By Beki Pineda
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE. Written by Agatha Christie; directed by Dan Schock. Produced by Coal Creek Theater of Louisville (presented at Louisville Center for the Arts, 801 Grant St., Louisville) through March 11. Tickets available at 303-665-0955 or www.cctlouisville.org.
You have two more days to catch this delightful presentation of one of Dame Agatha’s most popular play adaptations. The third most-sold author in publication (falling behind only Shakespeare and the Bible) brings us this classic murder mystery involving 10 people isolated on an island and being killed off one at a time. Each murder is marked by the disappearance of a toy soldier from the mantel of the mansion in which they are held. As the audience, our job is to figure out which of these so-called “victims” is actually the killer. It had been just long enough since I had last seen this show that I was unsure of the conclusion and therefore surprised with the rest of the audience when the villain was revealed.
I so enjoy going to this little theater (perhaps 60-70 seats) set in a park in the heart of small-town Louisville because of the friendly ambiance and the good work this company does. Yes, it is community theater—all volunteers, with everyone pitching in to build the set, bring furniture from home and do whatever is necessary to make the production work. But it is community theater from a real “community”. I’ve been going long enough now that some faces are beginning to look familiar. I always look forward to a Coal Creek show.
Guests for this production are ushered through the stage-left entrance to the stage because the stage-right door is blocked by a pair of French doors that are part of the set. So you enter right into the living room of the mansion where the action will be happening shortly. Dominated by a beautiful leather chaise and the fireplace mantel featuring the display of 10 little soldiers, the set is quite impressive. Luckily, the room is dark enough to achieve the necessary blackouts at strategic moments throughout the production. The costumes by Kathy Rausch were authentic and attractive.
The plot is built around a somewhat crazed person trying to right wrongs that have been forgiven or overlooked by the court of law. Jenny Spanish plays Vera, the woman hired by their mysterious host as a private secretary. Her bewilderment at the violence that plays out and her distress when it comes down to the last two suspects is genuine and reflects the state of mind of the audience at that point. Justin Regan as Dr. Armstrong hits just the right note between control and hysteria. Andrew Kraus has a nice, offhand “We’ll get this figured out” attitude that doesn’t save him. Darlene Grandy makes a wonderfully dour Emily Brent, with her endless knitting and snobbish, unflappable air. Michael Torley makes a delicious leading man who still becomes a little unhinged in the face of the revelations. Wade Livingston, a familiar face to theatergoers up and down the Front Range, brings a thoughtful calm to his portrayal of Sir Lawrence Walgrave. All in all, a very strong cast pull together to make this tale of murder and mayhem come to life.
Remember, only one more weekend—call for tickets NOW.
WOW factor: 8.5