Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A Well-Timed Murder"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"A Well-Timed Murder"

by Tony Annicone

A weekend to remember is held on October 31,1934 at Rocky Barton's Mansion where nine mysterious people gather. One of them will be murdered and it is up to the audience to figure out whodunnit and why? "A Well-Timed Murder" written by Ann Waterman and directed by Brian Ottaviano takes place in the middle of the depression. However, it is an uplifting show full of wonderful acting, funny lines and clever tongue in cheek lyrics to the songs of the 1930's with fast paced delivery. It will keep the audience guessing to the very end in the latest Whodunnit Murder Mystery Dinner Theater presentation.

Ann's cleverly crafted script with taut and precise direction by #Brian prove to be a winning combination in this show. The guests are all introduced by the Barton butler, Winger played by the the versatile actor, Brian Lamothe. He narrates the show with ease, moving one scene to another rapidly without losing the interest of the crowd. The family patriarch, Rocky is played by veteran actor, John Los. Rocky is a cad who gathers his family to taunt them about writing his will while he is dying from a terminal illness. He runs roughshod over his greedy family and John plays the role to the hilt. Rocky also likes to repeat things three times and keeps his family guessing about his will until the final moments of the show.

The Barton family consists of his wife, Silvia played by John's real wife, Melody. The character has many funny malapropisms including crocktail, vulgar for Elgar and my favorite, bidet singer for cabaret singer. Melody is not only an excellent actress but she sells the opening song backed up with two male dancers in top hats. She has a startling transition in the show which she handles masterfully. Their drunken son, Larry is played by Geoffrey Monti. Rocky calls his son a lunkhead and Geoffrey does a wonderful job slurring his words and dumbing the character into a drunken buffoon. He also carries a flask with him and constantly swigs huge gulps of whiskey from it.

Rocky's adopted brother, Reg is played by Niles Welch, his real life wife, Ann Waterman plays his wife in the play, Lena and their daughter, Laura is played by Erin Horne. They first appear as the nice in-laws but their money grubbing ways show through. Each of them handles their roles beautifully. They owned a pig farm as a very funny song done to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?". The chorus song, "Everything Goes" is well done, too. The other two guests at the party are Rocky's hoodlum friend, Marco (Terrald Babers) and vampy, night club singer, Sal (Fern Rouleau) They both are not who they seem to be and help keep the audience on their toes as to what their real motives are. Veteran actress, Fern shows off her gorgeous singing voice in a take off on 42nd Street called 615 Street while Terrald shows off his dancing skills in the top hat and cane song. To find out why 615 is an important point in this show, you have to see this splendid rendition of" A Well-Timed Murder. (A strong directorial aspect of the show is when Brian has each actor deliver their monologue directly to the audience while the others stay frozen behind them.) 1/13/03Not only will you see a fantastic show, you will have a scrumptious dinner, too. The dinner consists of salad, rolls, your choice of steak or scrod, potatoes, onion rings, mixed vegetables and black forest cake with coffee. Be sure to catch this show before it is too late. --~ --- ---~--- ---~----­

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"A Well-Timed Murder" (11 January -15 February)
The Radisson Hotel, India Street, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
1 (401) 580-1668 (Tony Annicone review –Jan, 13, 2003)

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide