story and photos by Jeremy Donnell
“Hickory Dickory Dead,” written by Craig Sodaro and directed by Rikkee Workman-Black, is set in the Hickory Dickory Inn in New England.
The snow is getting deeper outside the inn and the suspicions are growing stronger on the inside. This is one mystery that will keep everyone guessing until the end.
The gala performance of the Fort Smith Little Theatre’s version of the play was held Thursday (Feb. 14), with regular performances set for Feb. 15, 16, 17 and Feb. 20-23. Tickets cost $10.00 and reservations can be made by calling (479) 783-2966.
Regan Tasker (Valerie Baldwin) and Connie Girard (Melissa Vitale) are sisters that have not seen each other in six years and are meeting at the inn for a mini family reunion. They stumble upon a dead body belonging to Hank Mason, the co-owner of the inn. Soon Eddie Mason (Joe Graham) enters the scene but doesn’t seem sad to find out his brother is dead since the inn is now completely his.
Nigel Grimm (Stephen Martin), a writer, is found in the same room as Hank when shortly after Sarah Dane (Lachan Morlan) enters the inn after snooping around outside. The final three people to form the mysterious group are Edgar Hill (Black Young), an older English man who is very witty, Clark Curtis (Duff Taylor), an auto businessman who adores his outgoing wife Keeky (Micki Voelkel.).
Each of these visitors and residents have a possible cause for the murder of Hank Mason as well as a shaky alibi. As the play progresses more clues are found but just as many questions are left unanswered. With a series of gun shots, lights going out, and screams everywhere the inn visitors are growing more restless with no where to go.
Workman-Black has been directing plays since 2011 and with the Fort Smith Little Theater since 2007. She met her husband, Scott Black, during the production of “Twentieth Century” and they were married at the FSLT in March of 2012.
Workman-Black has always enjoyed mysteries and says she chose this play because “I can see it in my mind, the set, the characters.” When asked if everything was going as planned prior to the gala opening she replied, “No, it’s really gone better. When things exceed your expectation, you’re one pleased director.”
“Hickory Dickory Dead” keeps the audience guessing throughout the whole play with an ending not many people saw coming.