Appointment with Death

When used to describe a work of any genre, the term "formulaic" usually suggests a lack of originality. But while every formula carries predictable elements, the most successful works manage to combine those elements in a way that subverts and surprises. Consider the enormously influential career of English author Agatha Christie. The Grand Dame of the murder mystery, Christie created scores of whoddunits, refining the archetypical storyline of enigmatically connected characters caught in the web of a murder investigation. The vicarious pleasure of playing detective through uncovering clues, hypothesizing motives, dodging red herrings, and successfully deducing the guilty party isn't restricted to the printed page, however, as evidenced by Theatre in the Round Players' past adaptations of Christie mysteries. With Appointment with Death, the company closes its latest season with a production sure to gratify the expectations of armchair sleuths while serving up more than a few unforeseen twists and turns. Set among an eclectic group of travelers passing the night at a Jerusalem hotel, the play features the suspicious death of a cantankerous invalid, Elmore Boynton, which labels each of the guests as a potential killer. The ultimate misdirection, however, continues to be perpetrated by Theatre in the Round Players; regardless of the murderer's identity, it's this seemingly innocuous theater company that continues to get away with orchestrating riveting evenings of murderous mirth. (Image copyright Act One Too Ltd.)
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: July 5. Continues through July 28, 2013

 
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