Jillian Prefach Baker and Clay Smith in Accomplice. Photo: DDP


By Rupert Holmes
Directed by Lee Buckholz

A review by Craig Nolan Highley

Entire contents are copyright © 2023 by Craig Nolan Highley. All rights reserved.

I like a good plot twist as much as the next guy, but sitting in the audience for Derby Dinner Playhouse’s new production of Rupert Holmes’ Accomplice, the twists came so fast and furious it made my head spin!

The plot starts off simple enough as a husband-and-wife murder plot typical of stage mysteries and thrillers. At intermission, I actually said to my companion that this is the worst type of gimmicky show, with plot twists on top of plot twists just for the sake of plot twists.

Then Act II started.

That’s really all I can say plot-wise, otherwise, I’d have to go into spoilers and this is definitely a play you don’t want spoiled. Suffice it to say it went from me thinking the play was terrible in Act I to thinking it might be just one of the cleverest stage thrillers I have ever seen. It took me forever to even write this review because I couldn’t decide how much to reveal!

Performances were excellent as usual. Particular praise goes to understudy Paul McElroy, who filled in for regular performer Patrick McKeen in the husband role on opening night. He had so much energy and never went up and I can’t imagine the regular performer would have pulled it off any better! Jillian Prefach Baker was equally on point as the wife. Mandy Elkin Hutchins plays the ditzy side piece to perfection. And Clay Smith nails his is-he-or-isn’t-he character with aplomb.

Ron Riall’s set is typically lavish, and director Lee Buckholz’s direction keeps Holmes’ brilliant script zipping along.

It really is a rewarding piece of theater, and even my telling you the plot twists are insane won’t give you any idea of where it is all going. See it before someone blabs!

Featuring Jillian Prefach Baker, Patrick McKeen, Clay Smith, & Mandi Elkins Hutchins


September 27 – November 5, 2023

Derby Dinner Playhouse
525 Marriott Drive
Clarksville, Indiana 47129

Craig Nolan Highley has been active in local theatre as an actor, director and producer for more than 14 years. In June 2019 he launched a new company with Jeremy Guiterrez, Theatre Reprise. He has worked with Bunbury Theater, Clarksville Little Theatre, Finnigan Productions, Louisville Repertory Company, Savage Rose Classical Theatre Co., and WhoDunnit Murder Mystery Theatre among others. He has been a member of the Wayward Actors Company since 2006. Craig’s reviews have also appeared in TheatreLouisville and Louisville Mojo.