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A snowstorm, a mystery, a child's rhyme and a murder all combine in Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap," which opened at Coach House Theatre Jan. 26.
This production marks the directing debut of Tess Burgler at Coach House Theatre.
I've seen this play before and read the novel it is based on, so I already knew whodunit. Still, I had a lot of fun watching for all the subtle clues, the looks, the gestures, the reactions, and various lines that had more than one meaning. And there are plenty of subtle clues.
The cast and crew did a fantastic job putting together a well-paced engaging production. The audience reacted audibly throughout with each twist and turn during the Jan. 29 matinee.
In the play, newlyweds Mollie and Giles Ralston (Debbie Jenkins and Scott Shriner respectively) have decided to try to convert the estate Mollie inherited into a guesthouse. Their first weekend as proprietors gets off to a shaky start. First, there is a snowstorm that threatens to snow everyone in. Then there are the guests. First is Christopher Wren (Dean Coutris), a childlike young man who grates on Giles. Mrs. Boyle (Karen L. Wood) is critical of everything, from the food to the lack of heat to the lack of a "proper" staff. Mrs. Boyle winds up butting heads with Miss Casewell (Katie Zarecki), a woman who is reticent about her past. The only normal guest seems to be Major Metcalf (Mark Stoffer), and it turns out even he has secrets.
Mollie and Giles are surprised by an unexpected guest, Mr. Paravicini (Jim Fippin), a strange, excitable man who claims his car was stranded in a snowbank. But the couple are even more surprised by the appearance of Detective Trotter (Jason Leupold), who tells the Ralstons and their guests that one of them is in grave danger.
"The Mousetrap" can be seen through Feb. 19. Curtain times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m.
For ticket, call 888-71-TICKETS (choose "option 1"), or visit www.coachhousetheatre.com.
Coach House Theatre is at 732 W. Exchange St. in Akron, near the Akron Women's City Club.
Coach House will produce a staged reading of "The Browning Version" on Feb. 14 as part of its Elder Theatre series. The reading will start at 7 p.m. The reading is free, but reservations are needed.
As part of its regular season, Coach House will stage "Of Mice and Men," adapted from the novel by John Steinbeck, March 16 through April 9.