The Garfield Center for the Arts opens their second production of the 2023 season with Richard Levinson and William Link’s mystery “Prescription: Murder.”
The play premiered in 1962 at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco. It was written with the intent that its headlining character was the play’s main antagonist, Dr. Roy Flemming. But as the play toured the country, it was a secondary character that began to capture audiences’ attention. The character was the detective, Lieutenant Columbo. As Columbo gradually became the main attraction, the character’s eventual popularity was assured and Columbo eventually graduated to leading man television status as portrayed by the great Peter Falk. The play never made it to Broadway, as the actor who originated the role of Columbo, Thomas Mitchell, became ill and passed away, but the original production boasted some heavyweight Hollywood talent, with Agnes Moorehead as Claire Fleming and Joseph Cotton as Dr. Fleming.
The play tells the story of a brilliant psychiatrist and his mistress who hatch a plot to murder his neurotic, possessive wife. The execution of their plan and the creation of their perfect alibi depends on a bizarre impersonation. Lt. Columbo must engage the psychiatrist in a duel of wits until the doctor succeeds in having Columbo removed from the case.
Directing the production is the Garfield Center’s Theatre Manager, Nic Carter. Nic has recruited a number of talented people to work with, including stage manager Jordan Dixon, assistant stage manager Michelle Christopher, lighting designer and set builder Butch Clark, costume designer Barbi Bedell, and props designer Jennifer Kafka Smith. Nic has designed his set and will also design sound for the show. Steven Arnold will oversee photography and Francoise Sullivan will oversee marketing and the Playbill.
The production features a terrific cast of local actors, including Karen Hill as Miss Petrie, Patrick Pearce as Dr. Roy Flemming, Natalie Donoso as Claire Fleming, Brianna Johnson as Susaan Hudson, Max Hagan as Dave Gordon, Connor Christopher as the Delivery Boy, and Brian Whitaker as Lt. Columbo.
The production runs weekends from April 14 through April 30, with 8:00 PM performances on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 PM performances on Sundays. There will be no performance on Saturday, April 22nd, but an added special performance will occur on Thursday, April 20th. Tickets may be purchased online at www.garfieldcenter.org or by calling the Box Office at 410-810-2060 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
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