Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Montgomery Playhouse Smell of the Kill

By • Jan 18th, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Smell of the Kill by Michelle Lowe
Montgomery Playhouse
Gaithersburg Arts Barn, Gaithersburg, MD
Through January 23rd
1:20, without intermission
$15/$13 Gaithersburg residents
Reviewed January 14th, 2011

The Smell of the Kill is a one act drama by Michelle Lowe. Three couples meet for a monthly dinner. Afterwards the women retreat to the kitchen to discuss their husbands. Secrets are revealed and when the three husbands accidentally get locked in the basement’s walk-in meat locker, the women must decide if this is an opportunity to improve their lives.

Excellent pacing by Director David Dossey kept the show moving along and made the evening seem to go quickly. The actors made use of the entire stage which kept the tension between the actors and the audience charged. All three women were comfortable with each other and worked well together. It was especially enjoyable watching two women gossip about the other when she would leave the room.

Nicky, Debra, & MollyNicky played by Alicia Oliver, was probably the angriest of the three women. The play opens with her storming in from the living room after having served her husband and his two friends dinner. Her pacing, throwing, yelling, and shouting were telltale signs that all was not peaceful at home. Oliver kept the tempo up and the energy high that fed into some really good revelations by the other two women, Molly and Debra. Melissa Powell played Molly, who seemed to be the most innocent and sweetest of the trio, yet she too had some ghosts in her past that when revealed caused you to see a darker side of Molly. Powell did come across as awkward and ill at ease when the play first opened, but as the evening wore on (and the alcohol kicked in) she loosened up and opened up about her unhappy marriage.

The third woman was Debra, played by Bess Kaye, whose husband Marty had fairly wandering hands. Debra had the most conscience of the three and took the most convincing. Kaye did a fair amount of pacing in the show and you got a sense that she was truly struggling with what to do about her husband. Kaye’s eprformance was quite convincing.

The kitchen setting of the play was space well used in this production at the Arts Barn. Set Designer Paul Shoop made the kitchen usable and also made enough room for the actors to spread themselves out, without being too distant. The Specialized Set Painting by David Gill brought detail to the kitchen.

This fast-paced, dark comedy was well done by Montgomery Playhouse.


  • Nicky: Alicia Oliver
  • Molly: Melissa Powell
  • Debra: Bess Kaye
  • And featuring the vocal talents of Frank DeSando, Peter Oliver-Krueger and Roger Stone


  • Producer: Matthew Datcher
  • Director: David Dossey
  • Assistant Director: Frank DeSando
  • Stage Manager: George Fitel
  • Set Design: Paul Shoop
  • Light Design: Matthew Datcher
  • Sound Design: David Dossey
  • Master Carpenter: Paul Shoop
  • Set construction: Bruce Angstadt, David Jones, Paul Shoop
  • Specialized Set Painting: David Gill
  • Set Painting: Bruce Angstadt, Kay Coupe, Nancy Davis, Steve Quillin, Paul Shoop, Joy Wynn
  • Set Dresser: Kay Coupe
  • Costume Design: McKenna Gervase Kelly
  • Lighting & Sound Execution: Matthew Datcher
  • Properties: Lisa Spangler
  • Photography: David Jones
  • Load-in Crew: Paul Shoop, David Jones, Nancy Davis, Matthew Datcher

Disclaimer: Montgomery Playhouse provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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