By Colin Foster
TROY — The popular play “Angel Street” is coming to the Troy Civic Theatre.
The play, written by Patrick Hamilton, was first produced on London’s West End under the title “Gaslight,” before turning into a Broadway hit and the Academy Award-winning film “Gaslight” (1944).
The cast includes some TCT veterans along with some first-timers. It stars local actors Wendi Michael, Steve Dietrich and Peter Wallace and features Jennifer Kaufman as Nancy and Niccole SueAnn Wallace as Elizabeth. Peg Dietrich, the stage manager, and guest director Michael Rousculp are working with a crew of roughly 20 people.
“I’m very happy with the cast — they’re all doing a great job,” Rousculp said. “It’s a difficult play because each of these three main characters have so many lines; I mean it just goes on and on and on.”
“Angel Street” is a Victorian thriller set in London in the 1880s, which tells the demonic story of the Manningham’s of Angel Street. Jack Manningham (played by Dietrich) is slowly driving his wife, Bella Manningham (Michael), to the brink of insanity. While Jack is out, Bella receives an unexpected message from Inspector Rough (Peter Wallace) from Scotland Yard, who is convinced that Jack is a homicidal maniac wanted for a murder committed 15 years earlier in the Manningham’s home. Gradually, the inspector restores Bella’s confidence in herself and as the evidence against her husband begins to unfold, creating some of the most suspenseful sequences in modern theater.
The director is no stranger to the stage himself.
Rousculp, who spent 39 years as school a psychologist in Darke anf Montgomery counties and in the Columbus area, has been involved in community theater since the mid 1970s. He’s directed for the Dayton Playhouse and Tipp City Players, to name a few, but this is the first time he’s directed for Troy Civic Theatre. He has also appeared in past TCT productions, including the 2011 production of “To Gillian on her 37th Birthday.”
Currently, Rousculp plays in two bands — one is a blues band and the other is the popular Beatles tribute band “Ticket To Ride,” where he portrays the legendary Paul McCartney.
“Angel Street” premieres at 8 p.m. Friday at the Barn in the Park across from Hobart Arena. The following show dates include Saturday (8 p.m.), Sunday (4 p.m.), March 7 (8 p.m) and March 8 (8 p.m.). For ticket information, call 339-7700.
Rousculp said the audience can expect a little bit of everything with the production.
“It takes place in Victorian times, 1880 London. It has a little bit of everything — murder, hidden treasure, psychological abuse … it’s thrilling edge-of-your-seat type stuff,” Rousculp said.