Art of Murder
Art of Murder
By Joe DiPietro
Directed by Tabitha Rox
Presented at Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park FL</strong>
I’m under a gag order to not reveal the surprise ending of this Chicago Cross Jostle of a murder mystery, so I’ll let you check Twitter or Wiki Leaks if you really want to go in knowing the ending. And if you do, I’ll bet you’re the sort of person that reads Agatha Christie backwards and checks out the hard Sudoku puzzle answer in Sky Magazine before you fasten your seat belt. So here we go – Jack Brooks (John Reid Adams) is a hot shot artist, aiming for his first million dollar sale with “Study in Red #4”. True, the painting is mostly yellow and looks like it was painted in an adult enrichment class are Marks Street Senior Center, but who are we to question the artist? His wife Annie (Jennifer Rae) paints as well, but she’s noticeable lacking in sales potential. Still, the flamboyant dealer Vincent (James Newkirk) keeps her on payroll, mostly to placate Jack. A dinner party is planned along with a murder, a fake murder, an intervention, and confrontation and for all I know a paint spattered orgy. They even sent the help (Carol Palumbo) out to have sex with her boyfriend all night long, assuming he was that good. Did anyone die? Can’t say. Did they get away with it? Can’t say. Did the butler do it? Can’t say. Was it Miss Pigment in the atelier with a palette knife? DO NOT PRESS ME!
So what is there to say? Annie was the only sane person on stage, she was well motivated and well composed and even splattered in stage blood and chicken guts she was loveable. Mr. Adams took a more psychotic turn, you really wanted to hate him, and you did. Mr. Newkirk’s flamboyance occasionally wore thin but he mixed a hateful cunning with a dismissive arrogance, and you believed he could, in fact, run a successful gallery. And what of the maid “Kate”? Her British accent and undergrad degree in Chemistry and extensive time back stage made her suspicious, but just how suspicious? Suspicious enough TO KILL? DO NOT PRESS ME!
Tonight’s murder and its accoutrements isn’t as important as the gags, silly over acing and constant scarf flipping. This is ultimately a comedy and while anyone could die at any point, your glad most of them stuck around to tell more jokes. Miss Marple this isn’t but “Art of Murder” engages and entertains and never bothers with all the CSI – Winter Park techno mumbo jumbo. Bring a date, leave a body.
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