The Asolo Repertory Theatre is currently showcasing a gripping rendition of the classic thriller “Dial M for Murder.” This intense cat-and-mouse play revolves around the story of Tony Wendice, a failed writer – now a book publicist who has a sinister plan to murder his unfaithful wife, Margot. The production promises to keep audiences on the edge of their seats with its twists and turns, offering a thrilling experience for theater enthusiasts.

Opening night on March 22 drew an overwhelming crowd, and the audience responded to the show at times with resounding laughter, engaged throughout the entire performance. “Dial M for Murder” Director Céline Rosenthal commends Jeffrey Hatcher’s innovative approach to the classic thriller, notably applauding the heightened depth and agency bestowed upon the central female protagonists.

While preserving the play within its original period, Hatcher has adeptly polished outdated language and trimmed lengthy expository dialogues. However, his most compelling revisions lie in the alteration of the third character’s gender within the love triangle and the central character’s occupation, both of which amplify the stakes for all involved. These changes resonate with contemporary relevance, imbuing the narrative with validation, humor, and a striking timeliness. Rosenthal says, “Originally a classic damsel-in-distress, this rendition endows her with greater depth and agency–and even though we have preserved the 1950s setting, the story is so prescient that feels like it could be today. I find it empowering, validating, funny, and surprisingly relevant.”

Plot Summary:

Set in 1950s London, “DIAL M FOR MURDER” follows a husband’s sinister plot to murder his wife. When his plan takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself entangled in a desperate struggle to avoid detection. Will he succeed in his scheme, or will justice prevail? The only way to uncover the truth is to experience the twists and turns of this thrilling production.

Dial M for Murder is at Asolo Mertz Theatre through April 25. 
Photo by Sorcha Augustine

Director’s Background:

Céline Rosenthal, a Tony®-nominated producer and esteemed member of The Ring Of Keys, brings a wealth of experience to Asolo Rep. Her diverse directorial portfolio includes acclaimed productions such as “Grand Horizons,” “The Incident At Our Lady Of Perpetual Help,” and “Camelot.” Rosenthal’s commitment to new works is evident through collaborations with various theater organizations and their leadership in Asolo Rep’s new work series, The Ground Floor.


The cast features Tony Carter as Tony Wendice who is making his Asolo Rep debut and has an impressive background with notable performances across different theaters in Chicago and beyond.

The stellar ensemble also features Brooke Turner portraying Margot Wendice as a more complex character than the original, Zia Lawrence as Maxine Hadley who plays her scenes with dry comic wit, Mikhail Roberts as Lesgate, and Mark Benninghofen brings a light comic touch to Inspector Hubbard.

Asolo celebrates a 65th!

The Asolo Repertory Theatre recently celebrated its 65th anniversary! Asolo Repertory Theatre is Florida’s premier professional theatre, and is one of the most important cultural forces in the Southeastern United States. A center for theatrical excellence, Asolo Rep stages up to 15 productions every season, spanning a diverse repertoire of newly commissioned plays, bold reinterpretations of contemporary and classical works, and provocative new musical theatre experiences. To give a GIFT to Asolo in celebration of their stellar cultural contributions to Sarasota and also their 65th, click here.

The FSU Center for the Performing Arts houses two theatres. The main performance space for the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Note: Dial M For Murder is being performed at Mertz Theatre, FSU Center for Performing Arts.

~ Written by Andrea Martone with contributions from Candace Carson/

Andrea Mastrocinque-Martone is Sarasota Event Calendar’s Chief Editor. She is the former A & E Editor for Sarasota Observer Newspapers and is currently a public relations consultant.