Monday, October 23, 2017

Murder In Green Meadows—Twilight Theater Company—N. Portland

“Like a Good Neighbor…”

This murder mystery is written by Douglas Post and directed by Doreen Lundberg.  It is playing at their space, 7515 Brandon Ave. (on the corner of Lombard--upstairs), through November 5th.  Free parking is available across the street in the church parking lot.  For more information, go to their site at

Halloween month…just ripe for slasher films, horror stories and…murder mysteries.  Of course, the other Queen of England is the one who rules mysteries, none other than Dame Agatha Christie, all other writers pale by comparison.  There are some restrictions in space, of course, when presenting a complex story in this genre. But, that being said, Post doesn’t do too bad with this teaser, or clinging to Christie’s robes.  Without being a spoiler, this is not a neighborhood one would wish to move into!

It is a new development, designed and built by the meticulous Thomas Devereaux (David Roberts) who, with his alluring wife, Joan (Deone Jennings), now live in what once was the Model Home.  In appearance, they seem like the typical, white-collar couple in suburbia, albeit, he’s a bit of a control freak and she is a bit absent-minded. Of course, there was that incident with the neighbor boy, and let’s not forget the destruction of some toys…but, that’s getting a bit ahead (or behind) in the story.  Then again, who’s perfect, right?!

And they seem to have some lovely neighbors, who live right across the street, Jeff Symons (Johnnie Torres), a consultant, who is less than satisfied with his occupation and his very clever wife, Carolyn (Marcella Laasch) and their two kids.  Of course, she does have these “black-out” periods where she seems to go somewhere else.  And we haven’t even got to mentioning the odd burglaries in the area.  But they all seem to get along…playing cards, sharing drinks…having dinners, even helping each other out in the home department or garage.

It could be just another domestic sit-com or warm, fuzzy family drama…except for those little quirks that one character has when they get angry…or how being forgetful can be your undoing…or why the Past has never really…passed.  If this seems like I’m being evasive as to story, you’re right.  After all, it is a mystery, so have only given you hints, or clues, if you will.  Although the script is a tad slow in getting to the point, when it does, it has some satisfying twists for mystery buffs.

The set is nicely laid out and designed by Alexander Woodward.  Lundberg has done a good job of casting it and manages to keep the play moving (although the annoying, frequent scene breaks, because of the script, does manage to cool the tension a bit).  Roberts builds his character slowly, which adds to the tension of the piece. Jennings does fit the role physically as an alluring lady and manages to give depth to her plight.  Torres is always worth watching in Twilight’s productions, as he is here.  And Laasch does well in keeping you guessing as to who she is and what she’ll do next.

I do recommend this show as it’s a nice addition to the Halloween season.  If you do see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.    

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