'Accomplice' is full of mystery

September 06, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Old Opera House will debut the murder mystery "Accomplice" on Friday night.

It will be the first time the play has been done at Old Opera House, said Steven Brewer, the theater's artistic director and manager. The play will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 16.

"Accomplice" debuted on Broadway in 1990 and is written by Rupert Holmes, the same guy who is responsible for 1979's "Escape," aka "The Pia Colada Song" ("If you like pia coladas ... ," you know the rest).

Cast members and Brewer, who is directing the play, have been extremely tight-lipped regarding details of the play - so much so that Brewer refused to say which actors were playing which characters and would not discuss specific plot points out of fear it would spoil the play's effect.


While covering other productions of the play, theater writers for The Washington Post and The New York Times have indicated that revealing certain aspects of "Accomplice's" plot - things that would normally be discussed in a review or preview - would indeed ruin it for the audience.

Brewer did offer a bare-bones gist so that the audience would at least know what they were getting into: The play starts off as an English thriller. A husband and wife invite two friends to spend the weekend at their country house. The sex-starved wife, with the help of her lover, plot to kill her husband.

One of the actors, Bill Taylor, 45, of Hedgesville, W.Va., offered more details, saying that the play relies heavily on audience participation and that it parodies murder-mystery plays.

"This play (is) toying with the mystery, black comedy style - that's what appeals to me about it. I don't want to say it's a postmodern take on the genre, but, you know, it kind of is," Taylor said.

Actress Ellen Nichols, one of the principal characters, wouldn't divulge much more, except to say, "This is a role to kill for."

If you go ...

WHAT: "Accomplice," a mystery comedy by Rupert Holmes

WHEN: The play opens 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 7 through 15; and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 9 and 16.

WHERE: Old Opera House, 204 N. George St., Charles Town, W.Va.

COST: $16 for Friday and Saturday shows; $14 for Sundays; $8 for students for all shows.

MORE: For more information, call the Old Opera House at 304-725-4420 or go to

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