Something's Afoot is a murder mystery musical that spoofs all-things-detective, mainly the works of Agatha Christie, and especially her detective novel Ten Little Indians.
The book, music, and lyrics were written by James McDonald, David Vos, and Robert Gerlach, with additional music by Ed Linderman. The play is offered by Samuel French, Inc.
The play involves a group of people who are invited to the lake estate of Lord Dudley Rancour. When the wealthy lord is found dead, its a race against the clock to find out whodunnit.
The cast is comprised of a set of stock characters typically found in the works of Agatha Christie. They are as follows:
It is worth noting that the butler is the first suspect to die, prompting a song expressing shock at the fact that "the butler didn't do it" (See Musical Numbers below). Sterotypically, in the works spoofed by the play, the butler was a major suspect and many times was the one who committed the murders.
Throughout the course of the play, all of the characters are killed off by complex and comical booby traps, each a part of a tangled web of deception. Tweed, as the self-anointed detective, quickly takes charge of the situation and accuses many of the crimes, changing her mind quickly when new evidence arises. At the end, it is revealed that the late Lord Rancour invited to his estate everyone who could possibly stand in the way of his chosen heir, the young Hope, from receiving his fortune. He booby-traps the house so that it kills all of these would-be obstacles. By the conclusion, everyone is killed, including Hope and the uninvited Geoffrey, who mistakenly drink wine that has been poisoned for Flint.
The show's musical numbers are:
It is interesting to note that for this production, the program book will not list what character sings what song. This prevents a clever audience member from deducing who remains alive as the play progresses.
Something's Afoot enjoyed a very brief run on Broadway, but has since become somewhat of an obscure production, produced mainly by community college and high school drama departments. In 1984, the play was recorded and presented on cable television (Showtime), and starred Jean Stapleton (Miss Tweed) and Andy Gibb (Geoffrey).