Sunday, March 4, 2018

Experience Theatre Project—Cady Building—Beaverton, OR

    “Three Blind Mice”

     This classic mystery by Agatha Christie is directed by Alisa Stewart and playing at the Cady bldg., 12604 SW Farmington Rd., through March 25th.  For more information, go to their site at or call 844-387-7469.

     Christie was fond of nursey rhymes as she used them as clues in more than one of her stories, e. g. “Hickory, Dickory, Dock” or “Pocketful of Rye.”  Usually they were used as clues to the killer and/or his/her/they’re motives and often connecting to childhood, as it does in this tale.  This play has never been filmed as, according to her directions, it couldn’t be until the play had run its course.  Over 60 years later, it’s still running!

     The time is 1952 at a rural, county guest house run by the Ralstons’, Mollie (Carlyn Blount) and her newly married husband, Giles (Nick D’Ettorre).  They have a smattering of guests for their opening, including the flitting, Mr. Wren (Murren Kennedy), the sarcastic, Mrs. Boyle (Janice Moss), the manly socialist, Miss Casewell (Amber Bogdewiecz), the very proper, Major Metcalf (Steve Garrison), a military man, the stranded motorist, the bouncy Italian, Mr. Paravicini (Brian Reed), and the Law, Sergeant Trotter (James Luster), seeking a killer of a previous crime.

     It is a dark and story time and, in fact, these people are snow-bound and cut off from the rest of the world, a perfect time and place for a murder mystery.  Also, understand, all these folks have secrets and not everything or everyone may be truthful as to their knowledge of a horrendous crime that happened some years before to three orphans at a nearby farm.  More I cannot tell you without giving away plot devices but, believe me, it’s a corker!

     Now, that being said, the story is not really the uniqueness to this production.  It is in the style in which it’s presented.  The audience (limited to about 35, I believe) is seated within the set in which the actors are playing!  The audience is arranged, mostly around the sides of this large room, while the actors are moving/seated within inches of them.  This is part of the “immersive” experience this group has as their signature.  (This would be also a great setting/immersive experience for Christie’s “Ten Little Indians,”…just a thought).

     The director and actors must have had a real headache trying to block this show around audience members, as well as making sure all could see and hear.  Also, it was performed in natural lighting, which added to the sense of reality.  The cast was spot-on in their characters and I give them and the Director high marks for achieving success for such a difficult project.

     I highly recommend this show as it is a one-of-a-kind experience.  They have extended the run because of sellout crowds, so get your tickets soon.  A warning, though, it is only street parking in a very busy part of town, so plan your time accordingly.  If you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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