Oswego Playhouse presents ‘Ravenscroft’
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media May 10, 2012 4:26PM
“Ravenscroft” stars, left to right, Alissa King, Beth Goncher, Barb Alexander, Jeff Pripusich, Jeannine Collins, and Jacquie Weirich. | Courtesy of Oswego Playhouse
♦ May 18-27
♦ Oswego Playhouse and the Tap House Grill, 123 Washington St., Oswego
♦ Tickets, $10
♦ (630) 554-3618
Updated: May 17, 2012 2:06AM
A thriller with death and comedy is on tap as the Oswego Playhouse presents Don Nigro’s “Ravenscroft.”
The play will be at 8 p.m. May 18, 19, 25 and 26 and at 2 p.m. Sunday May 19 and 27. It is a chance for dinner theater, with dinner starting an hour before show time.
Daina Geisler of Bellwood, founder of the Oswego Playhouse, is directing “Ravenscroft.” She had seen the play before but had never directed it herself.
“When I read the play, it seemed to be a cross between Agatha Christie and the Addams Family,” she said. “This is a play that is a mystery, it’s spooky, and it’s also funny. It is unusual for a mystery because there are not many mysteries that have all those elements. This one has a lot of unusual laughs.”
Set in 1909, this is the story of five women who live in Ravenscroft Manor. A detective is called to the house after a body is discovered at the bottom of the staircase. In the process of interviewing all the ladies of the house, he finds out that everyone is lying. He finds out there are secrets being kept and ghosts haunting the house.
“These women are all in on it together and he’s alone in the house. One of these women … must have done it, and he may be next,” she said.
The play is definitely a thriller — she doesn’t think the audience will be able to guess whodunit at the end of the first act — although she will let the audience guess.
“I think it would be fun to find out from the audience who they think did it,” she said. “It is a very unusual mystery in that the people in the house all know about what each other did. Obviously, there’s a dead body and they’re the only ones there.”
There’s also a romance.
“There is mystery, comedy and romance, all rolled up into a thriller that is Agatha Christie and Addams Family-like,” she said.
Her case is “doing fabulous” with the material, she said.
“I think the challenge for them is … all six characters are onstage the entire time,” she said. “… It makes it more intense because everybody is right there.”
The play is a little over two hours with an intermission. There is dinner beforehand, but it is optional, so it is affordable for everyone, she said.
“The restaurant has a menu on the table,” she said. “People can order food, they can order drinks, or they can just watch the play. It’s more like a nightclub.”
Expect an unusual mystery and a good time, she said.
“If I say much more, I’m afraid of giving it away,” she said. “It is an unusual mystery.”
The cast includes Jeff Pripusich of Aurora as the detective; and Barb Alexander of Batavia, Jeannine Collins of Carol Stream, Beth Goncher of Aurora, Alissa King of Carol Stream and Jacquie Weirich of Oswego as the ladies.