If you go
› What: “Murder on the Nile”
› Where: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St,
› When: 8 p.m. May 17-18, 24-25 and 31, June 1, 7-8, 14-15; 2:30 p.m. May 19 and 26, June 2, 9 and 16; 7 p.m. May 23 and 30, June 6 and 13
› Admission: $15 to $30
› For more information: 423-267-8534 TheatreCentre.com
In the next Chattanooga Theatre Centre production, idyllic surroundings are shattered by a shocking murder — as one would expect from an Agatha Christie mystery.
But when the CTC opens "Murder on the Nile" on Friday, May 17, the audience may feel as though they've been dropped into the middle of a classic film, not the classic whodunit.
Guest director Courtenay Gillean Cholovich's vision for this 1944 favorite of Christie fans has given the CTC stage production an unmistakable film noir twist. Audiences will see her interpretation reflected through gray tones of the set and costumes, the use of silhouette, lighting effects and actors' performances.
"I was struck by how the language of the play translates from what we know and are used to seeing to the sounds, vocabulary and cadence of the film noir features of the same era," Cholovich says.
"With this production, I hope to capture the essence of the 1940s genre and translate the black-and-white big screen to live performance through performance and design elements."
"Murder on the Nile," often hilarious and genuinely puzzling, is based on Christie's 1937 novel "Death on the Nile."
The entirety of "Murder on the Nile," considered one of the author's best, takes place on the observation deck of the Lotus, a paddle steamer chartered by a group of English aristocrats. Nine passengers are aboard the craft, which is heading down the Nile River. Not all will return, of course. What starts as a pleasant diversion to see the sites becomes a thrill ride of jealousy, suspicion and murder.
The audience will meet Simon Mostyn, who has recently married socialite Kay Ridgeway, a young woman blessed with beauty and enormous wealth. Their honeymoon voyage introduces them to a host of memorable passengers. There is the wealthy old snob and her awestruck niece, the disgruntled gentleman, the foreign doctor, the priest, the maid and a woman obsessed with the new Mrs. Mostyn's husband. At various times, each of them seems quite capable of murder.
The cast features Kelseigh Garret, Jinny Jagoditsch, Holli Hutson, Deb Meeks, Douglas May, Jacob Moore, Chase Parker, Sally Peixoto, Dana Rogers and Chen Zhang.
"Murder on the Nile" will run through June 9.
For tickets: 423-267-8534 or visit TheatreCentre.com.