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Proper pairings make MLT's 'The Westing Game' a delight

| Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

Mystery fans can put their sleuthing skills to the test to figure out “whodunnit” at McKeesport Little Theater.

Ellen Raskin's “The Westing Game” comes to life Friday through Sunday and Nov. 22-24 as the heirs to the Westing estate try to figure out who is responsible for the death of the eccentric millionaire.

When the residents of Sunset Towers are called together for the reading of the rather mysterious will, they are divided into groups of two and given an envelope with some very cryptic clues.

As the mystery begins to unfurl, unique bonds are formed that result in some amazing outcomes.

Add some pretty good special effects to the great story and theater goers are in for an evening of intrigue.

The 15-member ensemble does a good job trying to piece the clues together. Cindy Swanson is great as Grace Windsor Wexler, the rather overbearing mother of bride-to-be Angela (Melissa Lingsch) and 13-year-old Turtle (Victoria Perl, who does a great job in a pivotal role). Paired with James Shin Hoo (Steven Gallagher), they become friends; she is great after having one too many drinks and pulls it off beautifully.

Dominic Romano-Toppetta is amazing as wheelchair-bound Chris. An illness has left him unable to walk and he struggles to talk, and Romano-Toppetta makes the situation seem very real. He is paired with the sometimes obnoxious Dr. Denton Deere (Ron Clawson), who ends up doing a very selfless act for his new friend.

Rose-Lorene Miller as Berthe Erica Crow and Bob Miller as the somewhat wacky Otis Amber are an unlikely pair in many ways. The duo that puts their heads together to try to solve the mystery are Judge J.J. Ford (Tonita Davidson) and Sandy McSouthers (Timothy Dougherty, who is great as the doorman and as Barney Northrup, who got the heirs to lease rooms at the apartment building).

Travis Jenkins as Theo and Noah Zamamiri as Doug Hoo make up a team, as do Perl and Anna Marie Colecchi as seamstress Flora Baumbach, and the hypochondriac Sydelle Pulaski (Lee Ann Gerkin) works with the bride-to-be. Stephen Toth is good as attorney Edward Plumb, who has the dubious task of reading the will, and as Dr. Sikes.

If you like a good mystery, “The Westing Game” should please.

Carol Waterloo Frazier is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1916, or cfrazier@tribweb.com.

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