Log in Subscribe

Theater Review: Dial M for Murder


SARASOTA — On Friday, Jeffrey Hatcher's adaptation of Frederick Knott's 1952 classic, Dial M for Murder, opened at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Best known from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film adaptation (the screenplay for which was also penned by Knott) starring Grace Kelly, the story involves a husband's planned murder for hire of his wealthy socialite wife.

In both versions, the wife, Margot, has been caught in an affair. However, Hatcher modifies the plot so that the affair is with another woman, Maxine. This gives the story, which remains set in 1950s England, what would have been a much more lurid plot in that era, which I felt benefitted the play.

FSU/Asolo M.F.A. candidate Brooke Turner gives a truly stellar performance as Margot. Zia Lawrence gives an intense performance that is equally impressive as her lover, Maxine, a novelist whose publicist is Margot's husband, Tony, played to the nines by Tony Carter—both of whom are making their Asolo debut.

Brooke Turner (Margot Wendice) in Asolo Rep's DIAL M FOR MURDER. Photo by Sorcha Augustine
Brooke Turner (Margot Wendice) in Asolo Rep's DIAL M FOR MURDER. Photo by Sorcha Augustine

Mark Benninghofen, who just wowed audiences with his performance as Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (review), once again steals scenes in the small but critical role of Inspector Hubbard. Mikhail Roberts, who also turned in an impressive performance in Inherit the Wind, gives a good turn as the hired thug.

Tracy Dorman’s glamorous costumes nail the aesthetics of the era and are complemented by Michelle Hart’s hair and makeup designs. Antonio Troy Ferron’s set meets the very high standard we have come to expect from an Asolo production. 

Asolo’s production of Dial M for Murder is a delightfully entertaining suspense play that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the curtain falls. Directed by Celine Rosenthal, it runs through April 25 in the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. For ticket information, visit the Asolo website.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.