Murder mysteries are no stranger to the local theater stage. But then again, neither are plot twists.
The Butler Did It, the final production of the Summit Theatre Group’s 2018-19 season, takes the stage Friday, June 14. A twist on the tried and true theatrical classic, the Bulter (Jenkins) and the fiery maid Sarah Jane are preparing the home for one of the world’s greatest mystery authors, Edwina Corry. Guests begin to arrive, but the party is thrown into mayhem when an eavesdropping neighbor, Trevor, is found stabbed to death in the kitchen.
“I read this script about five years ago, I found it funny, fast-paced, a comic who-done-it with a loving nod to the Agatha Christie mysteries,” Butler director Mark Hamilton said. “Think Downton Abby, if Downton Abby was a comedy. 1930s English manor house, quirky characters, a dark and stormy night, murder in the kitchen with a paring knife, what's not to like? It is entertainment for all ages.”
Jenkins, the lead role, is played by Joe Caronia (Kansas City, Mo.) and Sarah Jane is portrayed by Jessica Arnold. STG regular Brad Rackers (Lee’s Summit) plays Trevor, Petra Allen (Overland Park, Kan.) comes in as Gram and Col. Nigel Covington is played by Stan Cole (Blue Springs).
Dana Reynolds (Lee’s Summit) is Lady Miranda Covington; Lindsay Lovejoy (Overland Park, Kan.) Kat Covington; Jeremy Walter (Independence, Mo.) as Father Timothy and Kristi Hibschman (Overland Park, Kan.) as Edwina Corry.
“I grew up watching the old Carol Burnette show, my favorite bits were the send ups and parodies of classic movies and TV shows,” Hamilton said. “That is the style I have tried to capture in this production. Just an evening of fun, laughter and murder most foul, we can all use one of those from time to time.”
The Butler Did It runs March June 14-15 and 21-23 at the MCC-Longview Cultural Arts Center, 500 SW Longview Road, in Lee’s Summit. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. except for June 23, which is a 2:30 p.m. matinee.
For more information on tickets ($15 for adults, $12 for students/seniors), visit www.summittheatre.org.