Long Beach Playhouse delivers engaging mystery with ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Updated: Feb 24

Eric Schiffer (center) as Hercule Poirot in Long Beach Playhouse's "Murder on the Orient Express" (Photo by Mike Hardy)

How do you put a passenger train car in the middle of the Long Beach Playhouse (LBPH) Mainstage Theatre? With video projection, clever staging and a tightly orchestrated ensemble cast. All of those factors also conspire to make LBPH’s production of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” a well-paced, engaging mystery.

Adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig and expertly directed by James Rice, “Murder on the Orient Express” finds famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot boarding a luxury liner in Istanbul with several other colorful characters. A snowstorm in Yugoslavia stalls the train and one of its passengers is fatally stabbed, leaving Poirot to figure out who did it—and why.

The story begins at the Istanbul train-station restaurant where Poirot (Eric Schiffer) meets his friend Monsieur Bouc (Lee Samuel Tanng), director of the train. However, a multimedia set...

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“Murder on the Orient Express” continues at the Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theatre, 5021 E. Anaheim St., through Feb. 12, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 to $24 and can be purchased by calling the box office at (562) 494-1014 or visiting LBPlayhouse.org.

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