The Case of the Smokin' Gunn
Directed by Tony Annicone
Reviewed by Kim Alessandro, March 30, 2003
The Arizona territory in 1876 is the setting
for Whodunnit’s latest caper, “The Case of the Smokin’ Gunn.” Governor
Grafton Drygulch has been murdered and it’s up to the sheriff and his trusted
(but simple) deputy to find the killer. Expertly directed by Tony Annicone and
written by Ann Waterman, the show is a fun-filled romp through the ol’ west. .
The Governor may turn up dead in the
beginning, but that does not mean that his character is not heard from again.
Through flashbacks, the Governor, played for laughs by Brian Lamothe, seems to
almost deserve his grisly fate. We see in these flashbacks his poorly handled
relations with all the people in his life. As his jilted lover Dottie Bloomers,
Fern Rouleau gives the call-girl with the heart of gold routine a new twist. She
also sings a duet with Lamothe which nicely showcases their singing talent.
Dottie isn’t the only one who may have
“done it” though. As the Governor’s long-suffering wife, Satira, Whodunnit
founder Ann Waterman turns in a nice performance. Her song “For Better or
Worse” a toe-tapping comical look at the trials of marriage, delighted the
audience opening night. Tombstone Ted, a man the Governor cheated out of money
and cattle, played with just enough of the dark side by John Los to make you
wonder if he killed the Governor. The list of suspects also includes biographer
Norm dePlume whose foppish prissy air and delightful facial expressions are a
lot of fun to watch.
Niles Welch plays Sherriff Gunn, the man
responsible for determining who killed the governor, with authority. He does
have his comic moments, most of which with his trusted deputy, Horse Bluster,
played by Brian Ottaviano. Ottaviano’s simpleton deputy will make you chuckle
from beginning to end.