PREVIEW: Civic aims to draws audiences in with suspenseful ‘Dial M for Murder’


It wasn’t hard for Heather McHenry-Kroetch to say yes to the opportunity to direct Spokane Civic Theatre’s production of “Dial M for Murder.”

After all, she loves a good mystery story and felt like the play – written by English playwright Frederick Knott, who adapted it for the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name – was right up her alley.

“It feels like something you’d want to (read) on a rainy afternoon,” she said. “I really liked it so I was excited. Then, of course, I was terrified, then I was excited again.”

“Dial M for Murder” opens at Spokane Civic Theatre on Friday and runs through April 8.

In “Dial M for Murder,” retired professional tennis player Tony Wendice hires a hit man to murder his socialite wife Margot after discovering her affair with writer Max Halliday and in an attempt to get his hands on her inheritance.

But things start to go awry for Tony after the hit man, not Margot, is killed. He then does all he can to ensure Margot is charged with murder so his original plan is not found out.

“Dial M for Murder” stars Patrick McHenry-Kroetch as Tony Wendice, Molly Allen as Margot Wendice, Andrew Biviano as Max Halliday, Matt Cardoza as Lesgate, Thomas Heppler as Inspector Hubbard and Kaylan Martin as Bobbie and various voices.

After agreeing to direct the play, McHenry-Kroetch watched the film version of “Dial M for Murder,” which starred Ray Milland as Tony and Grace Kelly as Margot.

She doesn’t usually watch recordings or film adaptations of the plays she’s working on to avoid being influenced, but with a show as iconic as “Dial M for Murder,” McHenry-Kroetch wanted to get a feel of the production.

“You don’t want to make a copy but you want to honor it,” she said. “There’s a lot of pieces there and you don’t want to leave out something.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Preview by Azaria Podplesky of The Spokesman Review

Photos by Emily Jones