MONMOUTH — Theater at Monmouth’s 2018 Summer Repertory Season continues with Frederick Knott’s classic “Dial ‘M’ for Murder.” The run starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26, and continues throughout the season including matinee and evening performances on both weekdays and weekends. This gripping noir thriller, famously brought to the big screen by Alfred Hitchcock, transforms the “whodunnit” into the “will they get away with it?” Is it possible to commit the perfect crime, or does justice always prevail?

Money. Marriage. Murder. A retired tennis pro plots the murder of his unfaithful wife — but when she turns the tables on her attempted assailant, she is convicted of murder. Can the police detective who brought her to trial now decipher the clues that will save her life? The play that inspired Hitchcock’s suspense classic weaves an ever-tightening web of danger and deception.

“Dial ‘M'” is not a murder mystery along the lines of an Agatha Christie tale, with a body and a clever detective who figures out how the crime was committed. Sure there’s a dead body but the play is more of a psychological thriller, a cat-and-mouse waiting game. We know almost from the beginning that Tony Wendice, a former tennis star, is planning to kill his wealthy wife now that he has been named her heir. The play lets us in on all of his plans but the events are given enough slight twists and sudden hitches to keep the chills and thrills running.

Director Sally Wood approaches this crime story with a slinking, playful touch. In her director’s notes she writes, “Being scared out of our minds is an inalienable right of summer, and Frederick Knott has written the perfect play to keep us up at night.” Who can you trust? Who’s in the wrong? Who’s in the right? And while no one wants to see a woman in distress, what a treat to watch a strong woman stand her ground and put up a fight.

TAM’s ROAR! The Year of the Woman Season continues to present strong women breaking barriers and stripping stereotypes. Margot may be in distress, but she’ll be coming to her own rescue, not just relying on any knight in shining armor. By the end of the night, the audience will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see who gets away with murder.

“Dial ‘M’ for Murder” features Bill Van Horn as Captain Lesgate/Thompson; Jake Loewenthal as Tony Wendice; Mark S. Cartier as Inspector Hubbard; Kedren Spencer as Margot Wendice; and Marshall Taylor Thurman as Max Halliday. Set design by Meg Anderston, costume design by Sera Bourgeau, lighting design by Jennifer Fok and sound design by Rew Tippin.


Performance Calendar: Opening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27; additional performance dates are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26, Saturday, Aug. 4 and Tuesday, Aug. 7; 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, Sunday, Aug. 12 and Friday, Aug. 17; and 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 with a post-show discussion.

TAM season passes offer up to 25 percent off the single ticket price and exclusive benefits such as priority seating and free ticket exchanges. Gold, Flex, General or Senior Passes are available for purchase. Single tickets for the summer repertory and fall show are $34 for adults, $29 for senior citizens and $20 for students (18 and under). Groups of 10 or more can enjoy TAM shows at up to a 22 percent discount. Groups may also schedule pre- or post-show discussions with tours of historic Cumston Hall. Educators receive 20 percent off the single ticket price with a photo ID. For patrons under 30, twenty $10 Rush Tickets are accessible at each performance in the season when available. 

For calendar and reservations, contact the TAM box office at 207-933-9999 or visit

From left are Jake Lowenthal, Kedren Spencer and Marshall Taylor Thurman. (Aaron Flacke photo)

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