Chase away your winter doldrums with a trip to “The Murder Room.” Tickets are now on sale for this murder mystery/farce, which opens Jan. 25 at The Ames Community Theater (ACTORS). Opening night will feature a pre-show party for the audience with hors d’oeuvres.

“‘The Murder Room’ is an Agatha Christie-style mystery with a Carol Burnett twist. You won’t want to miss this zany spoof of British murder mysteries. It really is to die for,” said Stan Rabe, of ACTORS.

Playwright Jack Sharkey is known for his outlandish farces, and “The Murder Room” is a spoof of

“British crime thrillers. There is fast-paced, witty dialogue, hidden compartments and non-stop laughs,” Rabe said.

Sharkey tells the farcical story of what happens once the honeymoon ends for a newly married couple. When Edgar realizes his new bride Mavis is trying to kill him by poisoning his cocoa, he feeds it to her cat. Having failed to kill him, Mavis resorts to shooting him.

Chaos and hilarity ensue when police inspector James Crandall and Constable Able Howard start to investigate Edgar’s disappearance and the death of Mavis’s cat. Susan Hollister, the dimmest bulb in the chandelier, and Edgar’s only child by his first wife, adds to the zaniness when she returns home unexpectedly. To complicate matters further, Mavis learns that upon Edgar’s death, the bulk of his estate will go to Susan.

The Murder Room is directed by Michael Porshe with assistance from Donald Kom. The production staff is led by Michael Jackson and includes an experienced technical and artistic crew.

“I tell you what I love about this script … it’s so very funny, so silly but not stupid. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish with farces,” Porshe said. “The way Jack Sharkey wrote this script allows performers and directors to infuse their own style of comedy. Throughout rehearsal there are many things that we can do on stage to push the limits of silliness without making it stupid. That is key. Filling the cast with the absolute best, such as we did, ensures that every audience will leave exhausted from laughing.”

The cast is a mix of new and returning talent. Josh McCauley (Edgar Hollister) and Davis Van de Steeg (Barry Draper), recently appeared in “Forbidden Broadway” as a part of the ensemble cast. Zoe Harris (Mavis Templeton Hollister) was last seen stomping grapes in “Kiss Me, Kate.” Aaron Fultz (James Crandall) was last seen on the ACTORS stage in the 1993 production of “Broadway Bound.” New to ACTORS are Julia VanDyke (Susan), who is a recent theater graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, and Noelle Fultz (Mrs. Lottie Malloy), who is coming back to the stage for the first time since high school.

“‘The Murder Room’ runs for just two weekends, so tickets will go fast,” said Rabe.

Performance dates are Jan. 25 to 27 and Feb. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. The single matinee performance is on Sunday, Feb. 4, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or in person at Ali Cakes in downtown Ames.