Theater 4’s current production of “Private Eyes” by Steven Dietz could be a mystery with humor, a comedy with deadly surprises or a two hour session on a psychiatrist’s couch.  You decide which as you watch a play rehearsal morph into a real life marital problem, with a healthy dose of fantasy tossed in for good measure.

Theater 4, a professional Equity company, began in 2007, with the inspired leadership of Jane Tamarkin, Jackie Sidle, Rebecka Jones and Mariah Sage, all actors in their own right who wanted to encourage live performance.  To that end, “Private Eyes” began May 13 with a benefit for AIDS Project New Haven at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre Stage II , with two additional performances May 14 and 15.

AIDS Project New Haven provides a caring cuisine nutrition program, empowers people to lead productive lives and offers alternative therapies as well as education on prevention and awareness.

“Private Eyes” continues Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5 at the Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown and concludes its run at “The Kate,” the Katherine Hepburn Theater, Thursday through Sunday, June 10 to 13, in Old Saybrook.

Theater 4’s mission is to provide affordable entertainment, focusing on local artists and properties and have a great time doing it.  All four talented ladies enjoy acting, directing and producing and take turns being in front of the spotlight. 

This time around Rebecka Jones stars as Lisa, an actress/waitress/wife who may be carrying on an affair with her new play’s British director Adrian (Robert Resnikoff).  Her husband Matthew (Philip M. Gardiner) is not sure, but he has enlisted the aid of a psychiatrist (Jackie Sidle) as well as a private detective Cory (Mariah Sage) to help him determine her guilt or innocence.  The plot twists will keep you guessing, along with Matthew, until the curtain figuratively falls.

Theater 4 started off three years ago with a two woman offering “Collected Stories,” by acclaimed New Haven playwright Donald Margulies.  It was at their inaugural production that Middletown actor Robert Resnikoff, who plays the less-than-savory Adrian in their current work, first saw the troupe.  “When I saw the level of the quality of the performance, I told Mariah (Sage) I’d like to perform if you do a play with a role for a guy. Call me.”

In addition, Theater 4 has done “Anton in Show Business” at New Haven’s Little Theatre as well as commissioning a quartet of new plays for Lena’s Café and Confections.  Jane Tamarkin as director this time around loves the rehearsal time most of all and steps back once the show is mounted.

“Private Eyes” was a good choice because “it’s not easy to find juicy parts for women and this show has three great female roles.”  Once the play is mounted for Tamarkin, the “fun is over” which might explain why after opening night she flew to Australia to teach another of her passions, barbershop quartet singing.

For tickets (donation of $20 ) to “Private Eyes” at the Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street, Middletown on Friday and Saturday, June 4 and 5 at 8 p.m., call 203-654-7711 or online at www.t4ct.org.  For tickets ($32) to the show at “The Kate,” the Katherine Hepburn Theater, 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook, on Thursday, June 10 at 8 p.m., Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m., Saturday, June 12 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 13 at 3 p.m., call 877-503-2386 or online at www.thekate.org. 

Watch how quickly and effortlessly lies and fabrications fly out of control as the guilty try to protect themselves and also shield the innocent in Steven Dietz’s inspired “Private Eyes.”


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