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Playcrafters' "Prescription: Murder" features Alex Richardson as Columbo and Kassidy Sutherland as Susan.

The final production of the season at Playcrafters Barn Theatre, 4950 35th Ave., Moline, is "Prescription: Murder" by Richard L. Levinson and William Link. This classic thriller served as the inspiration for the playwrights' hit TV series "Columbo" (1968-78) and has been delighting audiences for over 50 years.

In the play, a brilliant psychiatrist and his mistress concoct a plot to murder his neurotic, possessive wife. Getting away with it depends on pulling off a bizarre impersonation, according to a synopsis. But a certain cigar-smoking detective is on the case, and Lieutenant Columbo engages in a cat-and-mouse game with the doctor that culminates in a surprising climax. Columbo must battle the psychiatrist in a duel of wits until the doctor succeeds in having the detective removed from the case.

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A 2010 review of an English production, from britishtheatreguide.info, said: “The play is like a flabbier version of a 'Columbo' TV episode. The setup and the murder seem to take a long time before the hero shuffles out of the bedroom to confront the person who turns out to be the murderer, whom he proceeds to irritate and wear down for the rest of the play.”

Directed by Eric Teeter, the Playcrafters cast features Alexander Richardson as Columbo, with Adam Cerny, Dave Moreland, Nolan Schoenle, Elle Winchester, Kassidy Holdridge and Yvonne Siddique. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (plus Nov. 15 and 16), and 3 p.m Sunday Sunday (plus Nov. 17).

Tickets are all $10 opening night this Friday, and the remaining dates are $13 general admission, $10 for military, senior (60+) and students, and $7 for members, available at 309-762-0330 or playcrafters.com.

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