Warren Ellis, co-director of Genesius Guild’s production of “Dial M for Murder,” hopes his production of the classic mystery inspires audience members to showcase their own thespian skills.

“I hope they enjoy the show, and I’m always one that hopes it will interest someone into trying out and being in a show,” he said. “That’s one thing I like to see come out of community theater.”

Opening Friday and running through Oct. 8 at Hammond’s First United Methodist Church, “Murder” is the tale of Tony Wendice, a recently retired tennis player who discovers an affair between his wife, Margot, and author Max Haliday. Wendice connives an old college friend, C.A. Swann, to assist him in exacting revenge on Margot, while Inspector Hubbard is hot on the trail to find the true culprit.

Penned by British playwright Frederick Knott, whose credits include the equally acclaimed thriller “Wait Until Dark,” “Murder” was first brought to the stage in 1952. Its most famous adaptation came two years later when Alfred Hitchcock adapted it for the stage starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly as the Wendices.

Over the last six decades-plus, “Murder” has been revived on the stage and screen, most notably as 1998’s “A Perfect Murder,” starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Pat Pohrte is Tony Wendice in Genesius Guild’s “Murder” and are joined by Christina Biancardi as Margot Wendice, Ross Myers stars as Haliday and Yogi Williams is Hubbard.

“Everyone in this cast is very talented,” Ellis said.

Proceeds from Genesius Guild’s Oct. 1 show will go to the Hammond Shelter Neighborhood Meal program. Additionally, attendees of the Oct. 7 show can receive up to $3 off the ticket price by bringing non-perishable food items, which will go to First United Methodist Church’s Food Pantry.

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