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Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre The Mousetrap

By • Feb 23rd, 2012 • Category: Reviews
The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie
Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre
Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre, Lorton, VA
Through March 25th
2:15 with one intermission
$42-$45/$25 Ages 11-15/$25 Children 10 and under
Reviewed February 17th, 2012

The Mousetrap is a traditional Agatha Christie whodunit play in two acts. The location is a bed and breakfast inn at an English countryside. It is a snowy evening, and the guests and innkeepers are trapped in the inn. There is murder, deception, and intrigue as the audience tries to guess the killer’s identity before he (or she) strikes again. The Mousetrap has run continuously in the West End of London since 1952.

The Lazy Susan presented a well-performed, commendable production of the Mousetrap on Friday evening. The pacing was smooth, with actors using most of the very wide stage easily.

Two of the most unusual characters in Agatha Christie’s story were Mr. Paravicini (Lyle Blake Smythers) and Christopher Wren (Casey Fero) Fero’s laugh was unsettling, but at the same time contagious and you could not help chuckling as you watched Wren giddily bounce around the stage. Yet as always with Dame Christie, Wren held a dark secret that Wren tried to hide from the rest of the cast. Mr. Paravicini was equally funny, but in a creepier way. His antics included sneaking up on people and emphasizing certain words using a strange accent. The audience seemed to enjoy his time on stage as much as Wren’s and the pair provided for much comedic relief.

Mollie and Giles Ralston, the owners of Monkswell Manor, were played by Victoria Gowland and Giorgio Mazzarelli. Giles was very protective of Mollie and was always willing to step in and keep her from distressing situations. The actors seemed perhaps a bit nervous with each other at first, but warmed up as the evening continued. Gowland had some great emotional moments towards the end of the play that enhanced her character.

Miss Casewell was a down-to-earth person who played the straight-man in the show. She was played by Amy Wolf. Wolf had her secrets, but kept them safe. Instead she used her energy to annoy Mrs. Boyle played by Missy Person Ward. This was fun for Wolf and highly annoying to Ward who gave an excellent performance of one already annoyed and disagreeable about everything. The other residents either ignored Mrs. Boyle or, in the case of Miss Casewell, proved just as annoying and thus managed to out-annoy Mrs. Boyle. Major Metcalf was a likable fellow played convincingly by Jan Forbes. No Agatha Christie play would be complete without a police inspector to round out the evening. Detective Sergeant Trotter was played in Friday’s performance by understudy Christopher Shaw. Shaw played his part believably and with strong emotions.

The set for The Mousetrap was well done, with bright colors. The Lazy Susan’s unique space is very wide and not deep, which sometimes causes problems in blocking or sight lines. But Director Jeffrey B. Davis made good use of the space by ignoring a quarter of the space on stage left, and allowing the actors to move easily about the room. Occasionally it was hard to hear the actors when they were warming themselves at the fireplace.

The Lazy Susan’s Mousetrap is a good Agatha Christie piece that will keep you guessing up ’til the end.

Cast

  • Mollie Ralston: Victoria Gowland
  • Giles Ralston: Giorgio Mazzarelli
  • Christopher Wren: Casey Fero
  • Mrs. Boyle: Missy Person Ward
  • Major Metcalf: Jan Forbes
  • Miss Casewell: Amy Wolf
  • Mr. Paravicini: Lyle Blake Smythers
  • Detective Sgt. Trotter: Chris Damanda

Understudies

  • Mollie Ralston: Kimberly Pyle
  • Giles Ralston: Ian Neville/Christopher Shaw
  • Christopher Wren: Ian Neville
  • Mrs. Boyle: Catherine Kidwell
  • Major Metcalf: Eric Trumbull
  • Miss Casewell: Samantha Nichols
  • Mr. Paravicini: Reggie M. Eusebio
  • Detective Sgt. Trotter: Christopher Shaw

Production Staff

  • Director: Jeffrey B. Davis
  • Assistant Director: Reggie M. Eusebio
  • Stage Manager: George Rouse
  • Lighting Designer: Jeanne Forbes
  • Costume Coordination: Reggie M. Eusebio, Jennifer M. Pelath
  • Producers: Harold E. Gates, Glenn D. Gates
  • Set Construction: Philip Viar, Eric Redmond, George Rouse
  • Set Decoration: Karol Kaldenbach, Linda Shaw
  • Technical Staff: Jeanne Forbes, Jesse Forbes

Disclaimer: Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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