by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

1936 Broadway star William Gillette is celebrated and well, spoiled.  He lives a fairy tale life as a successful actor, in an electronically wired Connecticut castle, binging on gadgets, toys, his own inventions and lavish parties, sharing home-sweet-home with mother — a slightly exasperated, tolerant yet happy-to-entertain, woman who just wants to have a little cheer for the holidays.  There will be no peace on earth however with Gillette’s co-stars coming to dinner, New York City’s viper queen critic on the guest list and everyone hiding a secret in plain sight.

Silly hilarity rules this Christmas Eve in a fast-paced, all-Sherlock-all-the-time whodunnit complete with non-stop Clue-like board game antics and of course – a murder – in, The Games Afoot or Homes for the Holidays at Theatre Palisades.

Gag after gag headlines the almost-on-the-edge of your seat production, while epic melodramatics, accusations, instant love affairs, back stabbing bad manners and spontaneous séance, scream their way through this script for a rather predictable but route-for-the-home-team ending.

Flamboyantly directed by Gene Franklin Smith, this “you slay me” crowd pleaser is probably one of the genuinely funnier genre theater romps on offer this season.  An ode to classic 30s & 40s, film comedy-mysteries, cast members, John Mawson, Gail Bernardi, James Lujan, Andy Wagner, Matthew Godfrey, Nicole Knudsen, Maggie Peach, and Maria Pavone, ham it up perfectly.

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