Sunday, October 9

Theater Review: From Dark Pages tracks Jack the Ripper

Progressive plays lead the audience throughout an area rather than performing on stage in front of a sitting audience. From Dark Pages is performed in this method, covering the three-story 1865 home known as the Morris-Butler House, 1204 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis.

Being new to this type of theater, it didn't take a second thought to accept an invitation extended by Indiana Landmarks organization. It's best to arrive 15 minutes early as the performance starts promptly.
Upon arrival, you are escorted or directed toward the sitting room to await host Dr. Watson, portrayed by Terry Wetherald. Yes, that Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes' fame. Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, performed by John Skipper, arrives to help guide the audience throughout the museum to meet Victorian-era characters (remember to curtsy or bow to the Queen) and uncover facts regarding infamous Jack the Ripper.

The ultimate goal is to discover the true identity of London's murderer of Whitechapel's ladies of the evening. One such lady, Elizabeth Stride, portrayed by Cyndi Skipper, meanders about the museum, propositioning audience and cast members, and offering opinions of the case in the most delightful way possible. Until she is brutally murdered.

Wetherald, John and Cyndi Skipper interact with each other and the audience in a thoroughly enjoyable manner, inserting one-liners while sharing advice about the case. Characters met along the journey include royalty, a medium, and dead bodies. Although a few parts are somewhat grisly, the bantering keeps the mood light.

Bottom Line: Amateur sleuths, literary and history buffs alike will enjoy From Dark Pages, as this twist to normal theater fare offers a relaxed and entertaining performance in an Indiana historical landmark.
For tickets, performance times and directions, click IndianaLandmarks/FromDarkPages.
Photo from website.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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