The twisty tricky, very British, murder mystery, Dial M for Murder is currently playing on the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Quadracci Powerhouse main stage. But it’s not a whodunnit…we know exactly whodunnit…but will it be the perfect crime? The real question is how will you keep track of all of the plot twists, turns, and snags without your GPS…and when will the authorities finally figure it all out? And spoiler alert, everyone here has a secret!
The entire action in the play occurs in the living room of a married couple, the Wendices. And it is a marriage of convenience for both of them as you will see. Margo Wendice needs a handsome and ambitious husband, while Tony Wendice needs his wife’s fortune to pursue his expensive tastes. A match made in heaven? Well until things start to unwind and some secrets come to light.
Amanda Drinkall brings us a very believable and lively Margot who seems the perfect match for Tony. But yes, she has a secret and it proves to be her undoing…as a very jealous Tony plots his revenge. Marcus Truschinski revels in bringing us the very smarmy, devious and quick witted Tony who thinks he’s going to pull of the perfect murder. Marcus never lets us see him sweat!
Lipica Shah is Maxine Hadley, also quick witted but deep deep logical thinker who has carefully thought out all of the reasons for murder and all of the methods of accomplishing one…well because she is a mystery writer herself and is on a need to know basis with the subject. Lipica has an emotional side too and it makes its presence known at times. Her relationship with Tony and Margot? Well she may have been the love interest of each of them it seems, certainly of Margot, but it gets complicated.
And one character with the biggest secrets is Captain Legate…lots and lots of secrets…that Tony quietly ferrets out. Alex Weisman plays the Captain as a bit of street tough and a ne’er do well staying on the down low. Tony uses Legate’s secrets to gain control but Alex doesn’t get much stage time, and I’ll let you guess why!
And finally we have Jonathan Wainwright playing Inspector Hubbard, a close to the chest rather inscrutable detective that we love from British mystery drama. And he eventually comes round to the truth by plays end but not without considerable help and prodding from Maxine.
Yes it’s a murder mystery but it is great fun! Director Laura Braza has assembled a great cast and leads them through the story without giving away whats to come and without losing the tempo and movement in the story. Very insightful direction!
Dial M for Murder was written by Frederick Knott and adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher. You may have encountered the film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in your cinema wanderings.
Squeeze this one in between your holiday play plans, you won’t be sorry. Dial M for Murder runs through December 17th, 2023. Additional information and tickets can be found HERE.