BWW Reviews: The Maltz Jupiter Theatre Gets Murderous for their Season Opener
Getting into the spirit of Halloween, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre opened its 2013-2014 season with Frederick Knott's tale of intrigue Dial M for Murder. Unlike the classic whodunit mystery, however, the play revolves not on solving the crime but on watching the main character squirm as he tries to get away with murder. Set in the 50s, these devious characters can hide behind the pleasantries and facade of the time period, but it is the audience that has the opportunity to view what happens in the London flat behind closed doors.
South Florida favorite J. Barry Lewis takes the reins on this stylized play and smartly quickens the pace in the second act as we begin to see Investigator Hubbard zero in on tennis star Tony as the killer. As audience members, we become similar to sports fans during a game while we root for the innocent, albeit adulterous, couple Margot and Max in hopes of exposing Tony's intent to kill his wife. Todd Allen Durkin plays the two-faced Tony well, contrasting the poor pathetic has-been with the devious detailed murderer depending on who was in the room. His wife Margot, played by Claire Brownell, is the well-off 50s housewife obviously not in love with her husband and Jim Ballard is the American writer with whom she has an affair. Both actors do a fine job of handling the stylized language and together they become the home team of the audience.
Design highlights are definitely Robin McGee's costumes and Paul Miller's lighting. The time period comes to life mainly through the sharp style of the men's suits and Margot's dresses; her most stunning being the first pink and white strapless at the top of the show. Miller creates lurking shadows and images resulting in a big laugh when the audience sees Hitchcock's profile on the flat's front door.
In addition to the show, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre unveiled their swanky renovations for the new season, featuring an expanded lower lobby and a second floor 'Green Room' lounge. The facelift complements the quality of the theatre consistently displayed by Producing Artistic Director Andrew Kato and his team. Dial M for Murder runs through November 10th at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre on Indiantown Road in Jupiter, FL.
The new Green Room Lounge at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Photo Credit: Alicia Donelan.
The renovated and expanded lobby of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. Photo Credit: Alicia Donelan.