Bullets fly. Lights flash. A murder has been predicted and committed in Bayside! Onstage that is. It’s Theatre Time Productions’ opening night performance of Dame Agatha Christie’s “A Murder is Announced.”
Director/Producer Kevin C. Vincent and his co-producer Judy Vincent have selected a versatile group of performers. They’ve decided to ease away from high suspense to focus on the humorous aspects of the script. The decision was a good one.
The funniest scene stealer is undoubtedly Anna McGinty as Mitzi. Her unbridled opinions, powerful voice, deliberately overwhelming stage presence and unrelentingly mischievous smile are an absolute delight.
Absent minded Bunny (Lori Ann Santopetro) is also a wonderfully comical character. Her stockings are rolled to her knees and her matronly attire is just too funny.
More seriously, Annette Daiell as Ms. Blacklock articulates her role with a disconcerting edge. Could she be more than she seems?
Nili Resnick does a fine job as Julia, a gold digging cousin. What about Patrick (Sergio Fuenzalida)? His connection to his cousin Julia is uncomfortable to say the least. Clearly, there is a very dysfunctional family residing at Chipping Cleghorn inEngland.
Of course, the daunting mountain of mysterious events will be conquered by legendary Miss Marple (Marilyn Welsher). She is eagerly partnered with Inspector Craddock (Armand Catenaro) and Sgt. Mellors (Marty Edelstein). They set numerous traps and unmask hidden identities. They misdirect the many suspects until the fiendish crime is solved.
As expected though, there are a few more callous culprits. Or will they be victims? Phillipa (Erica Lee Hammond) is suddenly offered a large inheritance. Can we trust her suitor Edmund (Jonathan Zaccarini) or his mother Mrs. Swettenham (Sharon Levine)?
Lights (John Palmieri) and set design (Kevin C. Vincent) offer the obligatory Victorian drawing room to remind us we are not inAmericaanymore!
Overall, the production is well orchestrated to provide tongue in cheek humor with just the right amount of suspense and mystery. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for a fine ensemble presentation.