For its next production, Amarillo Little Theatre is presenting Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express."
The stage adaptation was created Ken Ludwig from the original story written by Christie.
The story begins with Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot, who is traveling by train, which is surprisingly full for the time of year when, just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The next morning, an American tycoon is found dead in his compartment. Stranded and afraid, the passengers rely on detective Poirot to identify the murderer before they strike again.
“I always find it interesting to play a character that people know that there are several dozen versions of. ... I always love to get to play those characters and bring them to life for people who may have never gotten to meet them ever,” said Michael Newman, who is playing detective Poirot.
“The reveal of the murder is my favorite part, hands down. The big reveal is great ... you will not be disappointed. Whether you know the story or you're seeing the story for the first time, you will not be disappointed in what you are coming to see. I can guarantee that you will be talking about it as you go to buy tickets to see it a second time,” Newman said.
This production is Jason Crespin's first play to direct for ALT’s mainstage.
“I immediately saw this in my head, so I could see it visually, the style of the show, and so I knew that this was a show that I wanted to direct in this season. And fortunately, the way how things fell, it was a show I could direct. ... Up to this point, I had only done musicals on the mainstage, so this is something,” Crespin said.
This production will include a total of 12 characters portrayed by a mixture of veteran performers, including Melanie Sanders as Princess Dragomiroff, Jenny Morgan as Greta Ohlsson, and Carrie Huckabay as Helen Hubbard, and a few new faces.
The sets' design was created by Tana Roberson, and the turntable was created by technical director Gregg Dunlap, business vice president George Cumming, assistant technical director Brandon Khamphoumy and technical assistant Noah Lang.
“The show itself takes place on a train, so I was like, 'How do we build a full train?' With us having a turntable that were able to rotate, we are able to transform the set from the dining car to the sleeping car and an observation car,” Crespin said.
This production will also include flashback projections above the stage, using the theater's new projector, which was covered by donations from the Panhandle Gives fundraising campaign.
“We're adding kind of a cinema element to it. We're going to project the winter storm that’s outside, some clues and flashbacks as the story progresses,” Crespin said.
The performances will be held at ALT’s Allen Shankles Mainstage located at 2019 Civic Circle.
The rating for this performance is PG-10 for gunshots and murder.
Tickets can be reserved by phone at (806) 355-9991 or online at www.amarillolittletheatre.org. Student pricing is available two for the price of one.
Showtimes for mask-required performances are Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 29, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 23, at 2:30 p.m.
Unmasked performances are available for Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21-22, and Friday, Jan. 28, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 30, at 2:30 p.m.
“I think theater is for everyone, and this is a great show for everyone to see what ALT has to offer. If anyone is ever wondering what ALT is about, this is the show to come see,” Crespin said.
This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: ALT presents Murder on the Orient Express