Farmington Players take on classic Agatha Christie mystery

Ten strangers, a remote island, and a murdering maniac come together on stage next month in the Farmington Players production of “And Then There Were None,” based on a classic Agatha Christie novel.

And Then There Were None
Pictured from left: Row 1-Eric Goldstein (standing), Michelle Feneberg, Rick Mickley (kneeling), Karen Southworth, Michael Rea (kneeling); Row 2-Gary Weinstein, Tony Targan, Jeffrey Graham, Jarrod Henderson; Row 3-Eric Nogas (photo by Jan Cartwright)

The show, directed by Farmington resident Laurie Smallis, opens Friday, Feb. 9 and runs weekends through Sunday, Feb. 25.

This gripping tale will have audience fearing for the characters’ lives, questioning the mystery killer’s motives, and wondering who (if anyone) will survive, while struggling to solve this puzzle as the stage fills with fresh corpses.

And Then There Were None
Pictured from left: Michelle Feneberg, Michael Rea, an Tony Targan. (photo by Jan Cartwright)

Guests who arrive on the island for a weekend party include: an ingénue, a suave adventurer, a military officer, a disapproving prude, a reckless playboy, an uncouth cop, a medical man and a respected judge, along with a cook and a butler. The one secret they have in common: They’ve all been suspected of causing a death in their lives. As the story unfolds, the killer will exact justice with deadly methods linked to a menacing nursery rhyme.

“It has been a dream of mine to direct an Agatha Christie mystery, and this has been a thrilling adventure,” said Smallis. Making the popular play “fresh and exciting” was one of her biggest challenges. “I knew that one way to do that was to actually use the original novel as a guide with Ms. Christie’s own words describing each character in sordid detail.”

And Then There Were None
From left: Front row-Rick Mickley, Michael Rea, Tony Targan, Gary Weinstein, Jeffrey Graham; Back row-Karen Southworth (photo by Jan Cartwright)

Barn regular Gary Weinstein of Farmington Hills channels the famous TV cop of the 70’s “Columbo” in his role as Detective William Henry Blore. Agatha Christie was an expert in the art of misdirection, and no character personifies this better than Detective Blore.

Weinstein also enjoys the fact that Blore supplies a little comedy to this deadly drama.

“His simplemindedness lends him to be the perfect character for the play’s comic relief,” Weinstein said.

In the typical “whodunit,” the butler is always the prime suspect. Rick Mickley (Keego Harbor) plays the British manservant Thomas Rogers who enjoys his job and the luxuries it affords him and his wife Ethyl. Actress Karen Southworth (Plymouth) plays Ethyl to great comedic effect as the couple banter and bicker, while bodies drop around them in Mr. Rogers’ “deadly neighborhood.”

Mickley sees a Darwinist theme to “And Then There Were None,” in which only the fittest survive. “If you’re smart and sharp in this play, you stay one step ahead of the killer, but if you don’t …”

Sponsor Weinstein Jewelers of Novi will hold a special giveaway, with a $2,000 diamond as the grand prize. Patrons can exchange their ticket stubs for a bag containing a gemstone, which they can take to the store to learn whether they’ve won.

Reserved seats are available at farmingtonplayers.org or at the box office, 248-553-2955.

Press release