Onstage: Agatha Christie's 'Murder on the Orient Express'

·2 min read

Sep. 4—One of Agatha Christie's most intriguing and acclaimed who dunnits comes to Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre this fall in a new stage adaptation of "Murder on the Orient Express" from Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig. The show will open on Sept. 9.

In the play, it's just after midnight and a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, the passengers rely on detective Hercule Poirot to identify the murderer — in case he or she decides to strike again.

"Murder on the Orient Express" has become so popular since first entering our entertainment culture, it has been adapted for film, TV, games and now the stage.

The first time the mystery appeared on the big screen was in 1974 when Albert Finney took on the role of the eccentric Belgian sleuth along with a star-studded cast. The movie received six Academy Award nominations and saw Ingrid Bergman win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Taking on the role of the fastidious world-famous investigator Hercules Poirot for Way Off Broadway's production is Dino P. Coppa Sr., who has appeared in other mysteries at the theater. Joining Coppa will be Jessica Billones as Hele Hubbard, Betsey Whitmore Brannen and Pam Neely sharing the role of Princess Dragomiroff, Brian Kaider as Constantine Bouc, Hannah Pecoraro as Greta Ohlsson, Olivia Smith as Mary Debenham, Wil Spaeth and Randy Stull sharing the role of Hector MacQueen, Steve Steele as Michel, Jordan B. Stocksdale in the dual roles of Samuel Ratchett and Colonel Arbuthnot and Megan E. West as Countess Andrenyi.

Based on Agatha Christie's novel of the same name, the stage adaption was written by Ken Ludwig and will be directed at Way Off Broadway by Justin M. Kiska.

"Murder on the Orient Express" will run Sept. 9 to Nov. 6, with performances every Friday and Saturday evening and matinees on the first, third and fifth Sunday of each month. Call 301-662-6600 for tickets.

Way Off Broadway is at 5 Willowdale Drive, Frederick. Learn more at wayoffbroadway.com.