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'And Then There Were None' to open Feb. 16

Vera Claythorne played by Karla Johnson prepares to pull the trigger on Philip Lombard played by Eddie Binda in “And Then There Were None” in the staged mystery presented by Pequot Lakes Community Theatre. Submitted 1 / 2
Dr. Armstrong played by Travis Chaput checks the pulse of the befallen Anthony Marston played by Phylipe Bell, who went down with drink in hand during a production of “And Then There Were None” presented by Pequot Lakes Community Theatre. Witnessing the moment are characters played by Eddie Binda (left), Isaak Anderson, Larry Petrone, Peter Herzog and Ben Gordon. Submitted 2 / 2

PEQUOT LAKES—Pequot Lakes Community Theatre presents Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None," which will hit the stage Feb. 16-18 and 23-25 in the Pequot Lakes High School Theater.

Director Craig Friday and crew are preparing 11 local actors and actresses for this show, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, 17, 23 and 24 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25.

It is from Christie's novel, one of the best-selling books of all time, a news release stated. Ten strangers are summoned to the remote island mansion of an unknown host—one "Mr. Owen." They have but one thing in common: Each of them has a secret to hide and a crime for which they must pay. Each has been marked for murder.

"And Then There Were None" is one of Christie's darkest tales and a masterpiece of dramatic construction. Its growing sense of dread and unfaltering tension will keep the audience guessing to the very end.

When they arrive, the guests are greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, the butler and housekeeper, who report the host will not arrive until the next day. They become stranded as the weather takes a turn for the worst. The group is cut off from the mainland. The bloodbath begins and one by one they are brutally murdered in accordance with the lines of a sinister nursery rhyme.

Vera Claythorne, a former governess, thinks she has been hired as a secretary; Philip Lombard, an adventurer, and William Blore, an ex-detective, think they have been hired to look out for trouble over the weekend; Dr. Armstrong thinks he has been hired to look after the wife of the island's owner. Emily Brent, Gen. Macarthur, Tony Marston and Judge Wargrave think they are going to visit old friends.

That night, as all the guests gather in the drawing room after an excellent dinner, they hear a recorded voice accusing each of them of a specific murder committed in the past and never uncovered. They compare notes and realize that none of them, including the servants, knows "Mr. Owen," which suggests that they were brought here according to someone's strange plan.

As they discuss what to do, Tony Marston chokes on poisoned whiskey and dies. Frightened, the party retreats to bed, where almost everyone is plagued by guilt and memories of their crimes. Vera Claythorne notices the similarity between the death of Marston and the first verse of a nursery rhyme, "Ten Little Soldier Boys," that hangs over the fireplace mantel.

They all claim their innocence but yet they are all suspects. Who will survive? Who is the killer? The tension escalates as the survivors realize the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again.

The characters and actors portraying them:

Fred Narracott is being played by Gary Binda of Crosslake; Mr. (Tom) Rogers, Isaak Anderson,

Pine River; Mrs. (Ethel) Rogers, Liz Berg, Pequot Lakes; Anthony Marston, Phylipe Bell, Pequot Lakes; Vera Claythorne, Karla Johnson, Brainerd; Philip Lombard, Eddie Binda, Merrifield; Dr. Armstrong, Travis Chaput, Brainerd; William Blore, Ben Gordon, Pine River; Emily Brent, Jen Anderson, Pine River; General Mackenzie, Larry Petron, Nisswa; and Justice Lawrence Wargrave, Peter Herzog, Pequot Lakes.

The production crew includes Julie Friday of Crosslake as the stage manager; Kim Utesch of Pine River as the technical director; Jared Foss of Brainerd and Matthew Bonfig of Merrifield as the technicians; Tim Leagjeld of Pine River as the set designer and builder; Debra Binda of Crosslake as the costumer; and Gary Binda of Crosslake as the properties master.

Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., this production is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Local sponsor is Central Lakes College Theatre. The play's subject matter is intended for mature audiences and may not be suitable for those under age 12.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for youths. For information and tickets contact Pequot Lakes Community Education at 218-568-9200. Reserved seats also may be purchased online at www.glapa.info.

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