.  “Once again we’ve assembled one of the best ensembles around to bring this story to life; it’s a delicate balance between a free-flowing comedy and an exacting whodunnit, but the cast walks that line perfectly.”
This production reunites MCAP cast members Alyssa Volmer-Johnson, Jeff Weber and Kylie Murray, all last seen in last spring’s “Getting Sara Married,” Autumn Danielson, most recently on the MCAP stage in “Almost, Maine,” and Rob Simmermon in last winter’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” It also marks the Sioux Falls debut for Kelly Walker, an accomplished actor who recently moved to the area from Missouri, and stage debuts from Logan Erickson and Beth Warden.
“It’s a wonderfully written, fun, and mesmerizing mystery where everyone on stage can be a suspect,” said Simmermon, who plays Felix Geisel, an acting partner of William Gillette.  
This sense of wonder and excitement is shared among the entire cast. Volmer-Johnson, playing Aggie Wheeler, said of the story, “Any time you think you’ve figured out what’s going on, you’re wrong. I love that.  It keeps you on your toes.”
“Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot” is being stage managed by Brandon Valley High School senior Logan Leavitt.
It will be presented Dec. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the Corson Playhouse, 25993 482nd Ave., Brandon. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online at mightycorson.com/boxoffice or by calling the box office at 605-582-2771.
 
MCAP presents “The Game’s Afoot”
Showtimes:  7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8
Tickets: $15 at mightycorson.com/boxoffice or 605-582-2771
Venue: The Corson 
Playhouse, 25993 482nd Ave., Brandon

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