BWW Review: DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER at UD Rep Ensemble

BWW Review: DIAL 'M' FOR MURDER at UD Rep Ensemble

DIAL "M" FOR MURDER. Dial "M" for Magnificent regarding UD REP ENSEMBLE. Since 2008's THE HOSTAGE, Rep Ensemble has been unequivocally THE professional theatre in the state and equal to any in the region, if not Broadway.

Attention to detail. Obsessive attention to every crew and creative aspect for ten seasons. Sports columnists speak to the paradigm of successful franchises and their internal stability. Artistic Director Sandy Robbins founded the Ensemble and continues to preside. The vast majority of the actors at the inception still continue to astound us on stage. When one has acted with the same players over 10's of shows, there is innate comfort level. Aisle Say has forgotten many productions over 30 years of coverage. Yet Gotch (Tony), Matarrese (Swann) and Pelinski (Inspector Hubbard) made an "injected' impression on me in 2008's IMAGINARY INVALID with an image that simply won't go away. All 3 are in DIAL "M".

Back to attention to detail and "M". Example, Margot's (Elizabeth Heflin) wig. It was as if every ringlet of Grace Kelly's shimmering hair was placed lovingly on Heflin's head. (The glorious Grace played Margot in the '54 crime mystery film directed by Hitchcock). Next then to Tony (Michael Gotch) whose high-perched cantilevered locks reminds one of an iconic home in Falling Waters, PA. Unlike Falling Waters, Tony's hair never moved. It is deserved of a special name. I will call it Lloyd.

The entire cast assumed their quite British accents quite properly. One of the many aspects that place Rep actors on a higher level is characterization nuance. Watch Tony's eyes as he manipulates Swann into killing Margot. Watch Margot as she is emotionally riven by what Tony demands of her and her innate sense of right and wrong. I may be completely wrong in what method Rep actors were taught in the UD PTTP's MFA program, but it conjures to me the 'Stanislavski Method', going beyond merely physical and vocal training: "in rehearsal, the actor searches for inner motives to justify action and the definition of what the character seeks to achieve at any given moment".

Lindsay Jones created original music and designed the sound. It was a major player. In the ominous scenes, we hear oboes (think JAWS). Music was perfectly choreo'd to the proceedings.

Long time Scenic Designer Stephanie Hansen built a sumptuous and very period '50's English apartment. Check the phone and the classic desk. REP rarely has curtains drawn when the audience enters. The sets are always M for Magnificent, so this first impression very well sets the stage for us before actors enter.

Director Steve Tague, once an acting member of REP, felt quite at home with this cast. His last gig was DE Theatre's COMPLETE WORKS OF WM. SHAKESPEARE. He is directing their upcoming BOEING, BOEING.

All of the company are faculty members at UD.

Through Feb 14 302.831.2204

Next Up: A FLEA IN HER EAR (a farce. Rep excels at farce!) Mar 1-18

TWELFTH NIGHT Apr 19 - May 6

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From This Author Greer Firestone

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