For the first time in almost two years, Haley Rice and Adam Archer are together in a play.
They play multiple roles in the Sherlock’s Mystery Dinner Theatre production of “Mafia Murders.”
Written by the husband-and-wife team of Kate and JJ Musgrove, “Mafia Murders” is about the “Godfather,” Don Cannoli Tortellini Pimento Clamato, who is turning 100 years old. He’s planning to name his successor at his birthday party.
“Some weird stuff happens before he has a chance to name his successor,” JJ Musgrove said. “Of course, he dies in a spectacular fashion.”
And the audience has to figure out who the killer is.
Archer plays the 100-year-old Godfather, his son, Monty Hall Pancetta Clamato and Detective Hammer. Rice plays Sophia Loren Linguine Pesto Clamato, the Godfather’s daughter and Officer Margot.
Audience members will get to play the roles of famous actors from mafia movies.
Writing the play
It takes about a month for the Musgroves to write each play. Then during rehearsals the play is fine-tuned with feedback from the actors.
During the three-week rehearsal, the Musgroves and the actors work together with the stage manager, Cherwanda Tookes, for about 30 hours total.
Even though this play features the criminal underworld, it’s set in Columbus.
The second season
Sherlock’s Mystery Dinner Theatre begins its second full season with “Mafia Murders.”
“We wouldn’t continue doing this if we weren’t still having fun,” Kate Musgrove said. “As long as we have high-quality people to work with, and it’s still fun, we’ll do this.”
And if people still come to the plays, of course, she said.
Rice calls this play her “lucky No. 4.” She likes playing recurring roles. In “Mafia Murders” her police officer character returns.
She’s kind of like the Frances McDormand character in “Fargo.”
Archer, whose first experience with mystery theater was the first show with Rice, is having a good time.
“I’m having so much fun,” he said. “It is a very different show from the first one.”
He likes the space at the Columbus Marriott.
“This is the perfect size,” he said.
Rice likes working with Archer.
“He’s hilarious,” she said. “He’s very playful and inventive. I appreciate anyone who makes me look good.”
Because at times, with different audiences, the actors have to be able to improvise, Rice said it’s very important that your acting partner is flexible.
“The give and take is very important,” agreed JJ Musgrove.
As soon as this show is up and running, the Musgroves will start to write the holiday show, which will run from mid-November to mid-December.