Theatre Mirror Reviews - "The Nutcracker-Sweet Murders"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"The Nutcracker-Sweet Murders"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Whodunnit Murder Mystery Theater's current show is "The Nutcracker-Sweet Murders". It takes place at Sundae Valley Ski Resort in Vermont where the feuding Nutcracker and Sweet families have gathered together for their annual holiday feast, but murder and mayhem await as the guest of honor turns up dead. What do all the suspects have in common and why does everyone have a motive for the murder? Author Ann Waterman uses the backdrop of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite music written for ballet in 1892 and creates clever names for her characters. The seven talented performers are directed by Brian Ottaviano who also plays one of the roles and they sing the difficult score with music direction by Melody Los. It makes you forget the hustle and bustle of this season and makes you stop and enjoy this pleasant, humorous holiday show.

The seven talented cast members include Eric Crosby playing a character called Roger Dodger, the Lodger, a man of mystery who enthralls the crazy feuding families. Family members include the Nutcrackers played by Karyn DaRosa as Pistachia, John Los plays her brother, Walnott and Desiree Andre plays her daughter, Almondine while the Sweets are played by Brian Lamothe as Saccrin, Carol Allen plays his wife, Trifle and Brian Ottaviano plays their son, Cane. Brian directs with a deft hand as Melody conducts the cast in annunciating the lyrics and keeping the timing correct. Eric delivers the goods as this kooky character while Karyn makes a strong acting debut as this strong willed woman. John chomps on his cigar as he swaggers through the crowd as a NY CPA telling the crowd people died of natural causes for the past 37 years. Brian Lamothe plays the bullying bossy hubby with the appropriate strength while Carol Allen is a hoot as his ditsy long suffering wife. Desiree and Brian play the starcrossed boy and girl in this show who are hiding a secret of their own while delivering strong performances. The twist and turns in this clever show will keep you guessing to the final moment. So for a wonderful alternative to "A Christmas Carol", be sure to catch this show. The dinner at Luigi's is spectacular and starts off with chicken escarole soup, all the homemade rolls you can eat, plentiful and delicious pasta and the main course of veal parm with sting beans almondine and roasted potatoes plus chocolate mousse with whipped cream for dessert. ( Other entrees include salmon and stuffed chicken breast.) It is a truly splendid evening of entertainment.

"The Nutcracker-Sweet Murders" (1 December - 7 January)
Luigi's 357 Hartford Avenue, WARWICK RI
Crowne Plaza, 801 Greenwich Avenue, WARWICK RI
Chelo's, 2225 Post Road, WARWICK RI
1 (401) 447-7126

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide