It’s been years since I’ve read any of Agatha Christie’s 80 novels and
short-stories, 19 plays, five non-fiction works and her half dozen
romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
As a result, watching Appointment with Death at the Lakewood Playhouse on opening night, Sept. 16, was quite enjoyable.
Staged in the round in the intimate theater in Lakewood Towne Center, the show was well directed and acted throughout. Acoustics in this building are certainly not the best in the world, but every actor’s lines could be heard without problem, although some of the accents left me wondering exactly what was said. Regardless, the thread of the play was never in doubt.
Lynn Geyer as the domineering Mrs. Boynton filled the role admirably. Her mannerisms easily made the audience dislike her almost instantly.
Sons Lennox and Raymond were ably played by Tim Goebel and Steven Thomas and their transformation from the controlled sons to the free men was fun to watch.
Michael Dresdner, as Dragoman the guide, played the role to the hilt and it was easy to see he was enjoying himself immensely.
Lorrie Fargo (Nadine), Brynne Garman (Lady Westholme) and Elizabeth Meberg (Ginevra) all brought life to their characters, although at times Lady Westholme was a little too obnoxious.
Dave Van Arnam (Alderman Higgs) was another strong role that was enjoyable most of the time, but a little over the top on occasion. Thomas C. Phiel III, (Dr Gerard) and Season Luben (Dr. Sarah King) were comfortable in their roles as was Patrick C. Schroeder (Jefferson Cope).
Director Marty Mackenzie and Stage Manager Terry Carlson showed a lot of creative imagination in directing and staging this production.
For a small theater, a cast of 16 has to be a challenge, but the Lakewood Playhouse pulled it off smoothly.
My seat in the I section was next to the “elevator” and each time it was put into “motion” the sound effect drowned out the dialogue for a few moments as well as being distracting. Also, the overhead fan needs some oil. The on and off squealing caught my attention far too many times.But those are minor complaints and they certainly didn’t detract from the overall enjoyable evening. Obviously others felt the same as during one of the two intermissions Playhouse management announced that nearly 350 season tickets had been sold so far. That’s a good indication of local support for this community theater.
Appointment with Death’s run continues weekends through Oct. 9. It will be followed by Lillies of the Field from Oct. 21 through Nov. 13. Following will be Annie, Dec. 9-22 and Jan 6-15; A Raisin in the Sun, Feb 3-26; Fiddler on the Roof, Mar. 31-April 30; and the season finale, The Three Musketeers, May 19-June 11.
For more information or to order tickets, call 253-588-0042 or go to: lakewoodplayhouse.org.
– Review by Dave Sclair