Theater Info for the Washington DC region

McLean Community Players The Art of Murder

By • Sep 24th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of McLean Community Players’ production of The Art of Murder [MP3 2:53 2.6MB].

The Art of Murder
McLean Community Players
Alden Theater, McLean, VA
$15/$13 Students and Seniors
Through October 4th

This is the ShowBiz Radio review of The Art of Murder performed by The McLean Community Players in McLean Virginia. We saw the show on Sunday afternoon, September 21, 2008.

The Art of Murder is a suspense thriller by Joe DiPietro. Struggling painter Annie Brooks is fed up with her successful artist husband’s shenanigans, and comes up with what she things is the perfect murder. All she needs is a little help from his art dealer. Unfortunately, it seems that everyone else in the household has plans of their own. However this play has its plot twists and turns that keep the audience guessing until the end.

The acting was concise and had a non-stop pace. This kept the energy and the emotions of the actors on a tense track. There was highbrow humor scattered throughout the show, skewering the pretentiousness of the art world.

Jack Reynolds played the role of painter Jack Brooks convincingly and evilly. Reynolds had an emotion and intensity about him that made you want to boo and hiss when he came on stage. Reynold’s air of condescension and psychosis really made you feel sorry for his wife Annie, played by Connie Shabshab. Annie seemed much more kind and even afraid of Jack. Shabshab allowed Annie to express herself with a wide range of emotions, from timid and contrite to scheming and controlling.

The wormy art dealer, Vincent, was played well by Mario Font. Font presented Vincent with a realistic hyperactive twitchiness. His movements were fast and he always seemed like he was in a hurry.

The final character was the Brooks’ live-in maid, Kate, played by McCall Noelle Doyle. Like Annie, Kate seemed misunderstood and abused by Jack Brooks. Doyle had a nice Irish accent that she kept throughout the performance.

The set was the living room of the Brook’s house, with colorful paintings provided by the McLean Project for the Arts. Since Jack was a rather eclectic artist, there were lots of different pieces of artwork, both paintings and sculpture, to see. Several entrances (including an obvious hidden one) were used to keep the mystery and suspense going. The Set Designer was Bill Glikbarg.

The Art of Murder ran one hour and fifty minutes with one intermission. It is playing for two more weekends, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 pm at the Alden Theatre in McLean, Virginia. This is a show that will keep you out thinking yourself until the very end.

Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave a comment here on our website at ShowBiz We’d also like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater events in the DC Region.

And now, on with the show.


  • Annie Brooks: Connie Shabshab
  • Jack Brooks: David Reynolds
  • Kate: McCall Noelle Doyle
  • Vincent Cummings: Mario Font


  • Director: Jerry Bonnes
  • Assistant Director: Beth Doyle
  • Producer: Bunny Bonnes
  • Stage Manager: Matthew Beyers
  • Technical Director: George Farnsworth
  • Set Designer: Bill Glikbarg
  • Lighting Design: Bob Zeigler
  • Sound Design: Jerry Bonnes
  • Master Carpenter: Bob Zeigler
  • Props: Emily Besuden
  • Set Construction: Cathy & George Farnsworth, Dick LaPorte, Herb Rothenberg, Mike Scott, Terry Yates, Bob Zeigler, John Downing, Matthew Beyers
  • Set Dressing: Terry Yates
  • Scenic Artist: Dick LaPorte
  • Backstage: Wendy Granat Humphries, Chris Bonner
  • Publicity: Bunny Bonnes, Mike Scott
  • House Manager: Columba Brumby
  • Webmaster, Playbill: George Farnsworth
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