What the critics are saying:

Center REP's production of Deathtrap loaded with thrills and laughs

By Jan Miller
Correspondent

POSTED:   10/31/2014


The Center Repertory Company’s production of the stage thriller “Deathtrap” features a convincing cast that captivates the audience throughout with its combination of nail-biting thrilling moments mixed with moments of light-hearted laughter. A classic ‘whodunit’ mystery, “Deathtrap” directed by the talented John McCluggage, keeps the audience on the edge of its collectiveseat, while at the same time, instilling a bit of laughter, just to keep things interesting. 

The center of the plot of “Deathtrap” is that Sidney Bruhl (portrayed brilliantly by Charles Shaw Robinson), a previously successful playwright, has had a series of box office flops and is having trouble writing. He mimics reading a play that he tells his wife, Myra (Lynda DiVito), Myra, he has received from a student of his, Clifford Anderson (Craig Marker). Sidney asserts that the student’s play is a certain hit. Interspersed with reassurances that he is only kidding, he frightens Myra with suggestions that he may kill Clifford in order to steal the script. Sidney telephones Clifford to invite him over to give him suggestions on improvising the play. Clifford’s play is, like the actual play itself, entitled “’Deathtrap,’ and is also a one set, five character thriller.

Comic relief comes in the form of the loopy Dutch psychic Helga Ten Dorp (Kerry Shawn), who has the uncanny knack of knowing what will happen almost before it actually does. Even more hilarious are Helga’s outfits – seemingly straight out of a comic book.

Without giving too much of the plot away, nothing is quite what it seems in this classic homage to foul play.

Not to be overlooked is a wonderful set design, complete with a wonderful repertoire of antique crossbows, axes, guns, and other weapons, by Kelly James Tighe, which sets the stage (literally) for a fabulous evening of edge-of-your-seat thrills.

“Deathtrap,” a suspenseful play-within-a-play gem runs through November 22 at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, CA. For thrill-seekers it is not to be missed. For tickets or more information please phone (925) 943-7469 or visit www.centerrep.org.