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Murder mystery with Clarkston Village Players

by Trevor Keiser

March 07, 2012

Bryan and Sally Lockwood, played by Brian and Carol Taylor discuss how to keep their guest house. Photo by Trevor Keiser
Clarkston Village Players brings a "good old-fashioned murder mystery" to the stage with "At the Sign of the Crippled Harlequin."

The Peak Lodge Guest House has a long and mysterious history, which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of the original Coashing Inn host. The Lockwoods are struggling to keep the inn open, and the guests have their own secrets.

Brian and Carol Taylor play Bryan and Sally Lockwood.

"I like Sally's kindness and wanting to serve and help everybody," Carol said.

Brian added he likes being "jovial and making sure people have a good time in my guest house more than anything else."

"There are a lot of unexpected things because you don't know who's good, who's bad, who's a murderer, everything is up in the air and you don't know what each person is actually hiding, said actor Shawn Harbert. "Everybody has their own secrets, even the Lockwoods to some degree."

Harbert plays Issac Clarke, a thoughtful, friendly, self assured late 20's years old with an independent streak.

"I like playing Issac. It's the chance to kind of be the bad boy, but I'm actually kind of a wuss," he said. "I'm tough, yet caring and sensitive underneath it all."

Fellow actor Cyrano Jones, who plays the disagreeable, expensive tastes, demanding, yet charming at times Lionel Reece agreed.

It's nice to play the unrepentant bad guy," he said. "Just get up there and be an ass and not care."

Lois Keel who plays the Lionel's over-painted, somewhat showy, sullen, and coarse wife Joan also enjoyed being a "bad gal."

Jacky Salter plays the frail, kind, and thoughtful Marjorie Pike.

"I enjoy the challenge of playing someone who's older than I am," she said.

Last but, not least James Hoxey plays Derek Tyndale, apologetic, shy, helpful mamma's boy.

"How can you not have fun playing the crazy guy? It's not as easy as it looks though, I'll tell you that," Hoxey said. "Derek, just loves his mother and misses her. He just can't let go of her and it's been a blast doing that."

The play is performed March 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24 at the Depot Theater, 4861 White Lake Road. Shows start at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

"The play has a lot of different characters and it gives the actors a chance to explore different personalities than they would probably normally have," said Director Verne Vackaro. "It's always fun to work with larger cast and mysteries are always kind of fun too."