Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A Well-Timed Murder"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2001 by Tony Annicone

"A Well-Timed Murder"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Welcome to Rocky Barton's mansion in New York City on October 19, 1934. Meet nine people who may be who they say they are or maybe not. One of them will be murdered but whodunnit? "A Well-Timed Murder" written by Ann Waterman takes place in the middle of the depression but it is the opposite of depression. It is a well blended mixture of comedy with tongue in cheek musical numbers of the 1930's with clue giving new lyrics. The audience members are the guests of the wealthy Bartons and they must solve this intriguing puzzle in the latest show at the Whodunnit Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.

Ann constructs this mystery so well and with many witty lines and song lyrics, you must pay strict attention to everything happening around you. Cleverly done! All the guests are introduced by the Barton butler, Winger played by the multitalented, Brian Lamothe. Brian is also the narrator of the show moving it along smoothly from start to finish. He does a dynamite job and keeps the interest and attention of the audience throughout the evening. The patriarch of the Barton family is Rocky (John Los) who is writing his will because he has a terminal illness. John is a veteran actor and plays the dragoon like role splendidly. The character also loves repeating things three times. He runs roughshod over his greedy family and keeps them guessing about who will really get the money at show's end.

Rocky's family consists of his wife, Sylvia ( Deb McGowan) who has many wonderful malapropisms in the show. Some of them are Crocktail, Vulgar for Elgar and my favorite, bidet (singer) for cabaret singer. Deb is a superb actress who makes her lines and stage time soar and interacts perfectly with the audience. She has a dynamite opening song called "Who Cares About Anyone". Great job. Rocky's high brow son, Lawrence is played by J Schaefer. He has spent years in Paris and is called a lunkhead by his father. J plays the lustful spendthrift son wonderfully. He has shown much growth as an actor since I first saw him when he was 15 years old in 1985. J is at ease on stage in any role he tackles.

Rocky's adopted brother, Reg ( Ronald Mutton), his wife, Lena (Fern Rouleau) and daughter, Laura (Molly Lederer) play the money grubbing in-laws. At first they appear meek and mild but are they really what they seem? Each of them plays their roles splendidly. They fit their parts to a tee and interact well with each other and the crowd, too. The other two guests at the Bartons are hoodlum crony, Marco (Paul Hamel) and his sexy beautiful date, Sal (Joell Jacob). Both of them have great Brooklyn accents and keep the audience alive with their bantering between them. Joell has a fantastic singing voice which she shows off in a take off on "42nd Street" called 615 Street. This is because everyone's watch is stopped at 6:15. To find out why you must run and see this show. Besides a fantastic show you have a dinner consisting of salad, baked fish, roast beef, oven roasted potatos, past and summer squash. Director Joel Hellman keeps the show fast paced and moving so there isn't a dull moment in the whole evening. For further info and directions contact Ann at You won't be disappointed by fabulous actors and a dinner to match.

"A Well-Timed Murder" (till 6 April)
The Riviera Restaurant, BRISTOL, RHODE ISLAND
1(401) 828-8318 / 1 (401) 245-2375