August 1, 2019
Agatha Christie’s Masterpiece, Murder on the Orient Express Opens at Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit, Maine – All aboard! The Ogunquit Playhouse is thrilled to announce the first non-musical production at the theatre in over 12 years, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, on stage August 14 through August 31. This suspenseful play takes audiences on a delightful journey along with a train full of suspects, and each one with an alibi! There are twists and turns aplenty in this intrigue-filled story, newly adapted for the stage from Agatha Christie’s masterpiece by two-time Tony-nominated playwright Ken Ludwig. This beloved mystery unfolds in a fresh new way that takes audiences on a thrilling ride, and is complete with a professional New York and Broadway-based cast and featuring Tony-nominee Anita Gillette as Princess Dragomiroff and Steven Rattazzi as the mustachioed sleuth, Hercule Poirot. This lavish production is directed by Shaun Kerrison and includes an original set designed by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt and stunning costumes designed by Tony Award-winner William Ivey Long.
“I am very excited to produce my first play here at the Ogunquit Playhouse. I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and we have carefully chosen one of her most thrilling murder mysteries, that has been newly adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig. It will be seen in Ogunquit for one of the first times anywhere, live on our stage. We are delighted to share this new play with our audiences,” stated Bradford Kenney, Ogunquit Playhouse Executive Artistic Director.
This beloved mystery also features Ruth Gotschall as Helen Hubbard, Christopher Gurr as Monsieur Bouc, Kate Loprest as Countess Andrenyi, Stephen James Anthony as Hector MacQueen, Andrew Dits as Colonel Arbuthnot and Samuel Ratchett, Patricia Noonan as Mary Debenham, Olev Aleksander as Head Waiter and Michel the Conductor, and Anna Tempte as Greta Ohlsson.
Don’t miss the show BroadwayWorld called “enthralling!” Tickets are on sale now with preview performances starting at just $36, and economy seating at $51 each. To learn more about becoming a Playhouse member, subscriber, or to purchase tickets and gift cards, visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org or call the Ogunquit Playhouse Box Office at 207-646-5511.
Steven Rattazzi leads the cast as Agatha Christie’s famous and long-running characters, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. He has performed in Indecent on Broadway, and Off-Broadway in numerous productions including Henry V with Liev Schrieber, The Black Crook, Galileo, The Tempest with Mandy Patinkin, Stunning, Dinner Party, Painted Snake on a Painted Chair, and McGurk, among others. In regional theatres his credits include Ken Ludwig’s Sherwood, Indecent, Lempicka, David Greenspan’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Seder, The School for Wives, and Marie Antoinette. He can be seen in the film The Family and has been the voice actor behind the character Dr. Orpheus on Adult Swim’s The Venture Brothers for seven seasons.
Tony-nominee Anita Gillette returns to the Playhouse to portray Princess Dragomiroff. Perhaps best known for her performance as Mona the mistress in the film Moonstruck or for her portrayal as Tina Fey’s mother in NBC’s 30 Rock, Ms. Gillette has had an illustrious career on stage and screen, with more than fourteen Broadway shows to her credit, including Chapter Two which earned her a Tony Nomination for Best Actress in a Play and a LA Drama Critics Award, as well as the Off-Broadway production of The Big Meal for which she was nominated for a Lortel Award. She has performed at the Playhouse numerous times, starting in 1976 with Sabrina Fair, followed by Chapter Two in 1980, The Inkwell in 1982, Steel Magnolias in 1990, How the Other Half Lives in 1994, and Alone Together in 1998. She has had major roles in such films as Shall We Dance, Boys on the Side, Larger Than Life, The Guru, She’s the One, The Great New Wonderful, and Undertow, among many others. Her television career began in 1963 with her appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, she was a foil for Johnny Carson for over 50 episodes of The Tonight Show, and appeared on almost every major game show including Pyramid, Password, Matchgame, To Tell The Truth, What’s My Line, and many more. Recently she has appeared on the silver screen with recurring roles in CSI and Law & Order SVU, and in guest appearances on Modern Family, Blue Bloods, Elementry, Cold Case, Sex & The City, Frasier, Law & Order, and Mad About You.
Ruth Gotschall makes her Playhouse debut as Helen Hubbard. On Broadway she has performed in Mary Poppins, The Music Man, Laughing Room Only, Cabaret, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas among others. At regional theatres she has portrayed Aunt Eller in Pittsburgh CLO’s Oklahoma!, Maggie in Bucks County Playhouse’s 42nd Street, and Mrs. Tottendale in Goodspeed Opera House’s The Drowsy Chaperone. She has starred in several films including Disney’s Annie. Joining the cast as Monsieur Bouc is Christopher Gurr. He has performed in numerous Broadway productions including CATS, Kinky Boots, Amazing Grace, Tuck Everlasting, All the Way with Bryan Cranston, and the upcoming Cyrano with Peter Dinklage, as well as in the National Tours of Memphis and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Kate Loprest makes her mainstage Playhouse debut as Countess Andrenyi after performing in both Ogunquit Playhouse productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH. She has performed on Broadway in First Date, Hairspray, Xanadu, Wonderland, and The Drowsy Chaperone. She portrayed Glinda in the National Tour of Wicked, and as Nellie in the First National Tour of Little House on the Prarie. Portraying Hector MacQueen is Stephen James Anthony, who has performed on Broadway in Skylight and War Horse, and Off-Broadway in Behind The Sheet and The Grand Manner. At regional theatres The Guard, Barefood in the Park, Peter & the Starcatcher, Nicholas Nickleby, Fiddler on the Roof, and Arcadia. On television he’s starred in The Loudest Voice, Blue Bloods, Billions, and Gotham.
Portraying Colonel Arbuthnot and Samuel Ratchett in Murder on the Orient Express is Andrew Dits. His theatre credits include Pasadena Playhouse’s God Looked Away starring Al Pacino, The Complex’s BLOOD starring Glenne Headley, and Pacific Resident Theatre’s The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, among many others. Mr. Dits work on the screen includes Oliver Stone’s film, Snowden, the television series Telenova, Jon Glaser Loves Gear, and The Middle, and is a series regular on the Bounce TV sitcom, My Crazy Roommate. Patricia Noonan joins the cast as Mary Debenham. Her numerous theatre roles include Elizabeth Bennet in Signature Theatre’s Pride & Prejudice, Roundabout Theatre’s Death Takes a Holiday, City Center Encores’ Annie Get Your Gun, Girl Crazy, and Merrily We Roll Along, and Lincoln Center Live’s production of Carousel. She is the writer of the musicals Sweetwater, Learning How to Drown, and Masterpiece. Olev Aleksander portrays Head Waiter/Michel the Conductor in the Playhouse production of Murder on the Orient Express. At regional theatres he has performed in Good Television, Beyond Therapy, Twelfth Night, and Mister Roberts, and in New York productions of Macbeth (of the Oppressed) and Henry IV Part 1. In film he has performed in The Fifth Horseman, which was nominated for a Student Emmy for Best Drama and Fatherland, and has done voiceover work for the video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Rounding out the cast as Greta Ohlsson is Anna Tempte in her Ogunquit Playhouse debut. She is the co-founder of The Department of Fools, a New York based commedia dell’Arte theater company, and a member of Primitive Grace Theatre Company.
Shaun Kerrison returns from England to direct Murder on the Orient Express for the Ogunquit Playhouse after last directing the epic production The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 2016. He has directed many Ogunquit productions, receiving many IRNE and BroadwayWorld nominations for Best Director. Mr. Kerrison was in Ogunquit in 2014 to direct Mary Poppins the Broadway Musical and The Witches of Eastwick and in 2012 he directed the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic South Pacific. He also directed the U.S. regional premiere of Sunset Boulevard at the Ogunquit Playhouse starring Stephanie Powers, as well as Les Miserables and My Fair Lady for the Ogunquit stage. On Broadway, Mr. Kerrison was the Resident Director of Mary Poppins and was the Associate Director for the Broadway revival of Les Miserables and he redirected the National Theatres production of My Fair Lady for its 50th Anniversary U.S. National Tour. He recently reunited with conductor John Wilson to direct Kiss Me Kate for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Scenic design for Murder on the Orient Express is by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt, who last designed the set for 2017’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe. His many Broadway credits include Act One (Tony Award), The Scottsboro Boys (Tony Nomination), Therese Raquin (Tony Nomination), Come From Away, Meteor Shower, A Bronx Tale, Prince Of Broadway, Sunday in the Park with George, Hand To God, On The Town, Sondheim On Sondheim, Rock Of Ages, Chaplin, Bronx Bombers, Grace, and The Two And Only. Off-Broadway he has designed 100 shows including The Last Five Years, Sleepwalk With Me, and Miss Julie. He has also designed for The NYC Ballet, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and around the world in England, Russia, China, Australia, and Japan. In 2007 he received the OBIE Award for sustained excellence.
Costume designer for Murder on the Orient Express is by six-time Tony Award winner, William Ivey Long. Mr. Long has designed costumes for over 70 Broadway productions and has been nominated for 15 Tony Awards. He most recently designed costumes for the Broadway productions of Tootsie: The Musical and Beetlejuice: The Musical, as well as FOX’s A Christmas Story, Live!, The Prince of Broadway for legendary director Hal Prince, and the revised stage musical Young Frankenstein in London’s West End for Mel Brooks, as well as for the original Broadway production in 2009. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on FOX’s Grease: Live!, and designed the re-imagination of The Rocky Horror Picture Show starring Laverne Cox and Tim Curry.
Lighting Design for Murder on the Orient Express is by Richard Latta. Mr. Latta is the resident lighting designer for Ogunquit Playhouse and recently was nominated for an IRNE Award for Best Lighting Design for his work on the 2018 production of An American in Paris. Kevin Heard joins the creative team as Sound Designer, returning to the Playhouse for his 19th Ogunquit production. Mr. Heard won an IRNE Award for Best Sound Design for his work on the 2017 production of Ragtime. Projection Design is by Jason Lee Courson who last designed projection for the Ogunquit Playhouse production of ELF The Musical. On Broadway he designed projections for Ruben and Clay’s Christmas Show and Off-Broadway for NEWSical: We Distort You Decide. Wig/Hair & Makeup Designer for Murder on the Orient Express is Emilia Martin, who designed 2017’s An American in Paris and Oklahoma!. Casting Director for the Ogunquit Playhouse production of Murder on the Orient Express is Anthony C. Daniel, with additional casting by Michael Cassara, CSA and Ogunquit Playhouse Production Stage Manager is Karen Parlato.
The Ogunquit Playhouse’s season continues with the hilarious Menopause the Musical, featuring Cindy Williams, star of TV’s “Laverne and Shirley,” for two weeks only September 4 through September 14; and the Tony Award-winning, smash hit musical Kinky Boots on stage September 18 through October 27. The season will stretch to the holidays once again with the timeless classic, Annie in collaboration with The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, November 27 through December 22.