Thursday November 23rd 2017

“Sleuth”

highly recommended  Over the years, our visits to the Theatre at the Center in Munster have been to see musical theater and every once in awhile, they would throw in a light comedy or farce to round out their season. Muster, Indiana might be considered by many as a suburb of Chicago with the same type of make-up in demographics as an Oak Lawn or Beverly area, so when it was announced that They were taking on  an edge of your seat mystery to begin this season, many were unsure if the choice was a good one for this smaller venue in a small town in Indiana. For those people who may have doubted the power of Director William Pullinsi in pulling this off, let me tell them, you were wrong- he has not only pulled it off, he has put together a first rate, top-notch production that every theater lover should make a point to see. In fact,for  any young person who might think they want a career in acting or directing, I would have to call this a MUST SEE production where they will not only be entertained, they will be educated on some of the best technique in character building by two of the best actors in our area.

That being said, let me tell you  little more about this wonderful work of art written by Antony Shaffer, “Sleuth”! This play is a divine thriller dealing with gamesmanship, getting the upper hand, revenge and while it was written as a more or less parody of the English “Country house thriller” Shaffer’s characters are far deeper than any written by Agatha Christie ( whom he has set out to parody in this work). The plot has many turns and twists and to tell you more than you need to know would be a disservice to you as this is a “MUST SEE” production, well worth the simply easy drive out to Munster.

The story is about Andrew Wyke ( a powerful and magnificent character interpretation by Chicago favorite Larry Yando, who proves  that there is no role he cannot tackle) a mystery novel writer who chooses “gamesmanship” to make his rather boring life more meaningful. He is an older man with a young wife, and with his wealth gives her all the adornments she wants, yet cannot deliver that which she truly years for. A young man, who appears to be able to give her the missing ingredients of her life, Milo Tindle( played to perfection by Lance Baker, another Chicago favorite) has been invited to meet with Andrew about the situation in which they are currently involved. They meet and the games begin!

This stunningly attractive production  with a magnificent set designed by Rick and Jackie Penrod and solid lighting effects by Denise Karczewski and costumes by Brenda Winstead is an eye pleasing spectacle and as directed by Pullinsi, we are allowed to view into this story as if we were in the room, as the old “fly on the wall” watching each piece of the puzzle unveil. However, the puzzle is not always what it seems to be and the pieces do not always fit as we expect them to. That is what makes this mystery so unique and the experience that you will talk about for years to come. This was a play and then a movie ( featuring Sir Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine). Years later a remake of the movie was made with Michael Caine  moving up to the elder role and Jude Law taking on the younger man. While both of these movies were powerful, this LIVE production is even more powerful for us, the audience as we know there are no “cuts” and reshoots- it is happening right before our very eyes, live! What you will see, will amaze and astound you, so I am limiting the details so I will not spoil the suspense that is in store foryou . Just when you  think you have it figured out, surprise! You don’t! 

As mentioned before, this is a show that educates theater people as to what good theater should and can be if all the ingredients are right, so I must give acknowledgement to the prop master, Elizabeth “Libby” Fandrei for a job that exceeded my expectations! as well as R & D Choreography for the violence design, but the credit for this powerful production at Theatre at the Center has to go to their board for putting it on, Pullinsi for his true understanding of the proper way to do the show and for him and his staff to have hired Yando and Baker to come to Indiana and do this show the way it was meant to be done!

“Sleuth” will continue at Theatre at the Center through March 20th ( I hope they can extend this one as I have a feeling they will need to) with performances as follows:

Wednesday and Thursdays at 2 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There ar ealso some Thursday evening shows as well as Saturday matinees. To learn more check with the box office or website.

Tickets range from  $36-$40 ( a true value) and some events that include dinner etc throughout the run. To order tickets call 219-836-3255 or www.Tickets.com at 1-800-511-1552

plenty of free parking at the Theater located at 1040 Ridge Road ( Rte 6) in Munster, just about 30 minutes from the loop. www.TheatreAtTheCenter.com

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