Guild’s “The Hollow” is an evening well spent

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Photo by Sue Suchyta

The Players Guild of Dearborn will present Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” one final weekend. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee. The cast includes Cindy Gontko (left) of Canton as Girda Cristow, Keri Geftos of Southgate as Veronica Craye, Ken Kilgore of Dearborn as John Cristow, Tom Sparrow of Allen Park as Sir Henry Angkatell and Mark Ripper of Northville as Edward Angkatell. For more information, call (313) 561-TKTS or go to www.playersguildofdearborn.org.

By Sue Suchyta
If you like a good stage mystery without the high-tech fear factor found in movie murder mysteries, Agatha Christie’s “The Hollow” is for you.

Fans of Christie’s books also will enjoy the play, which highlights her intelligent writing and unexpected, yet believable plot twists.

Christie left Detective Poirot out of the play. She thought her fictional character detracted from the novel, so she left him out of her stage version of the story.

Set in the late ’40s, “The Hollow” is set in a well-appointed country estate outside of London. Fate has brought Dr. Cristow, his wife, current mistress and former mistress into close proximity for the first time. Jealousies erupt and vows are made – and five minutes later Dr. Cristow is dead of a gunshot wound.

Director Lucinda Chavez has assembled a strong and talented cast, and used body language and blocking effectively to convey much of the characters’ reactions.

With gorgeous period costumes and hairstyles, a beautiful set and plenty of surprises, the play will leave you enjoying the story as well as mentally composing motives until the very end.

Emily Tyrybon of Wyandotte is superb as Henrietta Angkatell, in what may be her final performance at the Guild, as she is moving to greener pastures in search of a stronger job market.

Margaret Winowiecki of Dearborn is fascinating to watch as Lady Lucy Angkatell, an eccentric and scattered upper class matron whose character’s brashness enables her to garner some of the funniest lines. She is deservedly an audience favorite.

Ken Kilgore of Dearborn, as Dr. John Cristow, and Keri Geftos of Southgate, as Veronica Craye, a movie star, turned in strong performances that embody their characters’ self-centeredness wrapped around a polished social veneer.

Cindy Gontko of Canton is excellent as the doormat wife, Girda, and Gary Regal of Wyandotte as the Inspector brings a comfortable naturalness to the role.

Other characters in the strong and talented ensemble include Tom Sparrow of Allen Park as Sir Henry Angkatell, Heather Thornton of Melvindale as Midge Harvey, Mark Byars of Garden City as Gudgeon, the protective butler, and Mark Ripper of Northville as Edward Angkatell.

Others in the talented cast include Claudia Walrad of Allen Park as the maid and John O’Neill as Detective Sergeant Penny.

Costumers Margaret Winowiecki and Mary Calder, assisted by George Miller and Patricia LaFramboise, clothed the women in the cast in beautifully designed and tailored clothing from the era. They also made sure that the cut of the costume flattered the wearer.

Make-up governor Frann Stempek, with Tony Badalamenti and Barb Ewing made sure the women in the cast were elegantly coiffed in detailed period hairstyles.

Dave Reynolds II created a beautiful manor house interior, with earth tones nicely blended to match the rich-looking wooden shelves and moldings.

The show runs weekends through March 21. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees.

For tickets, call the Guild’s box office at (313) 561-TKTS, or go to the Guild’s Web site at www.playersguildofdearborn.com.

Tags: