Murder/Mystery Opens 2015/16 Season at
Maltz Jupiter Theatre
by Jan Davisson
So far, the 2015-16 theatrical season is rating 10 from Boca to Jupiter. The Wick Theatre kicked off in October with the musical comedy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Then Palm Beach Dramaworks lived up to its name with a stellar cast and production of Picnic, running through November 8. (See Curtain Up Nov. 13)
Now, my hometown theater, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, is presenting the longest running show in dramatic history, the brilliant Agatha Christie murder mystery, The Mousetrap. It kicks off the 2015-16 season and captures you as soon as you enter the theater with a magnificent stage setting created by scenic designer, Michael Schweikardt.
It’s an English drawing room, straight out of Downton Abbey. The setting includes a bay window to watch the falling snow flakes and a roaring fire. Seems like a very unlikely setting for murder. However, with enough red herrings to feed an army, every member of the cast provides a reason for who should be murdered and why. Well…you think they do.
The ensemble includes Katherine Amadeo and Eric Parks as the Ralstons, newlyweds who have decided to become innkeepers by opening their huge Victorian house to a weird bunch of guests.
Florida actress Barbara Bradshaw as Mrs. Boyle provides her usual outstanding performance. (Always love to see local professionals in the cast!) As an uptight British lady, she looks and acts the part of perfection.
Newcomers to the Maltz Jupiter include Richard Iverson as Christopher Wren, a very peculiar character, Gail Rastorfer, another newcomer, makes her debut as Miss Casewell, along with Roland Rusinek as the mysterious Mr. Paravincini. He arrives in the midst of a snowstorm with no reservations. Talk about suspicious!
Director Peter Amster, Artistic Associate at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, is no stranger to directing mysteries as he last directed the Alfred Hitchcock thriller The 39 Steps at the Jupiter Theatre. He has also directed Deathtrap. His resume includes everything from comedy to Shakespeare and opera. He again works with Christian Pedersen who appeared in The 39 Steps at the Maltz Jupiter and appears as Sgt Trotter, who, no doubt, will solve the mystery.
Director Amster works with the strengths of each actor. The end result… a suspenseful mystery. Being a viewer of Public Broadcasting, I’m already a fan of British mysteries. My expectation was quickly fulfilled with The Mousetrap. It runs through November 8 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Tickets are available by calling (561) 575-2223 or online at www.jupitertheater.org.
Sorry, I can’t tell you “who done it” as the entire audience was sworn to secrecy!
What’s coming up for the holidays? Great musicals starting at the Wick Theatre in Boca Raton! Everyone’s favorite matchmaker, Dolly Levi, arrives in Hello Dolly, the charming musical with music by Jerry Herman. The turn of the century costumes are spectacular and then throw in favorite songs such as Put on Your Sunday Clothes, Before the Parade Passes You By and, of course, Hello Dolly. Opening on November 5, Hello Dolly runs through December 6.
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is staging an award-winning musical, Billy Elliott, opening December 1 and closing on December 20, after a final matinee performance.
A lot of people don’t realize that the Maltz Jupiter Theatre production team, starting with Executive Artistic Director Andrew Kato, stage every seasonal production. From scenic designer and production to costumes, music and lighting, it’s all done in Jupiter. The casting takes numerous auditions from New York to Chicago and Florida.
The Broadway blockbuster, Billy Elliott, is about the son of a blue collar worker who discovers that he has an extraordinary gift for ballet. It’s a wonderful Christmas gift to the community. Audiences of all ages will enjoy it. Opening on December 1, it runs through December 20. A ticket to Billy Elliott solves a lot of gift-giving problems! Talk about filling your special Christmas gift list quickly. There’s also a School Spirit Night on Friday night, December 4, for all students 18 and under. It allows a group of 10 or more to buy mezzanine tickets for only $25 and includes a post-show dessert “meet and greet” with the cast—a perfect outing for drama students.
Another opening in December is the Kravis on Broadway Series with Blue Man Group, best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts. This is another of those shows for all ages. It combines music, comedy and multimedia theatrics and, according to the Baltimore raves, “Blue Man Group packs a wallop.”
Blue Man Group runs from December 8 through December 13 at the Kravis Theatre of the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. Tickets are currently on sale…so act quickly!
The Tony Award-winning play The History Boys by Alan Bennett will run from December 4-January 3 at the Don and Ann Brown Clematis Street Theatre. Presented by Palm Beach Dramaworks, it’s a funny and moving story about an unconventional teacher and how he touches the lives of eight young men.
After that fantastic production of Picnic, I can hardly wait for The History Boys.
Next Curtain Up column will get you in the loop for Holiday Shows.
Maltz Jupiter Theatre, 2001 E. Indiantown Rd, Jupiter. Tickets: (561) 575-2223; www.jupitertheatre.org. The Mousetrap (Oct. 25-Nov. 8); Billy Elliot (Dec.1-20)
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach 33401. Tickets: (561) 832-7469 or 800-572-8471; www.kravis.org Kravis on Broadway Series: The Blue Man Group (Dec. 8-13) 42nd Street (Jan. 5-9, 2016)
Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach 33401. Tickets: (561) 514-4042 Ext. 2; www.palmbeachdramaworks.org; Picnic (Oct. 7-Nov. 8); The History Boys (Dec. 4-Jan. 3, 2016)
The Wick Theatre, 7901 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton 33487. Tickets: (561) 995-2333; www.thewick.org; Hello Dolly (Nov. 6-Dec. 4)