Catch All an Act's Current Caper: The Cat and the Canary
Refreshed 1922 classic mystery comes to local stage
In the vein of Knives Out with a playful smidge of Scooby Doo, local theater All An Act brings a spooky mystery full of twists and turns to their Little Italy stage. In an updated version from the original century-old play by John Willard (and adapted for the All An Act stage by Joshua Mizikowski and Char Newport), Mizikowski, who is also directing the play, feels that the storyline, themes, and range of acting is timeless. He comments, "The show was written in 1922 and we did some updating of it but it still really works as a classic spooky house mystery."
The story begins at a will-reading for the wealthy, deceased Mr. Ambrose West, which just so happens to kick off at midnight. The will designates Ms. Annabelle West as the sole heir to his fortune if and only if "there is no indication that she suffers from insanity." A mad caper ensues as the family attempts to unsettle Annabelle with stories of lunatics, murders, and near-death experiences. Every heir falls under suspicion, but the extraordinary mystery isn't unraveled until the final moments.
The cast consists of Natalie Waddell-Rutter, Matt Dante-Ben Robson, Robin Baranski, Christine Pawlowski, Daniel Stripp, Andrew Heidt, Tori Snyder, and Erica Stripp. Mizikowski comments, "It's a good production and I'm certainly biased, but this cast and crew has worked very hard." Many are making their mainstage debut at All An Act, alongside Erie theater veterans.
Reflecting on the production, Mizikowski adds, "I think it's great that we can both remember and refresh works that have been a cultural influence for so long. Also it's just a great way to enjoy the spooky season and support local talent as well."
Friday, Oct. 13 and Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. // All An Act Theatre, 652 W. 17th St. // $5-$18 // Tickets and info: allanact.net