Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Murder by Descent"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Murder by Descent"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Whodunnit Murder Mystery Theater's current show is Dr. MacCrimmon's last case, "Murder by Descent: The Curse Of Gwynedd's Renn". In a dark jailhouse in 1906, a mysterious prisoner awaits execution. The locals believe that a Druid curse caused her to commit the crime, yet Dr. MacCrimmon is determined to prove them wrong and to prove her innocence. Meanwhile, strange characters gather to thwart his efforts, and time is running out. Ann Waterman crafts a superior mystery while director, Brian Ottaviano directs it fabulously, using a splendid mixture of dramatic and comic moments with his topnotch cast. Combine it with a fantastic meal and you have a marvelous evening of mystery theater at its best.

Veteran actor, John Los tackles the lead role of Dr. MacCrimmon, with his wonderful, Scottish brogue. Having played this role in 5 other shows, he knows this character inside and out. John amuses the audience but also tugs at their heartstrings during some dramatic revelations. The rest of this cast live up to his high standards in acting. Darya Zabinski plays the mentally deranged, Elspeth who has been locked up for the murder of her boyfriend. She plays this part perfectly, ranting and raving at the other performers and at audience members, scaring them with her crazy antics including singing and reciting rhymes over and over again. Her jailor/lawyer,Janus is well played by the talented, Mark Carter. His many facial expressions and manic energy capture the attention of the audience. Elspeth's wealthy and snooty family have disowned her, making them seem to be likely suspects or are they? Her drunken loudmouth father, Josiah is played by Brian Lamothe who's loud outbursts will capture your attention while her cold hearted bitchy, name calling stepmother, Madeline is well played with gusto by Denise Aubin. Spyce plays her seemingly timid, cousin Caroline who Elspeth has hated for many years. Caroline might think she keeps her well hidden secret but can she?The excellent dinner served at the Crowne Plaza consists of salad, rolls, roasted stuffed chicken breast or scrod and cheesecake that melts in your mouth.So for a chance to see a wonderful acting ensemble bring this mystery to life and it is well worth the trip. ( Well known actor, Walter Covell narrates before each scene and at the close of the show, helping to tie up all the loose ends of the case into a neat little package.)

Murder by Descent" (12 March - 15 April)
WHODUNNIT MURDER MYSTERY THEATER
Crowne Plaza, WARWICK, RI/The Radisson Hotel, PROVIDENCE, RI/ Twelve Acres Banquet Facility, SMITHFIELD,RI
1(401) 451-5929

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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