Top row.....Douglas Wade, Robert G. Siverls, Darnell Shelton (behind Siverls), Sean C. Turner, Reginald L. Barnes, Claudia Rodriguez, Jonathan Duran, Stage Manager Norman Small
Queens’ community theatre is offering a summer of well-known plays, such as “You Can’t Take It With You,” “And Then There Were None,” “Side By Side By Sondheim,” “Follies” and “Guys and Dolls.”
But this summer’s theatrical offerings also include alesser known piece, “Timeless, the Mystery of the Dark Water,” which will be performed at The Black Spectrum Theatre. It was by the company’s founder, Carl Clay, and is having a comeback following last year’s successful run.
This thought-provoking drama centers around a homicide and the subject of being reincarnated, so life becomes continual.
As the play opens, Kyle (Reginald L. Barnes) being questioned by Detectives Po (Douglas Wade) and Johnson (Sean C. Turner) about the murder of a woman named Mya (Claudia Rodriguez). Kyle is in turmoil from recurring nightmares, and the detectives bring in a psychologist, Mrs. Bridges (Edythe Jason) to question him.
While Kyle tells his story, we view that story through flashbacks, with the first being at a bar Kyle frequents.
That bar is where he meets Mya, a psychologist interested in exploring past lives. She is alone. We then meet the hefty bartender (David F. French), as well as Kyle’s longtime best friend, Mel (Jonathan Durant).
Kyle and Mya hit it off and go to Mya’s apartment with the understanding that Kyle will allow her to do past-life regressions on him.
The more that Mya learns, the more she becomes afraid as she recognizes that in a past life she was killed, and even killed again. She has an idea of who will kill her (in the flashback).
The problem with reincarnation is that you come back as a completely different person, and even someone of the opposite sex.
Aside from an excellent cast, kudos must be given first to the director, Bette Howard.
Music, which added much to the effects, is provided by Onage Allan Grumbs. Throw in the special visuals, set construction, and some additional music from Derek Galloway. All of these make it much easier to follow this somewhat confusing whodunit.
House Manager Bonnie I. Davis introduces the show as well as coming out during intermission to poll the audience on who they think is the killer.
Stand-out performances came from the two leads, Barnes and Rodriguez. Barnes has a long list of professional credits, and Rodriguez, whose resumé is not as lengthy, makes up for it in talent.
The two detectives also add some much needed comic relief to the proceedings.
If you Go
“Timeless, the Mystery of the Dark Water”
When: Through June 12, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 4 pm
Where: Black Spectrum Theatre, Roy Wilkins Park, 177th Street and Baisley Boulevard, Jamaica
Contact: (718) 723-1800
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