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‘Best Night Ever:’ Baruch play is a trippy murder mystery

Briana King

Baruch College’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts play “Best Night Ever” premiered at The Bernie West Theatre on Nov. 14. The production was a neo-noir psychological drama written by playwright Barbara Suter and directed by Christopher Scott.

The play follows the story of Peg and her imminent murder. In this whodunnit-esque storyline, there is one main suspect, Jake, played by Ethan Lee, who was there the night of the crime.

As Jake is intensely interrogated by a temperamental detective played by Jesse Kabongo, the shocking and disturbing details of that night begin to unfold, taking the audience on a whirlwind of emotions. Jake’s roommate, played by Raoul Gadir, becomes implicated in the case once he is called in for questioning by the police. After the interrogation, he struggles with his perception of the Jake he has known since college and the Jake who could possibly be a murderer.

The other witness, bartender Tina, played by Kali En Paz, was working at the bar where the duo so happened to meet and was also questioned by the detective. Her apathetic attitude toward the death of her alleged friend raised suspicion for the detective, leading to an unexpected confession.

The set of “Best Night Ever” blurred the lines of time and space. Characters would seemingly be in a police station’s interrogation room and then turn and have dialogue with someone at the bar. Similarly, characters recount a story while dialogue from a previous scene was spoken, allowing the audience to compare the two scenes.

“[It] was a really great show with compelling drama, and kept me wondering if I could trust the male lead,” a Baruch student said.

Suter is known for other works like “The Big Giant Bookstore” and “Places Please.” Scott is an adjunct professor for Baruch’s Fine and Performing Arts Department and has been directing and acting in Off-Broadway and educational theater for decades.

The student cast all had different takeaways from the play’s subject matter.

“I think we are all accountable in some way for the people we come across, what impression they leave on us…at the end of the day, it’s the impression we make that influences our lives,” En Paz said in an interview with The Ticker.

Hannah Czerwinkski, who plays Peg, said the play brought awareness to speaking up about mental health. “I think it is important because it breaks the stigmatization of being quiet, and not being afraid to stand up for yourself, and shows how you don’t know what everyone is going through,” she said.

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