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The heart-stopping and mysterious Agatha Christie classic, Murder on the Orient Express, has made its West Coast stop at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, bringing new chills and thrills to theatergoers just in time for Halloween. The play is part of La Mirada Theatre’s 25th Silver Anniversary season, starring Tony Amendola, Julia Aks, Hope Noel Bradley, Will Block, Anne Gee Byrd, Brad Culver, Christine Dunford, Zarah Mahler, Matthew Floyd Miller, Rachel Seiferth, and Time Winters.
The production marks the tale’s big debut as a full stage production. Adapted by Ken Ludwig and directed by Sheldon Epps, Murder on the Orient Express has a run time of just over 2 hours, allowing the story to flow at a smooth pace that neither feels rushed nor cut short. As expected from the venue, the production does not disappoint, bringing in only the best special effects, elaborate stage work, and top-notch acting. Once again, La Mirada Theatre proves you don’t need to venture into the heart of Hollywood or hit up the streets of Broadway to see high-quality theatre.
Amendola steals the show as the cunning Hercule Poirot, but is met with stiff competition from his entire ensemble, most notably Christine Dunford’s over the top performance as Helen Hubbard. Every player builds off one another and finds a way to keep things fresh, sending the audience into unexpected laughter and frivolity. For a dark and twisted story about murder, deception, and intrigue, things were surprisingly lighthearted while retaining the gravity that death possesses. Nevertheless, it was a fun and engaging take on the classic, holding onto the roots of what makes the fatal train ride such a fun adventure after all these years.
Hop aboard and keep your eyes open! Murder on the Orient Express will perform through Sunday, November 11th. Tickets will range from $20 to $84. You can learn more about available showings, upcoming events, and what’s still to come by visiting La Mirada Theatre’s official site!