The city of Westerville, if ever so innocently, has been drawn into a spoof of a classic Sherlock Holmes novel.
"The Hound of Westerville" is a fast-paced, humorous dinner-theater play based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles."
It will be presented by the Columbus Ohio Mystery Association on Feb. 16, at L.A. Catering, 670 Harmon Ave., Columbus. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $45 and includes a meal.
The title includes the Columbus suburb simply because it's phonetically close to Baskerville, which is the name of a family referenced in the book, said Steve Emerson, artistic director and owner of the mystery association.
Emerson will play Dr. Watson in the show.
Westerville and several of its central Ohio neighbors receive a fair amount of mocking, said Emerson, a German Village resident.
"Ribbing at the expense of someone who's your neighbor is always funny," he said. "We'll probably hit German Village, Franklinton and Hilltop."
Emerson wouldn't reveal too many details of the play, saying only the plot loosely follows the novel, in which Holmes and Dr. Watson are investigating the curse of the Baskerville family and a mysterious, murderous dog.
The play will have music, sight gags and audience interaction, Emerson said.
"It's a bang-up comedy," he said.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit LifeCare Alliance, which helps medically challenged or disabled adults. LifeCare owns L.A. Catering, which generates money for clients who don't have a revenue source, spokeswoman Michelle Jones said.
Jones said the performance will be good for many reasons: People will enjoy themselves while being introduced to the quality food L.A. Catering provides.
"A lot of people are going to buy catering," Jones said. "And when they buy our catering, they're also helping the community, so it's twofold."