Episode: Dance Diabolique
First aired: January 5, 1992
Stephen stars as Barry Carroll, the stage manager for Jessica Fletcher’s (Angela Lansbury) friend’s ballet company. Jeffery has decided to do a ballet that has been done only twice and, both times, the ballerina has died. When strange accidents start happening to the company, Jessica investigates.
Edward, the choreographer and who plays Death in the ballet, explains that it was first performed in Russia by the Czar’s reported mistress and, when she died during the performance, he wanted it never to be seen again. The next time it was performed in Paris, the ballerina died of a heart attack. It is considered a cursed ballet.
Barry had been a former dancer and had been injured when he lifted a ballerina and her weight shifted. He fell and, after numerous surgeries, his career had ended.
The ballerina was his former lover and the company’s lead ballerina, Lilly, with whom he is trying to reconcile, but she will have nothing to do with him. Her current lover is Edward.
During the ballet, Lilly is supposed to pretend she is dead, but the group discovers she is really dead. An autopsy finds that she was poisoned. There are several suspects among the company, including Barry.
It is later reveled that Edward feared Lilly would dump him, as she did Barry, and he couldn’t stand that. He killed her by inserting needles into the cheeks of the skull he carried as Death and, when she touched the sides, her hands were pricked and she was poisoned.