Agatha Christie Takes Manhattan

Houston theater lovers know the name Eddie Cope (the playwright is a local legend), but they might not have heard of his play Agatha Christie Takes Manhattan. Luckily, UpStage Theatre's Artistic Director of the Evening Series, Arnold Richie, sums it up for us. "It's a whodunit, of course. Agatha Christie goes to direct a Broadway-bound play that's written by an Oklahoma oilman and really isn't very good. He ends up getting murdered, and that starts everything going."

The play-within-a-play storyline features some larger-than-life characters. There's the oilman/playwright, who isn't very talented but is extremely protective of his precious dialogue; a leading actress, who is unhappy with her role as a maid; her ex-husband, who isn't excited about acting with his former wife; Mrs. Christie's niece, who badly wants to break into show business; a clever assistant; and, of course, the acclaimed author, who tries to get the cast through rehearsals without too many complaints, insults or tantrums. The process is something akin to herding cats, so when an actual dead body lands in her lap, Christie jumps at the chance to do what she does best - unravel a mystery. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Through October 24. Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights. For information, call 713-838-7191 or visit www.upstagetheatre.org. $12 to $15.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Oct. 24, 2009

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Olivia Flores Alvarez