VALRICO — The Village Players will perform its new show, Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile,” Friday, Saturday and June 27-28, with the doors opening at 7:30 p.m. and curtain rising at 8.
The performers’ opening night was preceded by a recent dinner provided by Willie’s, the Place for Seafood at the James McCabe Theater, 506 Fifth St.
Proceeds from that night will help with needed restoration of the James McCabe Theater, which will celebrate 100 years of community service in 2015.
Director Gail Pierce got the idea of serving a fish dinner before “Murder on the Nile” because tilapia is sometimes referred to, however incorrectly, as Nile perch, she said, and Willie’s, the Place for Seafood, “is a famous local seafood restaurant that has supported the Village Players throughout the years.” Christie wrote the play “Murder on the Nile” after her book “Death on the Nile.” The play debuted in 1944, 70 years ago.
“She … combined characters and changed some. One might consider it fine tuning,” said Pierce. “She replaced Hercule Poirot with Canon Pennefather … because she felt that there needed to be questions asked and confessions made about the murders that only a clergy persona would or could draw out. Poirot’s cool, calculating investigating style is still very much intact and put forth by Canon Pennefather … portrayed by one of this area’s best character actors, Domin Pazo.”
The director adds personal touches to this show from her own experience of having sailed up the Nile with her husband, Webb Pierce, on a riverboat similar to the one that is the play’s setting. She also brings her unique directing expertise to the show. “I, much like Agatha Christie, like going through the characters’ thought process (to) determine what motivates people to do what they do,” said Pierce, adding that each show takes on “its own persona. The blending of the actors to their characters leads every show to be one of a kind.”
Pierce describes the play as “one of the most intricate murders that I’ve directed. The characters’ line delivery and undertones are absolutely riveting and blatantly deceptive. The way they handle situations and murders is captivating, entertaining and at times even amusing. The cast is fabulous; the plot, the show and the actors are all designed to entertain theatergoers and novel-readers alike.”
The price for the shows without dinner is $15 for general admission and $13 per student, senior and military with ID. Tickets are $12 per person in groups of 10 or more, for whom reserved seating is available when paid in advance.
Send news of community events to Barbara Routen at Barbara.Routen@gmail.com.