Phone: 609-287-6559


facebook blue    twitter blueinsta blue

Upcoming Events:



Dante's Inferno

mousetrap 1mousetrap 1Tonight as part of my staycation, that has me bound and determined to see the sites of this city that don't require a minimum bet, I went into a "hot bed" of live performance at Dante Hall. I attended the Atlantic City Theater's production of the murder mystery The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie. Did you know that it is the longest running play in the world? It has been running in London, in first run status, since 1952. Haven't our pals across the pond heard of Cats?

Dante Hall is located in the historic "Ducktown" part of Atlantic City that is also referred to as AC's Little Italy. In fact the building was constructed by next door neighbor St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church. So before we heard Three Blind Mice being whistled on the stage tonight this hallowed hall heard many little Anthonys sing in many Christmas pageants. 

The building itself is something to see. It is beautiful with a stone facade, stained glass and a bathroom that rivals any luxury suite on the island. Check the web for the schedule of events that include plays via the ACT as well as poetry readings, jazz and if I have anything to say about it comedy shows.

The production itself had many good technical elements. Although the lighting cues were many and mostly mistimed. Attention Actors: keep your hand on the lamp until the lights have changed. It's theater 101 people. The set was wonderful, full of period details, and was clearly born from a designer with OCD and crown molding experience. The costumes were both realistic and flattering on the wide range of body types of the cast. I don't think that there were crisp, white, distracting soles on dress shoes in this period Mr. Paravicini. But as I remember from community theater you often supply you own shoes. Thank god Ms. Christie sets the stage in what she calls "the present" and we all know they do exist at Timberland's now.

mousetrap 2mousetrap 2The acting was certainly passionate. But I hate to see actors stuttering over lines in the last weekend of a run. But jokes were hit and the audience was kept in suspense to the identity of the killer until the end. There were a few miscasts and volume/mumbling issues. The actor playing Christopher Wren needs to do his vocal warm up, stop watching Brando movies or both. Also if he is 22 years old as stated in the script I haven't even been born yet. I enjoyed Ken Groome as Major Metcalf in his understated statesman performance. Also notably Mrs. Boyle reveled in her "I need to speak to the manager" attitude and was very funny. A solid effort was given by the teen who played Sergeant Trotter with great diction and focus. But herhigh voice gave her away more than her shiny, page boy wig. Clearly the boys in the community where this community theater is in are not coming out in droves to audition. How can we change that?

Surprisingly ACT did not opt to ask the audience to keep the ending a secret as is tradition with this production in London. But you won't hear any spoilers from me. Go see it before they close. Because at Dante Hall you won't know who the killer is. But at the craps tables it is clear to guess who the loser will be. Take a break and support the arts.  

Blog Author

Michelle Tomko's comedy is a fervent blend of tomboy sensibilities courtesy of the older brothers she grew up with in the Midwest and the barrage of perimenopausal chaos the East Coast world has heaped upon her. She pulls her humor from everyday observations and classic stories of family, travel, pets, and adversity. With razor-sharp crowd work and improvisational skills to the rock-solid timing of a veteran performer, Michelle’s act is not to be missed!

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.