From May 26th to June 26th during TheatreFest 2005, University Theatre at N.C. State will present three vintage mysteries, performed in rotating repertory, in NCSU’s Thompson Theatre in Raleigh, NC. This trio of nail-biters includes the 1995 comedy thriller The Butler Did It by Walter Marks and Peter Marks, the 1956 British whodunit Appointment with Death by Dame Agatha Christie, and the 1952 melodrama Dial “M” for Murder by Frederick Knott.

Terri L. Janney will direct The Butler Did It, which opens May 26th; John C. McIlwee will direct Appointment with Death, which opens June 2nd; and Fred Gorelick will direct Dial “M” for Murder, which opens June 16th.

In preshow publicity, University Theatre at N.C. State describes its murder-mystery marathon as follows:

The Butler Did It: “This deft and diabolically clever thriller mingles laughter and chills as it skillfully unwinds its twisted tale of murder and mayhem in the glittering world of the theatre. Director/writer Anthony J. Lefcourt ‘stages’ the murder of one of his actresses after which the plot (onstage and offstage) twists and turns with dazzling ingenuity and hilarity until a surprise ending sets the matter straight in a most bizarre and ironic way.” (Click here for a full-length preview of The Butler Did It.)

Appointment with Death: “In the King David Hotel in the Holy Land sits the corpse of Mrs. Boynton, the cruel and tyrannizing matriarch of the Boynton family. A tiny puncture mark on her wrist is the only sign of the fatal injection that killed her. With only 24 hours available to solve the mystery, Dr. Gerard recalls a remark he overheard back in Jerusalem: ‘You do see, don’t you, that she’s got to be killed?’ Mrs. Boynton was, indeed, the most detestable woman he had ever met.”

Dial “M” for Murder: “Who could possibly have a more perfect marriage than the beautiful and smart Margot and her former tennis pro husband Tony? In the shadows of their London flat, appearances are not only deceiving, but deadly. Be an accomplice to the murder from plan to execution and discover all the reasons why Hitchcock chose to film this masterpiece of suspense…. [T]his is not as much a ‘Who done it?’ as much as a ‘Will he get away with it?’ The tension is cleverly maintained until the very end of the play.”

University Theatre at N.C. State presents TheatreFest 2005: The Butler Did It (8 p.m. May 26-28, 3 p.m. May 29, and 8 p.m. June 1, 4, 8, and 10), Appointment with Death (8 p.m. June 2 and 3, 3 p.m. June 5, 8 p.m. June 9 and 11, 3 p.m. June 12, and 8 p.m. June 15 and 18),and Dial “M” for Murder (8 p.m. June 16 and 17, 3 p.m. June 19, 8 p.m. June 22-25, and 3 p.m. June 26) in NCSU’s Thompson Theatre, corner of Dunn Ave. and Jensen Dr., Raleigh, North Carolina. Season tickets: $33 ($15 N.C. State students and $28 other students, seniors, and NCSU faculty and staff). 919/515-1100. University Theatre at N.C. State: [inactive 10/07]. TheatreFest 2005 Postcard and Order Form: [inactive 10/07].