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Indiana Repertory Theatre puts a finishing note on their impressive 42nd season with Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot – a zany mystery romp with a witty Sherlock Holmesean bent. Played out on the One American stage, outfitted with a grand set designed by Russell Metheny (so grand as to receive an ovation upon being revealed), with Tracy Dorman’s exquisite costumes – the formidable cast is directed by Peter Amster, with just the right touches of farce, style, and quirkiness.

The remarkable set, designed by Russell Metheny

The remarkable set, designed by Russell Metheny

Matthew Brumlow, Constance Macy, Rob Johansen, Jurgen Hooper and Hillary Clemens onstage in IRT's "The Game's Afoot"

Matthew Brumlow, Constance Macy, Rob Johansen, Jurgen Hooper and Hillary Clemens onstage in IRT’s “The Game’s Afoot”


Matthew Brumlow is perfectly cast as grandiose actor William Gillette, who along with his mother Martha – played in a lively and highly entertaining turn by perennial IRT favorite, Priscilla Lindsay, lives in the grand setting. It is Christmas Eve and the recently shot-on-stage Gillette has invited his cast mates to celebrate, in hopes that he might unravel the seemingly inexplicable attempt on his life. Of course, that is exactly what does NOT happen and we are treated to the comic proceedings as murder and mayhem ensue.

IRT mainstays Rob Johansen and the lovely Constance Macy join the fun as Felix and Madge Geisel, providing much of the physical comedy – especially Johansen, whose range in this area seems to increase every time we see him. IRT newcomers Hillary Clemens and Jürgen Hooper provide two very expansive characterizations as young newly-weds, Aggie Wheeler and Simon Bright. Jennifer Johansen handles all the many facets of despicable critic Daria Chase with such polish and panache, one might think the role was written just for her. Carmen Romans joins the excellent group in act two with her effervescent portrayal of Inspector Goring, a Holmes devotee who arrives rather unexpectedly to help untangle the farce-induced havoc.

Daria Chase (Jennifer Johansen) leads the group in a pivotal séance in IRT's "The Game's Afoot".

Daria Chase (Jennifer Johansen) leads the group in a pivotal séance in IRT’s “The Game’s Afoot”.


With such an outstanding and well-directed cast, the onstage activity proceeds with crisp comedic precision. If you love farce, this will definitely be your cup of tea – and I daresay, even if farce leaves you cold, you will still find excellent enjoyment in the many full portrayals, the luscious period costumes, and a truly imaginative set.

Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot continues through May 18th at IRT. You can get full information about times, dates and ticket reservations either by logging on to http://www.irtlive.com or by calling the ticket office at 317-635-5252.

* All photos by Zach Rosing and provided by IRT

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