‘The Real Inspector Hound’ a riff on murder mysteries | SteamboatToday.com

‘The Real Inspector Hound’ a riff on murder mysteries

Margaret Hair





Steamboat Players and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council present "The Real Inspector Hound" at 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Matt Stensland

If you go

What: "The Real Inspector Hound," presented by Steamboat Players and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council

When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

Cost: $15 general admission, $20 preferred seating; Arts Council members receive a $5 discount; advance tickets available at the Depot and Epilogue Book Company

Call: The Depot at 879-9008 or Epilogue at 879-2665 for tickets

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— When Steamboat Springs theater director Michael Brumbaugh started considering a murder mystery for the Steamboat Players, he looked at Agatha Christie standbys such as "The Mousetrap" and "And Then There Were None."

He was thinking of the kind of play that fit the mystery conventions Christie defined: A group of guests show up at a big, fancy manor somewhere out in the British countryside. Then people start to die.

"I just kind of thought, it's good; I like them; they seem to still have a great response from the audience. … But it just felt a bit dated, and I was reading through some other plays while I was looking at those, and this one jumped out at me because it basically takes an Agatha Christie play and it turns it on its head a bit," Brumbaugh said.

Brumbaugh chose Tom Stoppard's "The Real Inspector Hound" for its humor and "way of twisting things around," he said.

Steamboat Players presents "The Real Inspector Hound" with the Steamboat Springs Arts Council at 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday at the Depot Art Center.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $20 for preferred seating; Arts Council members get a $5 discount. There will be a cash bar during the show.

Tickets are available in advance at the Depot and Epilogue Book Co.

The play opens with two theater critics, Moon and Birdboot, watching a murder mystery — the play-within-a-play is called "Murder at Muldoon Manor." Local actor Stuart Handloff, who plays Birdboot, described his character as both "particularly egotistical" and "hysterically funny." Wes Wooten — who plays Moon and is acting for the first time in "The Real Inspector Hound" — described his character as "a caricature of what a critic is."

Moon and Birdboot get more and more involved in the action of the play until the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred, and any concept of a wall between the stage and the audience is broken, Brumbaugh said.

Brumbaugh said he worried a bit about who would be willing to act as a dead body for the play's hour-plus run, until he found local artist Susan Schiesser to fill the role. Michelle Purvis, Tyler Hutson, Jessica Prudence, Jill Waldman, Joseph Cosby and Bill Cousins complete the cast.

There are realistic gunfire effects and fog in the show; the show is not appropriate for children younger than 10, Brumbaugh said.

The one-act play is about 80 minutes long. The Steamboat Springs Arts Council will present a short collection of clips from past "Cabaret" variety shows before the curtain each night.

If you go

What: “The Real Inspector Hound,” presented by Steamboat Players and the Steamboat Springs Arts Council

When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St.

Cost: $15 general admission, $20 preferred seating; Arts Council members receive a $5 discount; advance tickets available at the Depot and Epilogue Book Company

Call: The Depot at 879-9008 or Epilogue at 879-2665 for tickets

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