published Friday, February 10th, 2012

Signal Mountain Playhouse combines fun, mystery in 'The Butler Did It, Again!'


What: "The Butler Did It, Again!"

When: 8 p.m. today, Saturday, Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25.

Where: Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave., Signal Mountain.

Admission: $12 (includes dessert, coffee).

Phone: 886-1959 or 886-5243.

Mystery lovers will be in paradise when they immerse themselves in "The Butler Did It, Again!," which opens today at the Signal Mountain Playhouse at the Mountain Arts Community Center.

They'll recognize many of the characters, the names just a shade off ones they've enjoyed in books and movies.

"It's a comedy murder-mystery spoof," said Anne Rittenberry, corresponding secretary for the playhouse board.

The play, written by Tim J. Kelly, finds publisher and socialite Miss Maple (instead of Miss Marple) convening a group of mystery writers and mystery characters such as Louie Fan (Charlie Chan), Rick and Laura (Nick and Nora) and Chandler Marlowe (Raymond Chandler and Philip Marlowe) for "murder games" in a rented plantation house in the swamps of Louisiana.

Her plan is to introduce the varied detective types to her new literary find, Ruth Dice (Anne Rice), author of "Conversation With a Ghoul" (instead of "Interview With a Vampire").

When a crime is committed, there are plenty of experienced hands around both to blame and to solve it.

Many of the actors, according to Rittenberry, are Chattanooga Theatre Centre and Signal Mountain Playhouse veterans.

"It's a very well-done show," she said. "All those people are well-known actors."

Kelly previously wrote "The Butler Did It," which includes many of the same characters, but Rittenberry said it is not necessary for theater patrons to have seen the first play to enjoy "The Butler Did It, Again!"

The play is directed by David Wood and presented in the National Register of Historic Places-listed Mountain Arts Community Center.

The ticket price includes dessert and coffee from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. before the 8 p.m. show.

"It's a good deal," Rittenberry said.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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