Quote of the Day: I have plenty of clues, and no solution,” says playwright Joe Goodridge. “I’m easily bamboozled.” (I hope I got his name right.) Before the show opens, during the “Curtain Speech” led by someone from Park Square Theater. I feel the same, Joe! I love the genre, too. I never guess correctly! Also, there is mystery upon mystery in Riddle, Puzzle, Plot. Because we can’t see anything beyond the screen that the actor is in, we don’t really know what’s happening in the room. Is Arno really dead? I don’t remember Frye, who is moving easily about the island when everyone else seems to be trapped in their cabins, saying that he saw Arno’s body. What really happened to Verity? She’s missing, or rather, no one claims to have seen her in the past year. Did Chet blow up? How long have he and Saskia been a thing? And, who came into her cabin at the end of Episode Three, titled, Who’s Afraid of Stephen Sondheim? Is Sondheim a clue, or is it Virginia Woolf?

Every week, they give the audience a riddle to solve. I didn’t get the first one = Alcohol. The second one seemed easy = Ring. And, I think this third one is the letter B. A flattened C-note is a B on the musical scale. 

Also, when Arno left his screen (and is possibly dead, but I don’t think so), a coffin is left at the bottom of his screen. After Chet’s explosion, we see a ring. And, now, Frye’s square has a pair of knees. None of that makes sense to me!

You can still go back and watch the first three episodes of Riddle, Puzzle, Plot through Park Square Theatre. They get the virtual theater award for best online shows. They’re doing a brilliant job! I can hardly wait for next Friday to watch the final installment. I think Arno is the mastermind behind these deaths and/or disappearances. He’s probably doing it to torture his ex-wife, or possibly win her back in a macabre way! 

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher. Park Square Media Photos

Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher has created a timely piece of theater that reflects our current situation. He designed the show to be done virtually during the Time of Covid-19 and its limitations. The actors are all in their own safe space, zooming into the show. They are actors, playing actors, for a place called Mystery Island Old Dark House Theater. (Sounds like a fun place to visit!) It’s been one year since their last performance and the disappearance of one of the actors, Verity. This is a typical Who Dunnit with plenty of references to the greats: Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, even puzzles from the likes of J.R.R. Tolkein.

Hilda (Shanan Custer) is the boozy ex-wife of the director and host, Arno (E.J. Subkoviak). He’d had an affair with Verity, which Hilda learned about just before Verity went missing. Betty (Alessandra Bongiardina) is part of the cast for the first time (after several audition attempts to get into the troupe.) She is replacing Verity. Petra (Aimee K. Bryant) serves as a moderator. She has a harsh demeanor, making me think she has something to hide. Frye (Pearce Bunting) is billed as the “Perfect Suspect.” He’s notoriously late, which seems to be significant, and is a little jumpy. Chet (Rodolfo Nieto) billed as the “Gigilo” is suspiciously quiet, making me wonder what he’s not saying about the disappearance of Verity. And, Saskia (Sun Mee Chomet) is the “Femme Fatale” who seems capable of doing anything and not showing any remorse. 

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  What do you think is happening on Mystery Island?