Agatha Christie thriller to open at Waterfront Playhouse

Agatha Christie thriller to open at Waterfront Playhouse

Posted Thu, Feb 29, 2024 in Press Releases

The award winning Waterfront Playhouse on Mallory Square has begun rehearsals for the next selection of their acclaimed 85th season. Murder on the Orient Express, a stage adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel, was written and adapted by Ken Ludwig and premiered in New Jersey in 2017. Based on the Christie novel that was first published in the United States in February 1934, it was originally published under the name Murder on the Calais Coach. Murder on the Orient Express is directed by Tom Thayer, designed by Michael Boyer, costumed by Leigh Hooten, lighting design by Kris Hodge and stage managed by Renee Austin.

The twisted plot is full of a wild cast of characters. As Poirot puts it, “It was like a painting by Pablo Picasso.” We open the play in Istanbul at the Tokatlian Hotel. As we meet Poirot, played by Key West favorite David Black, we understand that he is due in London in three days from the delivery of a telegram. He runs into his old friend, Bouc, Dominic Paolillo, who arranges a trip on the Orient Express, which he owns. The two climb aboard with Poirot, hoping he makes it to London on schedule. Upon boarding the Orient Express, one by one Poirot meets an oddity of characters, much like boarding a train to Carnival. As the train departs the station amidst the snowy conditions, like an onion we see the layers of each of the passengers peeled back one by one.

The passengers are a crochet of misfits all with their own reasons for being on the train. Outside of Monsieur Bouc and Poirot, we meet the following: Helen Hubbard, a widow (Glenda Donovan); Mary Debenham, an English Governess (Morgan Pierson); Greta Ohlsson, a Swedish Missionary (Jessica Miano Kruel); Samuel Ratchett, an American Businessman (Mathias Maloff); Ratchett’s Secretary/Translator Hector MacQueen (Ray West); Natalia Dragomiroff, a Russian Princess (Barbara Mundy); the Countess of Hungary Elena Andrenyi (Cassidy Timms); an English Colonel by the name of John Arbuthnot (Mathias Maloff) and our Conductor Michel (Karl Stahl)

During the ascent up the mountain on the way to London, the train is struck by a snowdrift, and without warning, the train becomes stuck in its tracks. Shortly following the abrupt stop in the late hours of the evening, a murder occurs and Hercule Poirot is on the case! 

Tickets may be purchased by calling 305-294-5015 or by visiting


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