This whodunit? play is so well-loved that Ross Valley Players sold out their opening night and had to bring in extra chairs. For good reason. This character-driven and exciting play keeps the audience guessing – and delightfully entertained.
Agatha Christie, that prolific mystery author, stipulated that film and television rights to The Mousetrap could not be sold until the London production closed. The Mousetrap opened 67 years ago and set the record for the longest-running stage play anywhere.
Director Adrian Elfenbaum skillfully controls the action and pacing of this true murder mystery, with a cast of actors who go over-the-top in their roles and accents.
The action is nonstop, the clues fly everywhere, and the ending has the typical Agatha Christie twist.
Welcome to an English bed-and-breakfast manor as the new and inexperienced owners, charmingly enacted by Heather Buck and Evan Held, anxiously await their very first guests. As they plump the pillows, the wireless (Brit for radio) is reporting a recent murder in London.
The fun begins with the arrival of an outrageously enthusiastic guest played by Andre Amarotico. He’s followed shortly by a prune-faced spinster, beautifully acted by Tori Truss who captures every disdainfully arched eyebrow imaginable. She’s annoyingly critical and a good balance for Steve Price, the proper Major and helpful gentleman. Maria Mikheyenko poses as the next arrival, an odd and clever young woman with indeterminate plans for the future.
The final guest is one without a reservation, claiming his car was stuck in the snow. Robert Molossi arrives with no luggage and a heavy accent, immediately arousing suspicions by all.
The wireless chirps an update on the recent murder, and a local detective sergeant (Steven Samp) arrives to alert and interview the guests. The connections between the guests, the manor house owners, and the London murder develop in scene after scene. Suddenly, the lights are out and one of the guests is dead. A piercing scream (kudos to Heather Buck), cut telephone lines, and the chase … begins. But whodunit?
No spoilers will come from this reviewer! The play has been a favorite not only for its puzzling mystery of the real killer, but for the fun to switch finger-pointing as more clues are revealed. The action is nonstop, the clues fly everywhere, and the ending has the typical Agatha Christie twist.
After the final curtain, a cast member announces “Now that we have seen The Mousetrap, you are our partners in crime. Please preserve the tradition to keep the secret of whodunit locked in your hearts.” It’s a worthy custom that will allow future audiences and generations to be caught up in The Mousetrap.
|Written by||Agatha Christie|
|Directed by||Adrian Elfenbaum|
|Producing Company||Ross Valley Players|
|Production Dates||Thru October 13th.|
|Production Address||Ross Valley Players
30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Greenbrae, CA 94904
|Telephone||415. 456. 9555|
|Tickets||$17 - $29|
|Reviewer Score||Max in each category is 5/5|
|Aisle Seat Review Pick?||YES!|