Photo credit Greg Z. Newcomb for Westminster Community Theatre
Written by Patrick Chavis
Murder mystery reviews are a trap. Good or bad the chances of dropping a spoiler are exponentially increased in these plays because they are all about the details (clues). Boasting an obviously talented cast with an almost non-existent set, WCT succeeds in pushing a rather “generic” murder mystery into something a little more thrilling and entertaining. If you’re old enough to be Matlock fans, this play is right in your wheelhouse.
The name in the title says Rehearsal for Murder, but that’s not exactly accurate, or is it? It’s really a play about Monica Wells and her death. Monica Welles, a theatre actress played exceptionally well by Lisa March, is found dead with a suicide note after receiving mixed reviews for her latest show. All signs point to suicide, but Alex Dennison, Monica’s lover and powerful theatre playwright, feels he knows better. Using his influence, Alex devises a play rehearsal to weed out the culprit, but like any murder mystery there’s more too it than meets the eye.
I can’t articulate enough about how solid the acting is throughout the entire production. The acting is so well done, especially by Stephen Alan Carver, you almost bypass the obvious and way too predictable resolution of the story. Flat out, besides the two main characters, the audience is given very little reason to care about any of the other characters in the script.
Overall, the lack of action in this script is remedied with a really likable cast making the scenes enjoyable and worth the price of admission. But for theatre goers looking for a suspenseful night of shock and awe, it might not be enough.