Coronado Playhouse is presenting Agatha Christy’s beloved “Murder on the Orient Express” now through April 16. Ken Ludwig’s clever adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic boasts all the glamour, intrigue and suspense of Dame Agatha’s celebrated novel, with a healthy dose of humor to quicken the pace. This production is unusual because some of the traditionally male characters are portrayed by extremely talented women.
For instance, Heather Deerfield took on the role and is excellent as the famous detective Hercule Poirot who must solve the mystery of who killed the evil Samuel Ratchett with 12 stab wounds. (The victim is played well by Miguel Gongora Jr.)
Sara Jane Nash is convincing as Monsieur Bouc, as is Andrea Acuna as Hector McQueen.
Everyone is a suspect in this celebrated mystery crime drama, and the parts were all well played. Dani Leandra performed admirably as Mary Debenham The part of Michel
was well played by Keith Foster. Princess Dragonmiroff, performed by Kara Tuckfield, was wickedly haughty as was required for the role. Amy Stanley performed well as Helen Hubbard and showed her comedic talents. Susan Branch was fine in her role as Greta Ohlsson, which required speaking with an accent and showing a sensitive side. Samuel Young was fine as stiff upper lip Colonel Arbuthnot. As the seductive and beautiful Countess Andrenyi, Emily Candia does a fine job. Lu Garcia was both the Head Waiter and part of the ensemble and he did well in both roles.
The ensemble players included Kathryn Schellinger, Dani Ucman, Julian Kalb, and Cassandra Shellum. They all worked well together.
My only minor criticism was the use of a cartoonish cardboard figure of the kidnapped and murdered 5-year old girl Daisy, which was held by an adult. I feel that a child could have done the simple, brief lines attributed to Daisy. In fairness, Margaret Hewes brought humor to the role of Daisy Armstrong and set the tone of the play as being a tongue-and-cheek version of the mystery play, thereby adding humor.
Shaun Lim was the assistant director and Tyler Richards was the director. Both are to be commended for a successful play and the audience gave them a round of grateful applause for a job well done.
I highly recommend seeing this often humorous who-done-it. You will not be disappointed. The play runs until April 16, 2022.
VOL. 112, NO. 12 - Mar. 23, 2022