The Shawnee Theatre just south of Bloomfield wraps ups their 53rd season with a thriller. It's Frederick Knott's Dial "M" for Murder directed by Shawnee associate producing artistic director Josh Carroll.
The wealthy Margot Wendice (Heather Lawler) trapped in a marriage with a tennis bum Tony Wendice (Joey Otradovec) is involved with the American writer Max Halliday (Kody C. Jones). Tony has found out and is plotting to kill Margot. Dial "M" for Murder isn't a ‘who dunnit,' it's a ‘how will he do it' and a ‘will he get away with it.'
Dial "M" for Murder is familiar to many theatre goers from the 1954 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock
"Yes, "agrees Carroll. "Fans of the film will be on familiar ground. Hitchcock's script matches up fairly well in terms of the dialog and in terms of the action too. The thing that I respect most about the Hitchcock and it's hard not to, is the level of suspense that he creates and that's definitely something that we're trying to recreate in terms of the acting"
"And, I'm very pleased to have this cast to work with. It's an amazing group of artists. Shawnee audiences will recognize three of the cast from Clue the Musical. Kody Jones was Professor Plum, Joey Otradovec played Mr. Greene and Heather Lawler was Mrs. Peacock."
Shawnee is always looking for different approaches to drama and this production follows that desire.
"Yes," agreed Carroll. "We're trying a lot of exciting new things with it. A lot of the lights and the sound will be practical elements on the stage, so if you're hearing music it'll be coming from a radio of a record player on stage, and we're kind of playing with that idea of the sound moving in and out of the house. We're hoping the effect is that it will really pull the audience in and connect them to the action on the stage."
Although the youth and teen program continues at Shawnee Dial "M" for Murder is the last regular play of this 53rd season. Dial "M" for Murder opens on Thursday July 26th and continues through the matinee on the 29th.