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‘Gaslight’ brings psychological thriller to stage

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POLSON — Jack Manningham is a bully: controlling, manipulative and verbally abusive. 

He is played to perfection by Port Polson Players veteran Bob DiGiallonardo in “Gaslight,” a Victorian thriller set in the drawing room of an 1800s London home.

As the story begins, Jack badgers his wife, Bella Manningham, played by Karen Lewing, about misplaced bills and lost jewelry, as he attempts to make her doubt her sanity. Elizabeth, the housekeeper, played by Desiree Alexander, knows what’s cooking in the household; and Nancy, a sassy maid, played by Jeanie Siragusa, with an eye for the master, remain with Bella when Jack leaves the house most evenings and disappears for hours. 

Enter Inspector Rough, a policeman who worked on a murder case in the Manningham’s house that was never solved. Neal Lewing plays Rough. 

That’s all that can be revealed or it will spoil the story. 

The viewer needs to pay close attention to pick up subtle clues as the play begins. “Gaslight” is a serious play with only a couple of light moments. When the action picks up, the great acting pulls you away from a log theater in Polson, Montana, to a Victorian house in London. It’s well done and will make you appreciate all the talent in this community.   

“Gaslight” was written by Patrick Hamilton and first produced in London in 1938. It opens on July 1 and runs through July 19 at the John Dowdall Theater. Show times are 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Next on the Port Polson Player playbill will be:

• “Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do,” a musical comedy featuring the music of Neil Sedaka from July 23 – Aug. 9

• “Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Dramatic Society Murder Mystery,” a British comedy Aug. 13 – Aug. 30

For information or reservations, call 883-9212.

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