It’s a killer
Murderous mystery at Claire vg
by Christopher Key
Deathtrap director Christopher Jones could have put on a total stinker and I would have forgiven him simply because he used Bela Fleck and the Flecktones for the pre-show and scene change music. On such choices do reviews sometimes depend. In this case, there is no need for forgiveness because the season-opening show from the Lynden Performing Arts Guild is to die for.
The legendary Ira Levin wrote the script. In case that name doesn’t ring a bell, he was also responsible for Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives. ‘Nuff said. Deathtrap ran for more than four years and 1800 performances on Broadway, setting some records along the way. You can take it to the bank that there is nail-biting suspense and enough plot twists to delight even the most jaded aficionados of the genre.
David Bolden leads the way with his trademark intensity as fading playwright Sidney Bruhl, who suddenly becomes a character in one of his own scripts. He gets very little down time in this production and handles a massive line load with absolute aplomb.
As his bewildered wife, Stephanie Blankers gets offed rather early on. But she delivers a nuanced performance as she watches her once mild-mannered mate morph into a murdering monster.
The dependably dotty Carole May steals the show as Helga ten Dorp, the psychic neighbor who sees all, knows all and tells a helluva lot more. Her performance alone is worth the price of admission.
Poor Rossner Gideon. He gets type cast far too often as the male ingénue thanks to his youthful countenance. This production gives him the chance to be both the innocent and a serious badass and he pulls off the difficult character transformation with absolute conviction.
Sandy Brewer doesn’t get much stage time, but he also gets to play a character that is against type. His acting chops are such that he manages to bring off a stereotypically scheming lawyer with fine style.
One of the things that characterizes a Christopher Jones show is a magnificent set. This stunning design nearly overwhelms the actors. It is an architectural masterpiece and the meticulous attention to detail helps make the show seriously rock. It’s obvious that they nearly emptied the Lynden Pioneer Museum of antique weapons of limited destruction. Not to mention museum pieces such as typewriters.
Costumer Stephanie Maksin has an unerring eye for the details that make the 1980s setting genuine. Jamie Vos designed the evocative lighting.
Deathtrap performs September 20 through October 7 at the Claire vg Thomas Theatre, 655 Front Street in Lynden. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors/students and $8 for children. The box office is open Tuesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the theatre. Reservations can be made by phone at (360) 354-4425. See the LPAG website for precise dates and times.
# # #