Mysterious Circumstances


Mysterious Circumstances

June 11 - July 21, 2019
Gil Cates Theater

Featuring Hugo Armstrong, John Bobek, Austin Durant, Leo Marks, Ramiz Monsef, Helen Sadler & Alan Tudyk

Inspired by The New Yorker article Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic by David Grann, the play centers around the true story of the mysterious death of Richard Lancelyn Green, the world’s foremost scholar on Sherlock Holmes. After spending two decades searching for the missing papers of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Green came close to unlocking the secrets behind Holmes’ creator when he tracked down an elusive box which was said to be cursed.

What is fact and what is fiction? With multiple suspects and competing motives, Green’s death raises questions that may be answered only by Holmes himself. Mysterious Circumstances uses breathtaking theatricality and magic to uncover the mystery behind this true crime, featuring Emmy nominee Alan Tudyk (Spamalot, Firefly, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as Richard Lancelyn Green & Sherlock Holmes.

Mysterious Circumstances Rehearsals

In The News

Review: "Entertaining, sumptuously produced world premiere."

Watch: Alan Tudyk on his new play Mysterious Circumstances at the Geffen Playhouse

Review: ★★★★ "Geffen Playhouse presents a theatrical version of a blockbuster. Smart, exhilarating, hilarious, cleverly and beautifully mounted."

Review: "A theatrical roller-coaster ride well worth getting in line for at the Geffen."

Review: "Ingeniously adapted... this clever stage retelling of the still-unsolved death of a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fanatic takes an almost cinematic approach to the material."

Review: "Don't miss it!" Sherlock Holmes Fans Will Flock to Mysterious Circumstances

Opening Night: Hamilton alums catch Sherlock Holmes in Mysterious new play at Geffen Playhouse

Review: "Alan Tudyk excels in the world premiere of Michael Mitnick's quirky murder mystery."

Review: The Case Is Anything But Elementary in Mysterious Circumstances

Review: Mysterious Circumstances is an intriguing puzzle worthy of a case that even Sherlock Holmes himself would probably enjoy.

Interview: Alan Tudyk dishes on his most versatile roles and taking the stage at the Geffen

Interview: Alan Tudyk on the Not-So-Mysterious Circumstances of Playing Sherlock Holmes

Interview: Mysterious Circumstances' Alan Tudyk Aims To Put On A Show

Listen: Alan Tudyk discusses Mysterious Circumstances, his background in the theater, his voice acting career, the surprise of landing a role in Spamalot!, Con Man, Firefly and more on the Geffen Playhouse Unscripted podcast

Interview: Truth is Stranger than Fiction — Bringing the true story of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic to the stage

Cast Announcement: Alan Tudyk to Star in the World Premiere of Mysterious Circumstances

Full Cast Announced for World Premiere of Mysterious Circumstances





Meet The Artists

Michael Mitnick’s plays include Sex Lives of Our Parents directed by Davis McCallum (Second Stage Theater), The Siegel directed by Casey Stangl (South Coast Repertory), Ed, Downloaded directed by Sam Buntrock (Denver Center for the Performing Arts) and Spacebar: A Broadway Play by Kyle Sugarman directed by Maggie Burrows (The Wild Project). He cowrote the musical Fly by Night directed by Carolyn Cantor (Drama Desk-nominated for Best Musical, Playwrights Horizons). His songs have been sung at Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below and on HBO. Films include The Giver directed by Phillip Noyce, The Staggering Girl directed by Luca Guadagnino and The Current War directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. Upcoming: Scotland, PA at Roundabout Theatre Company this fall. M.F.A. in Playwriting from The Yale School of Drama. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh.

DAVID GRANN (Author of The New Yorker article "Mysterious Circumstances")
David Grann is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. He is the author of The Lost City of Z and a National Book Award finalist for Killers of the Flower Moon, both of which were chosen as one of the best books of their respective years by The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications. He is also the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession and Old Man and the Gun: And Other Tales of True Crime. Several of his stories, including The Lost City of Z and Old Man and the Gun, have been adapted into major motion pictures. And his work has garnered several honors for outstanding nonfiction, including a George Polk Award, an Edgar Award, and a Spur Award.

Matt Shakman has directed three acclaimed productions for the Geffen Playhouse: the West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of Wait Until Dark and Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews. Matt founded and was the artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, which was named “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles magazine. Matt is a director & producer for FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and has directed episodes of Game of Thrones (DGA nomination), Mad Men, Fargo, Good Wife and Succession. He recently helmed the pilot episode for Hulu’s The Great starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, airing in 2020.

This play was commissioned as part of the Geffen Playhouse's New Play Development Program thanks to the generosity of The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Major support for this world premiere production provided by the Edgerton Foundation New Play Production Fund.

Now At The Geffen

Upcoming Shows & Events

. August 2019
September 2019
October 2019

Performance Info

This production contains loud music, strobe effects and theatrical haze.

Due due to some language and violence, Mysterious Circumstances is not recommended for children under 12.

2 hours, including one 15 minute intermission.