Log In

Reset Password

Theater Review: Captivating ‘Witness’ At TheatreWorks New Milford



Text Size

NEW MILFORD — Witness for the Prosecution, Agatha Christie’s British-style crime drama, with its incumbent dry humor and thrilling twists, is onstage at TheatreWorks New Milford, where nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted in this captivating courtroom saga.

The very earnest and vulnerable Leonard Vole (Dan Basiletti) has been charged with the murder of his elderly friend, Emily French, a wealthy widow who had grown fond of Leonard. So fond that she has left him her entire estate in her will. Leonard liked spending time with Emily, and even his wife, Romaine (Thursday Savage), approved, although the two never met.

When the victim is found bleeding on the carpet in her London home, all signs seem to implicate Leonard, who is beyond flustered. Through his attorney, Mr Mayhew (Rob Pawlikowski), Leonard comes under the wing of legal eagle Sir Wilfrid Robarts, QC (Jonathan Jacobsen).

Opposing counsel, Mr Myers, QC (Timothy Huber), sets a furious tone in the courtroom, as Mr Vole’s palpable angst is on display. Leaving the defendant little wiggle room, Sir Robarts fight valiantly in hopes of an acquittal.

The plot thickens and writhes until it boils over within the confines of the court room, which is excellently rendered by Leif Smith. There was no escaping the truth.

This production is well-served by some truly standout performances in the main roles and supported by solid performances in the smaller roles.

Bewildered and grieving, Daniel Basiletti is just terrific as the accused. He practically leaps from the defendant’s box in response to the claims being made against him.

Mr Basiletti’s every nerve appears to be firing in response to his circumstances, as does barrister for the prosecution, Timothy Huber. His Mr Myers is all bluster and loaded for bear. He is determined to place this case in his win column and nothing, not even his wig tic, will stop him.

Tim Huber is a terrific comedic actor, and he completely captures the sputtering silliness of his character when pressed.

Thursday Savage’s Romaine is steady and determined. She maintains her composure with defiance and a stubbornness that is completely entertaining.

Likewise with Maureen Sheehan’s portrayal of Janet Mackenzie, a longtime aide to the deceased. The authenticity of her character is humorous in its intensity. Both of these actors do an excellent job with their roles.

An absolutely powerhouse performance by Jonathan Jacobson is on full display. His rendition of the lawyer facing significant headwinds is thorough as he sees this case to its end.

Director Frank Arcaro has milked every moment of suspense from the script and guided the actors through the tangles of this mystery. It is a job very well done.

Catch this twisting tale of intrigue while you can, then mum’s the word! For a fabulous evening of theater, Witness for the Prosecution will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Performances continue weekends to Friday, October 11, on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons, September 29 and October 6. For ticket details, reservations, and other information, call 860-350-6863 or visit theatreworks.us.

Tonight is also this production's Pay-What-You-Want night, where patrons name the price of their ticket. Doors open at 7, curtain is at 8.

TheatreWorks New Milford’s theater is at 5 Brookside Avenue in New Milford. Parking is located behind The Catherine E. Lillis Administration Building, at 50 East Street.

TheatreWorks New Milford is the base for “a fabulous evening of theater,” according to Theater Reviewer Elizabeth Young. Shown in a scene from the Agatha Christie drama is, from left, Rob Pawlikowski as attorney Mr Mayhew, Daniel Basiletti as the accused Leonard Vole, Timothy Huber as opposing counsel Mr Myers, Evelyn DeRobertis as the court stenographer, and Dee Dee Ball Calvey as the court usher. —Richard Pettibone photo
Mr Mayhew (Rob Pawlikowski) and Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Jonathan Jacobson) discuss a point in , the current production of TheatreWorks New Milford. —Richard Pettibone photo
Sir Wilfrid Roberts (Jonathan Jacobson, foreground) makes a statement in court in a scene from Witness for the Prosecution at TheatreWorks New Milford. Also featured in the cast are, from left, Evelyn DeRobertis as the court stenographer, Jonathan Ross as Justice Wainwraight, and Peter Philip as Clerk of the Court. —Richard Pettibone photo
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply