Poster by Melanie Fabrizius
Agatha Christie's long-running whodunit 'The Mousetrap'
opens Nov. 10 at NOVA
• Jaci Webb
Billlings Gazette Story
• Nov 2, 2017
It's a classic whodunit by Agatha Christie,
the woman who helped popularize the genre. But "The Mousetrap"
is more than that, it's the world's longest-running play and one
that uses humor to establish the characters.
NOVA Center for
the Performing Arts opens "The Mousetrap" on Friday, Nov. 10,
the same day Christie's most familiar work, "Murder on the
Orient Express," hits movie theaters with a star-studded cast,
including Johnny Depp.
Christopher Greensweight directs
"The Mousetrap" for NOVA, taking a fresh approach to the classic
play, which opened in London in 1952. The play will be presented
in NOVA's Black Box Nov. 10-19.
It's not considered
Christie's best play, and she even expressed concerns about it
lasting eight months on London's West End. She was fooled by her
own work, though, since "The Mousetrap" is now in the 65th year
of its run, making it the world's longest running play.
The final twist is so unpredictable that actors are asked to
speak directly to the audience in the final scene, asking them
not to reveal the ending. Christie's grandson, Prichard, who
holds performance rights to "The Mousetrap" complained to
Wikipedia for revealing the ending. Wikipedia still lists the
murderer, but added a warning to discourage people to discover
who the murderer was.
"The Mousetrap" opens during a
snowstorm in an old country mansion with a young couple, the
Ralstons, making final preparations before guests arrive.
Kassidy R. Miller and Dylan Petit play the young married couple
who inherited Monkswell Manor from an aunt.
As the guests
start arriving, Mollie Ralston notes how odd they all are. Of
course, the audience can't help but notice as well.
our guests are either unpleasant or odd," Mollie tells her
The strangest one, but immediately the
most likable because he is so off-the-wall is Christopher Wren,
played with a crazy energy by Brandon Lahren. His comments on
the world are slightly jarring, but so funny. He recites a
snippet of a nursery rhyme, then observes, "Nursery rhymes are
so macabre. That's why children like them."
played by Ginger Roll, is the crankiest boarder, by far. When
Giles tells her she can stay elsewhere if she doesn't like
Monkswell Manor, you feel like cheering.
noted that the play is very British and it features Christie's
"I told the cast, so you're an archetype,
get past that," Greensweight said.
Christie's stories since he was 12, Greensweight said he was
excited to bring it to the stage. Before J.K. Rowling came up
with her Harry Potter series, Christie was the best-selling
female writer in history.
Mollie Ralston: Kassidy R.
Giles Ralston: Dylan Petit
Mrs. Boyle: Ginger Roll
Wayne S. Pierce
Mr Paravicini: Michael McCallum
Casewell: Lynn Laubach
Detective Sergeant Trotter: Caleb D.
Technical Director: Dan Nickerson
Mary Ann Connors
Light Board Operator: Christopher
Sound Technician: Zane Sandine
From left, actors Lynn Laubach,
Brandon Lahren, Kassidy R. Miller, Caleb D. Manci, Wayne Pierce
and Michael McCallum pose for a portrait in advance of their
staging of "The Mousetrap" at the NOVA Center for the Performing
Arts. The stage adaptation of the Agatha Christie mystery plays
beginning Nov. 10
The most off-the-wall guest at
Monkswell Manor Christopher Wren, played by Brandon Lahren,
makes a face at Mollie Ralston (Kassidy R. Miller) in a scene
from the NOVA Center production of "The Mousetrap.
From left, "The Mousetrap" cast
members Caleb D. Manci and Michael McCallum rehearse a scene at
the NOVA Center for the Performing Arts, where the murder
mystery plays beginning Friday, Nov. 10.
Photos by Bronte Wittpenn, Billings