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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

‘Dial M for Murder’ Revitalizes Hitchcock’s Classic at the Guthrie

‘Dial M’ is a well-directed entertaining story that brings out the best of the cast and delivers compelling scenes throughout.

“Dial M for Murder” at the Guthrie takes a twist on the traditional murder mystery genre, infusing effective humor into a suspenseful narrative that will keep even the most critical mystery fans on the edge of their seats.

Originally a 1952 BBC TV production and later adapted into a stage play and a 1954 Hitchcock film, Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation premiered in July 2022, revitalizing the classic story. 

Hatcher’s adaptation sets an alluring mood from the beginning. At first glance, the stage comes alive with a meticulously crafted set design, hinting at the thrilling story awaiting the audience. The colors of the costumes align well with the set, adding a pop of vibrance that contrasts beautifully with the dark and enigmatic atmosphere. The production’s set and well-written script strongly capture the aesthetic of a 1950s Hitchcock film.

The plot follows the scheme of Tony Wendice to murder his unfaithful wife, Margot, who is blackmailed for a missing love letter. Unaware of Tony’s intentions, Margot’s self-defense complicates his plan. Unlike a classic murder mystery, “Dial M for Murder” is not a whodunit. The audience knows who did it and there is excitement in finding out if he’ll get away with it.

The cast delivers a delightful blend of suspense and humor, with each actor bringing their character to life with charm and authenticity. However, it’s Brian Thomas Abraham’s portrayal of Inspector Hubbard and his impeccable mustache that truly steal the show. With his commanding presence and consistently humorous line delivery, Abraham effortlessly captivates the audience’s attention and excellently adds the comedic element to the production.

via The Guthrie Theater

Regardless, I was not impressed with the sound design. It feels inconsistent, particularly with the attempt at outdoor ambiance. At times, the sound effects meant to represent crickets outside at night sound distorted and repetitive, resembling the end of a record stuck in a loop rather than the natural ambiance intended. While a classic jazzy mystery track added to the conclusion of certain scenes, it is sparingly used. I would have liked to hear more of it consistently throughout the production.

Nevertheless, “Dial M for Murder” is well-directed by Tracy Brigden, with a clear and entertaining story that brings out the best of the cast and delivers compelling scenes throughout. The show is certainly worth seeing at the Guthrie before the final performance on Feb. 25.

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About the Contributor
Tyler Quattrin, Print Editor-in-Chief and Features Editor
Hello! I am thrilled to be a print Editor-in-Chief for my third year on The Viewer. Outside of The Viewer, I am a captain of the Mounds View Boys Swim and Dive team. Feel free to reach out to me directly at [email protected]. Awards:  Best of SNO - Mounds View Theater casting sparks controversy Best of SNO - Pro-life activists rally against Minnesota abortion legislation Best of SNO - From Mounds View to the MN Supreme Court: Chief Justice Hudson's distinguished career Journalism Day at The Guthrie runner up - ‘Dial M for Murder’ Revitalizes Hitchcock’s Classic at the Guthrie
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