TRENT'S LAST CASE, an original dramatization by John Arden McClure of the mystery novel by E.C. Bentley, is the first show of 2013 at Eastpointe's Broadway Onstage Live Theatre when it opens on Friday, January 11. Running Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm and Select Sundays at 2pm through Saturday, February 9, this intriguing mystery provides suspense and murder in three variations.
Select Sunday Matinees are only performed at Broadway Onstage when a prearranged group of 30 or more is scheduled to attend. Broadway Onstage Live Theatre is located at 21517 Kelly Rd. at Toepfer (8 ˝ Mile Rd.) in Eastpointe. The theatre is the home of the patented TeeVeeStage™ Presentation system, which employs cameras above the audience and monitors above the stage to provide audience members with different viewing perspectives of the live stage performance. Broadway Onstage Live Theatre is also the home of Dennis Wickline Productions, Inc., which began producing Non-Equity professional live theatre on the Eastside of Detroit in February of 1980.
TRENT'S LAST CASE introduces us to Philip Trent, an English writer and artist who is drawn in to investigate the murder of an American Millionaire living in England, Sigsbee Manderson. It is 1911. Manderson was married to a much younger woman, and there are intriguing insinuations that the young wife was carrying on with John Marlowe, Manderson's assistant. There is also Manderson's Secretary, Celestine Bunner, who also must be investigated and Trent makes his way to the Manderson Estate with the help of his friend, Burton Cupples, the Uncle of Manderson's young wife, Mabel. Once they arrive, they are given a clearer picture of Manderson and his relationships. In fact, the actual murder is played out in three different variations, but it is not until the very end that the real vision of Manderson's death is portrayed.
A fine cast has been assembled to present this original dramatization. John Arden McClure, the author, will portray Philip Trent. Mr. McClure has been seen in a number of productions at Broadway Onstage and he also dramatized THE PROBLEM OF CELL 13 two seasons ago. Jack Abella will be seen as Sigsbee Manderson. Mr. Abella has been seen in a number of local venues on a professional and community level and has appeared at Broadway Onstage on several occasions. Patrick Sharpe takes on the role of John Marlowe. Mr. Sharpe was seen in CAHOOTS at Broadway Onstage in January and February of 2012 and will be seen in TAPDANCE! there later this season. Dan Woitulewicz takes on the role of Burton Cupples. Mr. Woitulewicz was just seen as Raynard in CHRISTMAS BELLES to great acclaim.
Elizabeth Rager will portray Celestine Bunner. Ms. Rager also just appeared in CHRISTMAS BELLES as Honey Raye at the Eastpointe Theatre to the joy of the audience. Stella Rothe will appear as Mabel. Ms. Roth is an experience choreographer and director and first appeared at Broadway Onstage when she was eight years old. The production is under the direction of Dennis Wickline, Producer of all shows at Broadway Onstage.
Tickets for Opening Night, Friday, January 11 are $14. Tickets for all other performances are $16. Again, Broadway Onstage is located at 21517 Kelly Rd. at Toepfer (8 1/2 Mile Rd.) in Eastpointe, Michigan. Ticket Reservations are strongly recommended by calling (586) 771-6333.
JOHN ARDEN MCCLURE (Phillip Trent) - John opened our season this past summer as Captain "Bangs" in THE GREAT AMERICAN SEX FARCE! He followed that by portraying Inspector Hubbard in DIAL "M" FOR MURDER and took on the role of Justine in CHRISTMAS BELLES. John gave very memorable performances as Beane in LOVE SONG, Herb in THE CHRISTMAS CAROL CAPER, SCROOGE THIS!, Grant in CAHOOTS, and Nick in OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS last season. He also stage managed THE SEX MANIAC in the summer of 2011, and has stage managed other productions. He took on the title roles in our closer in 2009 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE to great acclaim and has appeared here in numerous other productions. John's first appearance on our stage was in 2005 as Charley in THE BOOK OF MURDER. John is also a theatrical veteran for other area groups, having portrayed Ranger Tom in ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, Bozidar in DEAR SANTA, and Trent in THE LAST RESORT for Starbrite Dinner Theatre. He is also a member of Grosse Pointe Theatre, having portrayed Anthony Marston in TEN LITTLE INDIANS and Kenny Norman in PROPOSALS. We welcome him back to our stage!
STELLA ROTHE (Mabel) - Stella's first acting role was playing Luisa in THE SOUND OF MUSIC at age 8, at Broadway Onstage Live Theatre. She originated the role of Kyleigh in two runs of A CHRISTMAS CAROL CAPER SCROOGE THIS!, and - as a teenager - acted in TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CURSE OF THE SIGN OF FOUR. She was seen last spring as Caitlain in OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS. She is also active with other area groups on a professional and community level. For Warren's Shakespeare in the Park, she was Assistant Director and Lady Montague. She was the Choreographer for TINKERBELL VISITS STORYLAND at The Marquis Theatre and just completed ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for Warren Civic Theatre as Assistant Director and appeared onstage as Mrs. Allan. Welcome back, Stella!
JACK ABELLA (Sigsbee Manderson) - Jack appeared for our company for the first time in the fall of 2006 in OVER MY DEAD BODY as Bartie Cruikshank. His performance was a delight. He followed that by playing Oliver Keane in GIFT OF MURDER and was seen several summers ago as Peter in RED HOT MAMAS. Jack was also seen here as Judge Gaffney in 2008 in HARVEY. Jack comes to us with a wealth of experience. He has portrayed a number of varied and exciting roles for a variety of area groups, including Frank Gianelli in OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS for Ridgedale Players in 2003, Gaston in PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE in 2004 for Birmingham Village Players, and Ernie Cusack in RUMORS for Pontiac Theatre IV in 2005. Jack was also seen as Joe Zutti in WORKING (THE MUSICAL) and as Caesar Rodney in 1776, both for Birmingham Village Players. It's a pleasure to have him back with us again!
DANIEL WOITULEWICZ (Burton Cupples) - Dan's first appearance for our company was as Stan in RED HOT MAMAS several seasons ago. He just completed portraying Captain Lesgate in DIAL "M" FOR MURDER and Raynard in CHRISTMAS BELLES. He is no stranger to theatre. He is a graduate of the Second City Detroit Conservatory Program. He has appeared locally in a number of venues on a professional and community level in a number of varied roles. These roles include Bill in HUMANAE VITAE, Dad in CAUGHT IN THE NET, Jim Singleton in BOOMTOWN 1925 and the Colonel in 101 DALMATIONS, among others. Dan was also seen in the Matrix Theatre's production of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST several seasons ago. It's a pleasure to have him with us again. Welcome back, Dan!
PATRICK SHARPE (John Marlowe) - Patrick was Seen as Eric Pinderson in our Holiday Comedy THE CHRISTMAS CAROL CAPER, SCROOGE THIS! in 2011. He also took on the role of Al in CAHOOTS in January and February of last year. Patrick is an enormously talented gentleman with a wide variety of experiences. He is a talented singer, and was a member
of the Macombers vocal troupe. He has appeared at Broadway Onstage on a number of occasions, including PIPPIN (in the title role), THE COCOANUTS and FOOTLIGHT FRENZY. He entered the Directing
ranks, several seasons ago, by tackling a revival of the delightful musical BYE, BYE BIRDIE. Patrick also gave a memorable performance as Danny in our world premiere Black Comedy MOONLIGHT SERENADE several seasons ago, and was also seen in THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG that season. Patrick portrayed Sebastian in TWELFTH NIGHT for us in 2001. He was also seen as Cameron in our golf comedy THE FOURSOME in 2006. He is very active with Curtain Up! Theatre Company, and serves on their Board of Directors. We're truly honored to have him in our cast, and its a pleasure to be working with him again. Thanks, Patrick!
ELIZABETH RAGER (Celestine Bunner) - Elizabeth was just seen as Honey Raye in our Christmas Comedy CHRISTMAS BELLES. She was also seen as Maureen/Sister Mary Kneepad in last season's closer MOTHER SUPERIOR'S HABITS and as Sylvia in this season's opener, THE GREAT AMERICAN SEX FARCE! Liz was also seen here last season as Madge in THE SEX MANIAC and Liz in LOVE SONG. She was our Stage Manager for MURDERER to begin 2010 and has stage managed a number of other productions. She made her acting debut with her performance as Stella in our September/October 2007 production of SOMETHING TO HIDE. She is no stranger to the stage, peforming parody songs as part of a singing group as well as performing skits in theatre-in-the-round. She is also an able pianist, playing in a variety of venues including accompaniment for soloists and musicals. She believes her occupation as a trainer helped prepare her for the stage: "In training others, you design and present everything for learning with a little entertainment spread throughout; with theatre, you design and present everything for entertainment with a little learning spread throughout." We welcome you back, Elizabeth.
DENNIS WICKLINE (Director/Set Design) - Dennis was just seen as Edna in Grosse Pointe Theatre's HAIRSPRAY. He was seen here as Olin in THE CHRISTMAS CAROL CAPER, SCROOGE THIS! and Frank in OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS last season. Dennis portrayed Hector in THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS here in December of 2010. He portrayed Miles in our spring 2010 comedy THE CRAZY TIME as well as appearing as Ty in THE SCOTTISH PLAY to close our 2009-2010 Season. He portrayed David O'Selznick in MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS and Elwood P. Dowd in HARVEY in the fall of 2008. He was seen as Major Powell in CORPSE and Frank in WEEKEND COMEDY here in 2008. Dennis was also seen as Bradley in THE COCKTAIL HOUR in the fall of 2004, among other productions. He is the producer of all shows at Broadway Onstage. He began producing theatre in February of 1980 at Stouffer's Eastland. This season is his thirty-second of producing non-Equity professional theatre in the Detroit Metropolitan area. He is the author of a number of plays and musicals, including THE NUTCRACKER'S NUTS. He also appeared as Fagin in Grosse Pointe Theatre's 2001 production of OLIVER! and was seen as Joe Keller in their production of ALL MY SONS in March of 2005. Dennis was also seen here in the thriller THE WOMAN IN BLACK in the fall of 2002, portraying 5 separate characters. He also directed GPT's 2005 SHOWBOAT and 2008's JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT.