March 26, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 93  

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Jigsaw: a puzzle shrouded in mystery

Starring: Anne-Marie Caicco, Caroline Dolny Guerin, Scott Holden-Jones
Written & Directed by: Jayson McDonald

By Deanna DiMenna
Gazette Staff

Richard Gilmore/2004
GOD WILL SAVE ME! Eric James stars as Eric Painter and Shannon Wyant as Vivienne in the mystery play, Jigsaw.

As I stared into the dark, a mysterious woman with long hair covering her face, dressed in a ragged white dress, suddenly ran across the stage repeatedly screaming, “What have you done?” An image of the freaky little girl from the horror movie The Ring suddenly entered my head.

A creepy narrator (Dolny Guerin) appeared in shadow at the back of the stage, and the mystery of Jigsaw , began.

When an infant’s bones are discovered at a local construction site, Father Eric (Eric James) and Lois Manchen (Lil Malinich), a local archaeologist, are called in to solve the case. They are soon made aware of eerie changes in their surroundings at Lois’ apartment, including strange phone calls, knocks at the door at late hours and a piece of a novel called Jigsaw — which turns out to be the springboard for the plot.

Crossed phone lines take us back to the 1960s, where Lauren (Caicco), a local reporter, and detective Eric Godbout (Holden-Jones) discover another fragment of a novel entitled Jigsaw Puzzle, which refers to another mystery. It’s soon made apparent that all four characters are attempting to solve the same riddle — “Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you... ” appears in both novels and is recited throughout the play.

The second act places the characters in the basement of the Rose Hotel where they encounter a prostitute, Vivienne (Shannon Wyant), who had scandalous sexual relations with a priest and became the mother of an infant known as “Blue Rose.”

One of the best scenes in the play mixes the present day with a ’60s flashback. The scene shows the four characters in a panicked state attempting to uncover the mysterious events that took place before the Rose Hotel burned down in 1925, causing the infant’s death.

However, Father Eric and Lois are unaware of detective Eric and Lauren’s presence, creating an interesting effect that allows dialogue to shoot back and forth between the two parties.

Jigsaw is a captivating play with a complex plot, which is carefully planned and extremely well written. The mystery engages the audience at all times, constantly begging the question, “What happens next?” Jigsaw will leave you with chills running down your spine!

Jigsaw runs tonight at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Evening tickets are $12, and matinees are $6. They are available at the door, or in advance, by calling 642-2767. The show runs at The Arts Project, 203 Dundas St. between Richmond and Colborne Sts..



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