Dial M for Murder Opens

Dial M for Murder

Thrills at Peninsula Players July 8 – 26

Fish Creek, Wisconsin –   Peninsula Players Theatre, America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theater and Door County’s theatrical icon, continues its 80th season July 8 through 26 when it presents the classic suspense-filled thriller, “Dial M for Murder” by Frederick Knott.  “Dial M for Murder” was first staged on Broadway in 1952 and Knott adapted the script for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 classic film.

Tony, a former professional tennis player, has grown accustomed to the lavish lifestyle made possible by his heiress wife, Margot.  Convinced Margot is having an affair, Tony, rather than play victim to her waning affections, begins to plot her demise.

“A man plans the perfect murder,” said director Joe Foust, “but the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”   Foust has directed several productions for the Players including “Deathtrap,” “Noises Off,” “Cash on Delivery” and Knott’s other mesmerizing thriller, “Wait Until Dark.”

Between cocktails a game of cat and mouse, laced with blackmail and intrigue, begins.  When Tony’s precise plans go awry he must improvise an equally deadly plan and stay one step ahead of the police.

“Dial M for Murder” has been translated into 24 languages and the play has been produced in more than 30 countries.  As tension vigorously mounts alongside Tony’s tenacity to get away with murder, all while he exudes great charm and charisma. The continuous and sinister game Tony plays with his wife, college classmate and the seemingly disinterested Scotland Yard detective, keeps audiences spellbound.

Foust celebrates his 16th season with the Players where his stage credits include more than 30 roles including roles in  “Making God Laugh,” “The Elephant Man,” The Mousetrap,” “Be My Baby,” and “Is He Dead?”  Foust’s regional stage credits include performances with The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Wisdom Bridge, Remy Bumppo, Next, TheaterWit, Court, Chicago Shakespeare, First Folio, Cleveland Playhouse, Syracuse Stage and Milwaukee Shakespeare.  His television credits include “Parks and Recreation,” “Normal” and “Early Edition.”

The cast of “Dial M for Murder” features several Peninsula Players’ veterans including Jay Whittaker who is cast as the plotting, yet charismatic husband, Tony; Katherine Keberlein is cast as the intended victim, Margot; Matt Holzfeind portrays Max Halliday, Margot’s friend and protector; Neil Friedman is cast as Tony’s accomplice, Captain Lesgate; Tim Monsion portrays the seemingly mundane Inspector Hubbard; with Peter Brian Kelly and Matt Super cast as the police force hot on a murderer’s heel.

Whittaker (“The Mousetrap,” “Rumors”) was seen in the Players production of Knott’s“Wait Until Dark” as Harry Roat, Jr.  Whittaker’s New York credits include “Rose Rage” at the Duke on 42nd Street and “Frank’s Home” at Playwrights Horizons.  His regional stage credits include performances with The Old Globe, The Shakespeare Theatre and various Chicago theaters including The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Northlight and Court.  His television credits include “Chicago PD,” “Prison Break” and “Dustclouds.”

Keberlein’s (“A Real Lulu”) stage credits include “Smokefall” with Goodman Theatre and “A Kid Like Jake” with About Face Theatre.  Keberlein received a Jeff Award for her work in “The Mother” with Oracle Theatre and her television credits include “Sirens,” “Chicago PD” and “Shameless.”

Monsion’s (“Butler,” “Murder on the Nile,” “Opus,” “Heroes”)  New York credits include “Marvin’s Room” at Minetta Lane and Playwrights Horizons.  His regional theater credits include The Goodman, The Kennedy Center, Hasty Pudding, Cincinnati Playhouse, Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum and many others. Film credits include: “You,” “Cotton,” “Blink,” “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told” and “Men of Honor.”

Holzfeind’s (“The Tin Woman,” “And Then There Were None”) recent Chicago credits include “Our Class” with Remy Bumppo, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” with Bailiwick Chicago and “Miss Marx” with Strawdog.  His regional credits include The Utah Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The New Theatre and Cardinal Stage.

Friedman (“Lombardi,” “Born Yesterday,” “Over the Tavern”) returns to Peninsula Players for the 2015 season.  His regional stage credits include The Clarence Brown Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Austria’s Vienna English Theatre and Adirondack Theatre Festival.

Rounding out the cast in various roles are Peter Brian Kelly (“Butler”) a graduate of the Peninsula Players internship program and UW-Whitewater who recently performed in “Red” with Naples Players.  Making his Peninsula Players debut is Matt Super, who is participating in the Peninsula Players internship program and is a recent graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio.

Designing the stylish 1950s London apartment for “Dial M for Murder” are regional and award-winning designers. Members of the creative team include Jeff Award-winning scenic designer Sarah E. Ross (“The Tin Woman,” “A Real Lulu”), freelance scenic, costume and properties designer for Paramount Theatre, American Blues Theater and The Second City.  Lighting designer Charles Cooper (“A Few Good Men,” “Sunday in the Park with George”) has received two After Dark Awards and has designed for Drury Lane Oakbrook, Milwaukee Rep, Royal George and TimeLine Theatres.

Costume designer Kärin Simonson Kopischke’s (“Chicago,” “And Then There Were None”) designs have been seen in theater and opera productions as well as on film.  Her credits include American Conservatory Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, Huntington Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse.  She has designed for award-winning directors Anna Shapiro, John Rando, Douglas Hughes, Anna Deavere Smith, Joe Chaikin and Eric Simonson.

Making his Peninsula Players debut is sound designer Rick Sims,  a Jeff Award-winning designer whose credits include Playwright Horizons, New York; Portland Playhouse, Oregon; Boston Playwrights; and the Arden in Philadelphia.  Also making her Peninsula Players debut is Jamie Karas, a Chicago-based props designer who has designed for Next Theatre, Buzz22, Steep Theatre, About Face Theatre, Steppenwolf, House and Strawdog.

“Dial M for Murder” is sponsored by Ken Raupach.

Peninsula Players setting along the shores of Green Bay provides a serene location for patrons. Prior to performances, patrons relax and picnic on the grounds while watching the setting sun over the waters of Green Bay from the cedar-lined shore and enjoy the ambience of the Beer Garden and other gardens.

Peninsula Players has been entertaining audiences since 1935 when the theater opened behind the Bonnie Brook Motel in Fish Creek on July 25 with Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever.”  The company was founded by a brother and sister team, Caroline and Richard Fisher, who dreamed of an artistic utopia in the north woods where actors, designers and technicians could focus on their craft while being surrounded by nature in a contemplative setting.   Peninsula Players moved to the theater’s present location along the shore of Green Bay in 1937.

The Peninsula Players performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m., except for Sunday, July 26 at 4 p.m.  Individual tickets to “Dial M for Murder” range from $36 to $42.  There are no performances on Mondays.  For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players’ box office at (920) 868-3287 or visit the website at www.peninsulaplayers.com.