Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Unexpected Guest"

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entire contents copyright 2002 by Tony Annicone

"The Unexpected Guest"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The current show at City Nights Dinner Theatre is Agatha Christie's, "The Unexpected Guest". It is a thriller as well as a puzzler and is set in a foggy estate in Wales. This mystery opens with a gunshot as a stranger finds a dead body and a woman with a gun. So the tale unfolds, with Christie's usual twists and turns as the show's nine performers under Scott Morency's direction delivers the goods.

Scott does very well in his debut as a director of a straight show. Christie gives her actors tons and tons of difficult dialogue to learn but Scott trains them in how to deliver the main points to the audience. Geoff White tackles the lead role of the guest with ease. He takes charge of the situation at hand and delivers a winning portrayal of this complex character. To say any more about what the characters do would be giving away the plot, so I will describe some of the undertakings of them.

Erica Feick plays leading role of Laura Warwick. She plays this role with icy, cool style of a young Grace Kelly. Erica does an excellent job in this huge part and keeps you enthralled from start to finish. John Shanahan plays Julian, the next door neighbor who is also a budding politician. He does a great job with his lines as this mysterious man who has a connection to someone in the house, but who? The Inspector is played wonderfully by character actor, Bob Levetin. His interrogation of the suspects is done very well and keeps your interest during it. Another strong performance is delivered by seasoned actress, Pat Hawkridge who plays the secretary, Miss Bennet. All her scenes are acted wonderfully but her best one is with the character of Jan where she gets him to reveal his secret or does she?

Two of the funniest roles in this show are played by Richard Bento as Jan Warwick and Steve Michelsson as Sgt. Cadwallader. Richard shines as the mentally challenged younger brother of the murder victim. His tantrums and nervous behavior are right on the money. Steve does an excellent job in his straight play as the poetry spouting detective. He quotes Keats and writes his own poems, too while taking notes for the inspector. Both Richard and Steve interact wonderfully with the others, too. Rounding out the cast are David Kolsky as the slimy, male nurse and Jo Zageiboylo as the doddering, Mrs. Warwick who thinks she knows who did it.

So for a spine tingling murder mystery, full of suspense and melodrama, be sure to catch, "The Unexpected Guest" at City Nights. See if you can guess who the murderer really is.

"The Unexpected Guest" (13 September - 5 October)
27 Exchange Street, PAWTUCKET, RI
1 (401)723-6060

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide