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University Theatre Stages Murder Mystery Musical

June 26, 1997

In his last University Theatre production, director John Staniunas guides the murder mystery musical ‘Something’s Afoot’ through a series of plot twists and elaborate stage tricks. The 1930s British spoof, which will be performed in a cabaret setting, opens Friday, June 27.

‘Something’s Afoot’ is the University Theatre‘s first production of the summer season. In this tribute to the whodunit genre, a motley group of vacationing aristocrats stranded at a remote manor find themselves witnesses to – and, of course, suspects in – a grisly murder. It’s up to amateur sleuth Miss Tweed to determine whether it was the long lost lovers, the illegitimate child, the saucy maid, the scheming butler, the college lad, the dottering grand-dame, the retired colonel or the country doctor who was guilty of the crime.

photo by Brent Nicastro

Head footbal coach Barry Alvarez is paid a visit in his office by Miss Tweed (Dezarae Jones), the lead sleuth in the University Theatre's production of 'Something's Afoot.' The murder mystery musical starring Jones -- but, sorry to say, not Coach Alvarez -- runs from June 27 to Aug. 2 at Helmsley Theatre (see times below.)

Director Staniunas says audiences will not only enjoy solving the mystery, but will also have at least as much fun figuring out how the elaborate set tricks work. Audiences will wonder, says Staniunas, “How did they pull off those scene tricks … how did they do that costume change so quickly … did I just see the moose head’s eyes move?”

Staniunas has waited more than 20 years to direct a production of ‘Something’s Afoot,’ but he never before had a scene shop capable of pulling off the elaborate tricks needed for the set during the summer stock season.

Staniunas, who will be relocating in September, says “I will very much miss the Madison community. They have been very kind and generous to me and my work over the past seven years.”

‘Something’s Afoot’ will be performed in the Helmsley Theatre in a cabaret setting with drinks available for purchase. Tickets are $14 for the general public and $10 for UW students. Dates and times follow. For ticket information, call Vilas Box Office at 608-262-1500.

June 27            7:30 p.m.
June 28            5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
July  2            7:30 p.m.
July  3            7:30 p.m.
July  9            7:30 p.m.
July 10            7:30 p.m.
July 11            7:30 p.m.
July 12            5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
July 15            7:30 p.m.
July 16            7:30 p.m.
July 17            7:30 p.m.
July 18            7:30 p.m.
July 19            5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
July 22            7:30 p.m. 
July 23            7:30 p.m.
July 24            7:30 p.m.
July 25            7:30 p.m.
July 26            5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
July 29            7:30 p.m.
July 30            7:30 p.m.
July 31            7:30 p.m.
Aug.  1            7:30 p.m.
Aug.  2            5:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.