As someone who devoured Agatha Christie’s novels when I was a teen, I’m still pinching myself that at last I have stepped into the stylish shoes of her legendary Belgian detective Hercule Poirot to star in Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Dame Christie’s masterpiece Murder on the Orient Express at the gloriously expanded Maltz Jupiter Theatre. It’s a dream come true for me.
This is my fifth show at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and my second there directed by the brilliant Peter Amster (we did The 39 Steps together here in 2011). It’s a dream production in every sense: Peter’s uncanny ability to balance (as he calls it) “schtick and stakes” creates a production that allows Ken Ludwig’s humor to pepper the proceedings while never losing sight of the very real tragedy that lies underneath the story (which was inspired by the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby). The design elements are nothing less than cinematic and truly breathtaking; it’s the most visually stunning production I have ever been part of during my long career. The cast is fabulous start to finish. And Peter’s production ends with a quiet visual coup de theatre that is leaving audiences both haunted and moved. I am confident Dame Christie would have approved.
We have been playing at 91% capacity every night, and have only one week of performances left. I can’t tell you how sorry I will be to see this magnificent and moving production close on 11/12, and to give up my signature Poirot mustache—for now. But I will relish every single moment on board this stunning Orient Express. If you are anywhere near the Jupiter, FL area: you really don’t want to miss this thrilling ride.
Set Design: Paul Tate DePoo III
Costume Design: Tracy Dorman
Lighting Design: James Lawlor
Sound Design: Mathew Parker
Projections: Greg Emetaz
Original Score: Gregg Coffin
Assistant Director: Creg Sclavi
Photos: Benjamin Rusnak and Jason Nuttle