CINCINNATI – Audiences will be on the edge of their seats when Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park presents Agatha Christie’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS beginning Sept. 25 at Jarson-Kaplan Theater at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. (The show runs through Oct. 23; opening night is Sept. 29.)
Adapted from the world’s greatest mystery writer by Ken Ludwig, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS finds Christie’s beloved detective Hercule Poirot unraveling a tricky murder case that includes a train full of suspects. With unsurpassed intelligence and a keen understanding of the criminal mind, Poirot uncovers clues to unmask the killer lurking in the midst.
“All of the Christie elements are there in this adaptation,” explains Director Risa Brainin. “Poirot is in rare form, as per usual. He has a foil in the character of Monsieur Bouc, who runs the Wagon Lit. Clues are dropped and picked up. Bouc, like the popular Christie character Hastings, tries to put the pieces together…without success. Poirot solves the mystery with brilliance, just like always!”
A grand-scale stage design with art deco details from the original Orient Express and an immersive soundscape will transport audiences to the exciting–yet deadly–train ride full of suspense even if they already know the story.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is the Playhouse’s third recent production penned by award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig, whose work has been produced on Broadway and at theaters across the country. The other recent productions were Treasure Island and Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, which were well received by critics and audiences alike.
Broadway World called his adaptation of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, “Engaging, entertaining, and keeps the audience enthralled from beginning to end.” The Playhouse originally planned to stage the show in Spring of 2020, but the pandemic forced cancellation.
Andrew May (Hercule Poirot); Katie Bradley (Countess Andrenyi); China Brickey (Mary Debenham); Harry Davis (Hector MacQueen); Dale Hodges (Princess Dragomiroff); Rob Johansen (Head Waiter/Michel the Conductor/Fight Director); Jennifer Joplin (Helen Hubbard); Lenne Klingaman (Greta Ohlsson); Taha Mandviwala (Monsieur Bouc); Nick Vannoy (Colonel Arbuthnot/Samuel Ratchett); Liz Comstock (Ensemble); Aaron Schilling (Ensemble).
Ken Ludwig (Playwright); Risa Brainin (Director); Robert Koharchik (Set Designer); Devon Painter (Costume Designer); Michael Klaers (Lighting Designer); Michael Keck (Composer); Andrea L. Shell (Stage Manager); Brooke Redler (Second Stage Manager); Brandon T. Holmes (Assistant Stage Manager).
Performances will take place at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater at Aronoff Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7 p.m. on selected Sundays. Weekend matinees are at 2 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Patrons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled: dial 711 to connect to the Box Office via Ohio Relay Services.
Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is suitable for ages 12 and up with minimal adult language. This classic literary mystery is full of dramatic plot twists and multiple acts of violence — like murder (obviously).
The Jarson-Kaplan Theater at Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St. Cincinnati, OH 45202. The Playhouse is performing off-site in the fall while construction of the new Moe & Jack’s Place –The Rouse Theatre continues. The new mainstage theater will open in Spring 2023.
Production Sponsor is US Bank. Design Sponsor is Homewood Suites by Hilton. Artist Sponsors are Geiler and Skidmore Sales & Distributing. Honorary Producer is Terry Lemmerman. The Rouse Theatre Season is presented by Schueler Group.
The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation.