Tony award-winning playwright Anthony Shaffer's 1982 play Whodunnit had a rocky tryout. Two cast members died and another was replaced before the show made it to Broadway. Thankfully Anita Sampson, who's directing this highly original work for Company OnStage, has had a decidedly less difficult time mounting this production of the comedy/thriller. "It's a large cast, nine, and I needed both dramatic and comedic talent in the actors," she says. "Fortunately, I found a great cast."
Like Shaffer's most famous play, Sleuth, Whodunnit is a mystery. As the amusing title suggests, this is a comedic take, a parody. The eccentric cast of characters seems deliberately familiar (everyone you would expect at an English manor house), but no one is quite who they seem to be, and then there's the issue of a very inconvenient corpse. There's blackmail, seduction, the falsification of documents and more blackmail. "The fun is in the tricks the characters play on each other," says Sampson.
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Through July 27. Company OnStage, 536 Westbury Square. For information, call 713-726-1219 or visit companyonstage.org. $18.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: July 5. Continues through July 27, 2013