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Agathie Christie's 'The Mousetrap' is a Perfect Storm of Character and Plot

It's easy to see why the famous murder mystery is the longest running show in modern theater history.

When I first heard that Village Theatre had Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap on its schedule this season, it was a mystery to me that the group that trades almost exclusively in musicals was putting up a murder mystery.

As with the identity of the murderer and victims, all became clear in the end--Village Theatre's production is an official 60th anniversary production of the longest-running play in history.

If you enjoy a good mystery, Mousetrap doesn't disappoint. Every character has a secret, and every secret is revealed, one by one. There isn't a single one of the eight occupants of the snowed-in Monkswood Manor who didn't at one point become a convincing suspect in my mind through the twists and turns of the play. I thrilled, along with the rest of the audience, at the eyes of the mid-play murder victim staring out at us from center stage.

The Seattle-based cast nailed the at times subtle timing as they play at being trapped in the guest house with people who are seemingly strangers to each other at the outset. The accents were spot on and 'disappeared' as just part of the characters. The flamboyant Christopher Wren, played by Quinn Armstrong, and the exuberantly mysterious Mr. Paravacini, played by David Pichette, provided comic elements to be served up with the plot twists.

Jeff Steitzer directs and the cast includes: David Pichette (Mr. Paravicini), R. Hamilton Wright (Major Metcalf), Ellen McLain (Mrs. Boyle), Jennifer Lee Taylor (Miss Casewell), Hana Lass (Mollie Ralston), Jared Michael Brown (Detective Trotter), Quinn Armstrong (Christopher Wren) and Richard Nguyen Sloniker (Giles Ralston).

The Mousetrap first opened in London in 1952, and has since been performed more than 24,000 times continuously ever since.

The Mousetrap continues at the Francis Gaudette Theater through Feb. 24, and plays in Everett March 1-24. 

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