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Little Theatre staging “Murder by the Book”


Elizabeth P. Smith thought directing “Murder by the Book” would be a novel idea.

“It’s clever and different” she said of the latest production by Little Theatre of Watertown. “It has a lot of twists and turns and some very funny lines.”

Little Theatre will stage the production Thursday and Friday and June 1 and 2 at the Black River Valley Club, 131 Washington St. All shows, except for the one on Thursday, are dinner theaters.

The light-hearted thriller by British playwrights Duncan Greenwood and Robert King has some macabre twists, but being a mystery, Mrs. Smith didn’t want to give too much of the play’s plot away.

“It will keep the audience pretty much in suspense,” she said. “They’re not going to be able to figure out what’s going on and who is going to come out on top until the very last line.”

“Murder by the Book” has five performers. All are veterans of either Little Theatre of Watertown or Watertown Lyric Theater. David Murphy plays main character Selwyn Piper, a thriller writer.

“He’s very pompous and full of himself and always tries to prove himself smarter than everyone else,” Mrs. Smith said of Selwyn.

Tina Thompson plays Selwyn’s wife, Imogen Piper. Peter Fletcher, played by Scott Taylor, is an amateur detective who lives next to the Pipers. Cindy Tyler plays Christine Scott, Selwyn’s secretary, and Kevin Kitto plays John Douglas, Selwyn’s publisher.

“Everybody has hidden agendas,” said Mrs. Smith.

Among the elements that will keep audiences guessing, Mrs. Smith said, are a hoax, guns with blanks and poison.

The play, written in the 1980s, is set in “modern day.”

“But we do use a typewriter, so that’s going to date it,” Mrs. Smith said.

Opening night proceeds on Thursday for “Murder by the Book” will go to the Watertown High School Drama Department.

“Lenny Planes (WHS teacher, drama club adviser) works really hard with the kids over at the high school and his budget is extremely restricted,” said Mrs. Smith, an art teacher at Case Middle School.

The details
WHAT: “Murder by the Book” presented by Little Theatre of Watertown
WHERE: Black River Valley Club, 131 Washington St.
WHEN” There is one general admission show and three dinner/theater shows. The general admission show is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $12 at the door.
Dinner/theater shows are at 7 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. June 1 and 1 p.m. June 2. Cost is $30 per person. Reservations are required by calling Little Theatre at 263-1166. Menu choices: roast beef with gravy and smashed potatoes, chicken Parmesan and linguini or crab-stuffed haddock and smashed potatoes.
There is no general admission at dinner/theater shows.
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