TAMPA — The New Tampa Players, in collaboration with the University Area Community Development Corporation, is preparing to present “Something’s Afoot” at the University Area Community Center.
Billed as a murder mystery/musical, the play’s performances will be held on the center’s main stage at 14013 N. 22nd St. on Thursday through Sunday and April 16 and 17. Thursday and Friday presentations are at 8 p.m. and Saturday show times are 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday performances begin at 2 p.m.
Tonight, the New Tampa Players will present a special show.
The community theater group — founded in 2002 and with a history of more than 30 shows to its credit — will hold a Pay What You Can dress-rehearsal performance at 8 p.m., with all the proceeds going to the University Area CDC.
The musical spoof involves a group of people who are invited to the lake estate of Lord Dudley Ramcour, located on an island in the middle of a lake in England.
Upon their arrival, they find the wealthy lord dead and their stay becomes a race against time to figure out whodunit.
However, they soon find themselves in the midst of a violent thunderstorm resulting in rising flood waters and power outages and, one by one, they are all killed in mysterious yet hilarious ways while trying to determine the killer’s identity.
Meanwhile, Miss Tweed, an elderly woman staying at the home, tries to document the happenings in an effort to determine Lord Ramcour’s cause of death.
“What I love most about Miss Tweed is her confidence in herself,” said Tracy Stemm Crews, who is cast in that role. “She is always sure that she is completely correct in her deductions, even when she is wrong.”
James Cass, who plays the role of Dr. Grayburn, was cast as the same character in another production of “Something’s Afoot” 30 years ago. He is grateful the New Tampa Players took on the show and that he was able to once again play the role of the doctor.
“I have wanted to do this show for years, but only gotten as close to it by doing Agatha Christie’s ‘Ten Little Indians,’” he said.
Production director Nora Paine said the play is perfect for people who are fans of mystery novelist Agatha Christie, but also enjoy a good musical.
“It combines the best of a murder mystery and the best of a musical with plenty of comedy mixed in,” Paine said.
Other performances by the New Tampa Players are also on tap for this year at the University Area Community Center.
In exchange for the use of the venue, the theater group will provide workshops on the audition process, set building, acting and singing to the children in the University Area CDC’s Prodigy program.
“We’ll also provide mentors for the children from Prodigy who are auditioning for our summer show, ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” Paine said. “We are very excited for the first year of NTP/UACDC collaboration and look forward to more years to come.”
Sarah Combs, UACDC’s executive director and CEO, is thrilled to have a partnership with the New Tampa Players.
“The New Tampa Players have really shown their commitment in helping us serve the University Area Community,” Combs said. “We are so appreciative of their support and are thrilled to be able to provide our community with an enriching opportunity to see ‘Something’s Afoot.’”
Tickets are priced at $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and students 14 and younger, and $15 each for groups of 10 people or more. They may be purchased by visiting www.newtampaplayers.org.
Call (813) 386-6687 for information.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]