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Whodunit in Woodbury this weekend

Woodbury Community Theatre’s production of “The Hollow,” by Agatha Christie, will open Sept. 19 at the Black Box Theatre. (Staff photo by Amber Kispert-Smith)

It will be a night of mystery, intrigue and murder when Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” opens at the Black Box Theatre.

“The Hollow,” which will open Sept. 19, will kick off Woodbury Community Theatre’s 2014-2015 season.

This year’s WCT season will be “From Page to Stage” and will highlight plays that began as books. 

“I thought we’d kick off the season with Agatha Christie because I’ve done it before and it sold really well – I didn’t realize how popular she was,” director Marcie Berglund said. “I’m hoping there are murder mystery enthusiasts out there.”

The rest of the 2014-2015 season will include “A Christmas Carol,” “Pippi Longstocking,” “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” and a surprise musical, which will be announced this April.

“The Hollow” marks the first non-musical to be performed at the Black Box Theatre.

“That makes it a different experience for us,” Berglund said.

‘The Hollow’

In “The Hollow” an unhappy game of romantic follow-the-leader explodes into murder one weekend at the home of Sir Henry and Lady Lucy Angkatell, known as The Hollow. Dr. Cristow is at the center of the trouble when his mistress Henrietta, ex-mistress Veronica, and wife Gerda, simultaneously arrive at The Hollow. Also visiting are Edward, who is in love with Henrietta and Midge, who loves Edward. Veronica ardently desires to marry Cristow and succeeds in reopening their affair but is unable to get him to divorce his wife. Veronica unwisely states that if she cannot have him, no one shall. Within five minutes Cristow is dead. Nearly everyone has a motive and most had the opportunity. Enter Inspector Colquhoun and Sergeant Penny to solve the crime.

“It’s your typical Agatha Christie,” Berglund said. “It’s that whole idea of ‘round up the usual suspects.’”

Audiences will be able to assist in solving the mystery during intermission when they are asked to vote on who they think committed the murder.

The first correct answer will win a prize.

“It’s kind of fun for the audience to play along and figure it out on their own,” Berglund said.

Berglund said her favorite thing about murder mysteries, specifically Agatha Christie, is that it’s fun to find out what the characters are thinking while trying to solve the mystery.

Berglund said she hopes audiences pay close attention if they come see “The Hollow.”

“There’s lots of possible suspects,” she said. “You want to steer the audience in any which direction. We need to make everyone believe that everyone could be a suspect.”

Woodbury Community Theatre’s production of Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” runs Sept. 19-20 and Sept. 26-27 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sept. 21 and 28 at 3 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre at East Ridge High School. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for students and children. Visit http://merrillartscenter.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

(651) 702-0976
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