Front Row Center
Review by Judy Dykstra-Brown
Murder by Misadventure
Those of us who grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries have always thought we possess a special knack for unraveling mysteries. I am one of those “whodunit” lovers who has to hold herself back from revealing who I think the murderer is going to be within the first ten minutes of a movie or play. So, when asked to write a review for the October 2-11 LLT production of Murder by Misadventure, I jumped at the chance. Another murder for me to solve!
Since I dropped my note pad ten minutes into the performance and didn’t want to crawl on hands and knees to find it, I scribbled my notes on pages of the program, often with no idea whether my pen was working or if I was writing in a blank spot or over another comment.
Nonetheless, I was able to decipher the following comments: good lighting and costuming—loved the diagonal sets—effective eerie house sound effects—bullet holes in Paul’s head very believable (yay, makeup)—spooky discordant music was mood-setting and evocative. (This music played between scene breaks and at the beginning was perfect for the play and took me back to the Fifties.)Here’s a round of applause for the stage manager and all of the behind-the-scenes workers responsible.
As for the actors, the play was perfectly cast and the timing was spot-on. In the character of “Harold Kent,” Ed Tasca portrayed his duplicitous and conniving character so well that he relieved us of the heartbreak we might otherwise have felt over the demise of a main character.
Michael Warren did a humorous and masterful job of portraying “Detective Egan,” the infuriatingly annoying police detective-cum-actor-cum-budding writer.
Ken Yakiwchuk staged the perfect portrayal of the feisty, womanizing, Scotch-guzzling “Paul Riggs.” I loved this cocky little character and he played him flawlessly without a break. Since I saw the play twice, I witnessed him falling straight down out of the closet twice—playing dead. He never flinched. I was also impressed by how much he had to drink in his role as the alcoholic “Paul Riggs.” Sure did look like real Scotch to me! (A credit for the props crew.)
Kathleen Morris was hard to tear your eyes away from. Her reaction to other characters was flawless. Who could blame her husband for not cottoning on to her deception when she had the audience in her hand as well––all the way? It is hard to play a character harboring a big secret without giving the secret away and still make them believable at that later time when you see their true nature. Kathleen Morris did it well. I also loved her clothes—more applause for wardrobe.
I hate to give the play away for those of you who might see it in some other venue in the future, but suffice it to say that the ending twisted and turned like a python in a honeycomb cave. No, this former Nancy Drew aficionado hadn’t a clue of how it would all end; so the final plaudit for this well-acted and entertaining evening goes to Edward Taylor, the author, as well as to the director Debra Bowers who chose the play and directed it so admirably.