‘Murder by the Book’ opens Jan. 17 at The Legion
by Marie Nesmith
Jan 07, 2014 | 942 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For Mike Davis, a part in “Murder by the Book” has enabled him to embody his favorite wordsmith, Edgar Allan Poe.

In The Pumphouse Players’ next production, murder transpires when authors from yesteryear engage in conversation. While members of the Raven Society — who hide their identities by portraying various notable figures from Mark Twain to William Shakespeare — meet to critique murder mysteries in “Murder by the Book,” real killings occur in their midst.

“I love Edgar Allan Poe,” Davis said. “He’s one of my favorite writers and I thought the idea of having all these different characters that are real people but they’re imaginary at the same time all together in one story ... was a really great idea.

“I really enjoy [portraying Poe]. I like playing historical figures, especially ones that I really am interested in because I get to learn more about them and try to learn to think the way they do, so it’s a lot of fun for me. [In the play], they’re a secret society [so] everybody has an actor persona they portray but they stay in character the entire time. So you never know anything about their real selves.”

To be performed at The Legion Theatre, 114 W. Main St. in Cartersville, the comedy will be presented Jan. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. Along with Davis, the play’s cast will feature Annette Nellums as Agatha Christie, Kailey Klingbeil as Louisa May Alcott, Cameron Pankey as Emily Dickinson, Donna Young as Viola Danglon, Daniel Rich as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Don Hawkins as Mark Twain, Amy Shane as Charlotte Bronte, Dana O’Bryan as Mary Shelley and Cameron Hendrix as William Shakespeare.

“It’s a comedy and comedies to me have always been my love of the theater,” said Lucy Simpson, director of “Murder by the Book.” “It’s great to hear people laugh and just to bring that joy that I get from the theater to the audience as well. The fact that it’s characters that we all know [I think is very appealing]. It’s Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley.

“It’s characters that we all grew up reading and we’re familiar with and we know who they are. Taking these serious authors and putting them in ridiculous, hilarious situations is ... poetic justice. In high school, you read these characters and these authors and you get to know them and then to see them actually being funny and humorous, it was an interesting point of view for me.”

Tickets for “Murder by the Book” are $14 for general admission, $12 for pre-paid groups of 10 or more people and $10 for Pumphouse Players members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pumphouseplayers.com or call 770-387-2610.