By Bob Evans
Dame Agatha Christie developed the whodunit genre and no one since creates the volumes of masterpieces like the grand dame of England does, with her longest running play in the world–“The Mousetrap”, now in its 65th year of continuous shows in London’s West End.
Even though not in London, Kansas City theater enthusiasts can peek in at the Christie macabre thriller for one weekend only at the Leawood Stage Company production on the lower level of Leawood’s City Hall. “The Mousetrap” continues through Sunday, Oct. 15. With its worldwide appeal, audiences will be shocked and well entertained with Dame Christie’s murder mystery.
And, according to April Bishop, Leawood Stage producer, no one can read the book beforehand because Christie’s book will not be published until after the play closes in London. So, don’t hold your breath on that. The classic Christie play guarantees to keep the audience guessing until the murderer is revealed in shocking form. Even if you know the outcome, revisiting the play always entertains.
“The Mousetrap” brings eccentric, full-bodies characters together for a two hour mystery with many hints at motives and red-herrings littered throughout to mislead the audience. Her tricks continue to amaze the audience as they can think and follow. For this show, give tons of credit to the cast who crafted their characters and brought in their bag of tricks to create unforgettable characters in this ensemble classic.
The cast is Kim Hentges as Mollie Ralston, Derrick Freeman as Giles Ralston, Steven Ansel as Christopher Wren, Kim Sheek as Mrs. Boyle, Richard J. Burt as Major Metcalf, Meghann Deveroux as Miss Casewell, Dave Fullerton as Mr. Paravicini, Connor Eastman as Detective Sergeant Trotter. They were amplified with a strong production staff led by director, Jessica Franz. The Production Staff is: D.K. Evenson, stage manager; Richard J. Burt, set designer; Annette Cook, costume designer; Amanda Rhodes, props mistress; Chuck Cline, dialect coach; Valerie Martin, dramaturg.
Watching the cast work through the piece brings continued chuckles because the characters are so richly written and fully entrenched in the mystery. While all of the cast give wonderful performances, Steven Ansel, Kim Sheek, and Dave Fullerton went beyond with their characters.
“The Mousetrap” comes with the highest recommendations for family fun. Tickets may be purchased at the door, but arrive early for best open seating. The show begins at 7:30 Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. for the Sunday matinee. Test your sleuth skills and see if you can figure whodunit.
Tags: Leawood Stage Company, “The Mousetrap”, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment