EDISON, NJ—This reviewer is directly familiar with the commitment, the toil, and the expense that’s applied to a non-equity stage production.

Those who participate in it should be commended for the time they dedicate to keep local theater alive and vital.

That being said, Edison Valley’s choice to stage “Rehearsal for Murder” may not have been the most prudent of decisions.

A 1983 Edgar Award winner in the teleplay for mystery cateogry, this whodunit doesn’t transfer to the stage very well. Ironic, since it’s about theater and takes place in one.

One of the early problems that set the tone was the excessive exposition by character Alex Dennison played well by Mike Levine.

The rest of the dialogue has a tendency to be redundant and somewhat stilted.  Even with its collection of diverse and interesting characters, the play had a tendency to be static.

Another issue with “Rehearsal for Murder” was the Deus ex machina that blatantly occurred in the second act.

On a more positive note, Elizabeth Mohan’s costumes certainly captured the play’s theme and were well suited to the production.

Director John Carrol Jr. and the cast: including Mike Levine, Gary Koseyan, Kathryn Risi, Charlene Correll, Harvey Rothman and Axel Carrion, all did a fine job with the material they had.

“Rehearsal for Murder” runs until February 7.  More information is available at evplayhouse.com.

Reporter at New Brunswick Today