‘Murder on the Nile’ pleases writer


staff writer

Set your sights for the desert as you relax on a steamer traveling down the Nile and attempt to answer the question of “who killed the bride.”

All An Act Theatre opened its February production season with “Murder on the Nile,” as part of Gannon University’s Fringe Fest Erie.

In three acts, the cast spends almost a week trying to solve the murder of the wealthiest woman in England.

The performance was tricky to understand, with each character holding a different accent, but the overall plot was carried through with intensity until the final moment when the truth is revealed.

Kay Ridgeway-Mostyn just married Simon, her best friend’s ex-fiancé.

Kay and Simon called it love at first sight, but Simon’s ex, Jacqueline de Severac, is a little more than upset by it.

She’s been following the two on every honeymoon destination they’ve ventured to.

Kay reaches out to her uncle, Canon Ambrose Pennefather – played by Gannon University biology professor Steve Ropski, Ph.D. – who is conveniently on the trip as well, to stop whatever scheme Jacqueline is planning.

Despite Pennefather’s best efforts, the boat has begun its voyage, and the mystery is just about to begin.

Usually you expect a mystery when traveling through the Bermuda Triangle and not so much the Nile River, but despite the odd location, the audience is still introduced to a variety of unique travelers.

Each held an accent, some more comprehendible than others, and had a bone to pick with Kay or her wealthy relatives.

The best accent goes to Jesse Thorpe, who played a French maid, with a phlegmy French accent and lovely French dialogue.

Dorothy Kaliszewski blows away the performance as she acts each breakdown and freak-out of the slightly insane Jacqueline.

Her strong voice was easily heard throughout the theater, and her humming was creepy enough to convince anyone something was up.

Her final moments as Jaqueline sum up any jealous woman who is on the brink of insanity and Kaliszewski pulls of a wonderful — and terrifyingly convincing — performance.

Ropski does an excellent job of grilling each traveler about his or her whereabouts the night of the murder.

His character played well with every cast member, making sure the audience didn’t miss a clue.

As the plot carried through, the question of who did it became increasingly more difficult to figure out.

Was it the jealous ex-fiance? What about the doctor who was wrongfully treated by Kay’s father? Or the maid who is tired of dealing with Kay’s constant wants? But what about the kindly uncle who is in need of money for his “charity projects?”

Enjoy trying to solve the “Murder on the Nile.”

All An Act’s production of “Murder on the Nile” continues on select dates throughout February.

Each performance benefits Community Shelter Services and Erie’s homeless, and a portion of the proceeds for this show benefits Gannon University’s Fringe Fest.


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