Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Murder by Quarry"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2003 by Tony Annicone

"Murder by Quarry: The Case of The Murderous Masterpiece"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The year is 1904 and the place is Newport, Rhode Island. A murder has taken place and the Scottish, Dr. MacCrimmon is called in to solve the crime. This is the gist of the current Whodunnit Murder Mystery written and directed by Ann Waterman, who also wrote the show's beautiful musical score. She writes her six main characters perfectly and infuses them with the energy needed to keep the audience not only intrigued but guessing whodunnit from start to finish. Add excellent performers and delicious food to the mix and you have another surefire hit from Ann and the whole company.

This show is the third in the Dr. MacCrimmon series of mysteries and the leading actor, John Los, stays in character with his Scottish brogue all evening long. His strong presence is felt from the beginning when he sits on an enormous hatpin to the very end when he wittily solves the crime. John's interactions with the others is done with the ease of his many years of acting experience. The crime committed in this show is the death of Duke Hollingsworth, a despicable cad who cheated on his wife and had a hideous hunting portrait hidden after he tortured his family with it for years. Fern Rouleau plays the longsuffering Duchess Henrietta who still loved her awful husband after many years of abuse. Fern plays this very British lady perfectly. The highlight of her role is her rendition of one of Ann's original songs, a Joni Mitchell type ballad, called "On The Wind".

Her lover in this show, the Russian count Federov, is played by Niles Welch. His accent is funny especially when he mispronounces words like oogly for ugly and his constant banging on the table almost breaking a vase with flowers in it is another one of his comical moments. The Duke's mistress, Elyse is played by the gorgeous blond, Kimberly Jalette. She infuses the character with the energy needed to convey her yearning to be loved by this brutal man and her hatred for her rival for his affections. Kim beautifully sings a rock type song called "Sacrifice" about her wasting her time loving a man who loves another woman. (Ann's other original song) The Duke's heir to his fortune is his nephew, Carlton played by Norman Bell who is over six feet tall. But it isn't his height that gives him, his commanding stage presence, it is his excellent British accent and perfect diction that wins over the crowd. (Norman is also an accomplished dancer and vocalist.) Last but not least is the hilarious, Kim Alessandro who plays the Duke's autistic sister, Hetty. She enters the stage like a whirling dervish, uttering lines about how many stairs are in the house and how many pearls are on a necklace. Kim makes this unusual character, very endearing to the audience. The acting strength of this cast shines through in their polished performances. As usual giving any more details would give away the mystery.

So for an intriguing night of entertainment be sure to catch "Murder by Quarry". The scrumptious food at Audrey's consists of chicken escarole soup, a large house salad, rolls and butter, and your choice of stuffed breast of chicken or baked scrod with mixed vegetables, baked potatoes and chocolate cake and coffee. The perfect topping for a great night out.

MURDER BY QUARRY:The Case of the Murderous Masterpiece(22 Feb-22 Mar)
Audrey's Restaurant, 213 Taunton Ave., Seekonk, MA
1 (401) 580-1668 /

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide