Getting Away With Murder Program
Philip EvansChris Robinson
Gwen Evans HolfordChristine West
Mrs. BickeragePatricia Hall
Meg WinsorValerie Tetrault
Jeremy NashSylvester Hall
Elton William EvansJim Payton
Reginald MaitlandDanny Kelso
GilesHarry Preston
BertieGeorgetta Jones

Producers/DirectorsIrene Billingsley, Brenda Robinson
Assistant DirectorDoreen Jacobs
ContinuityHelen Shalvoy
Stage ManagerJim Payton
PropsPaula Holder
Lighting DesignerJim Millard
Lighting OperatorsDanny Morris, Doreen Jacobs
Sound DesignerLou Alliano
Sound OperatorNeil Robinson
Set DesignerDiana Smith
Set Construction ChiefDiana Smith
Costume DesignerGeogetta Jones
PhotosDanny Morris
PublicityClaire Bugado, Danny Morris
Program CoverMark Monroe
ProgramLloyd Billingsley, Jim Payton, Nancy Green
Program PrintingJamie Clark, Scott Gustafson
Scenic ArtistMark Monroe
Ticket ManagersBob Link, Faith Link
House ManagersAnnette Huffman, Nancy Green
Stage CrewPaula Holder, Jim Payton, Georgetta Jones

POWPAC mystery provides plenty of twists

A revue by Susan Aronson in local paper

There's something most intriguing about a murder-mystery that lets the audience know straight away what's in store by presenting a List of Suspects reather than a Cast of Characters on its playbill.

That hint, plus the setting in a country home miles from anywhere, with a storm rising (inside and outside the house), alerts the playgoer that the evening will combine elements of traditional plots with people with all-too-common motives. Some want to be rich, some famous, some married, some single, some safe..."Getting Away with Murder" made its world debut Friday night. The production, presented in Poway's Golden West Theater, has enough red herrings to stock a Smorgasbord - and plenty of plot twists to keep the audience awake. Playgoers have their hands full trying to tell which are false clues and which may really have something to do with the plot: the hidden vial? the loaded gun? the hand at the window? the invalid upstairs? the gathering of the clan? the movable books? the long toes? The dialogue is brilliant, meriting a second hearing to appreciate all the references to other mystery plays and literary works.

"It's a send-up to the great mystery writers I've always enjoyed," said Janet Tiger, author of this well-crafted work.

The players are very well cast and have worked hard at perfecting accents from the British Isles and at becoming the parts they portray. Seldom has a butler acted as competently as the ever-helpful Giles (Harry Preston), or served as well as Mrs. Bickerage (Patricia Hall), splendid in her decisiveness about the proper time to have tea, whether the household is ready or not, and glamorous in her fuzzy pink curlers. Bertie (Georgetta James) makes a most dramatic entrance - and exit.

Key family membes include daughter Gwen Evans Holford (Christine West), who gives a whole new meaning to the thought of ghost writing, and Jeremy Nash (Sylvestor Hall), who lets the audience know at the start that he is a former policeman - and that one of Gwen's greatest attractions for him is her money. Nash's mobile face keeps the audience up on the emotions appropriate to the right moment.

Meg Winsor (Valerie Tetrault) has one of the best bits of conversation, as she zips through an explanation of a friend who knows things by the numbers, and Phillip Evans (Chris Robinson) has some surprises as he pursues his forbidden cigars.

Elton William Evans (Jim Payton) is properly sinister as the doctor-son who knows all about people and finds most of them insufferably stupid, while brother Reginald Maitland (Danny Kelso) sees the best in everyone - or does he? And novelist Emily Maitland Evans, matriarch, is an impressive presence indeed.

Throughout the play are sprinkled one-line commentaries on life, with spoofs on the seriousness with which people tend to take themselves. One of the reviewer's favorite lines comes from Jeremy: "Journalism and accuracy have very little to do with each other."

The cast of the Poway Performing Arts Company has done an excellent job of interpreting material for the premiere of the murder mystery, the product of a local playwright. All lines were clearly heard and easy to understand.

Sets were impressive and authentic, with excellent stage play as characters "twiddle" with the books in the four large cases lining the library.

Sound effects add to the ambience, with lightning followed by its thunder at ever-decreasing intervals as the suspense increases. And the final "twist" at the end brings a collective gasp in those who thought they had it all figured out!

"Getting Away with Murder" provides a most enjoyable evening's entertainment and is appropriate for young people as well as adults. It will be shown Jan. 19, 20, 26, 27, and 28, and Feb. 2, 3, and 4 at the theater at 13643 Cynthia Lane in Poway (just north of Poway road). Curtain time is 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Tickets are for adults, for students and seniors. Reservations may be ade at 679-8085.