'Trap tripping

Lakewood Playhouse stages Christie classic

By Steve Dunkelberger on September 23, 2009

The new theater season is here, and with it comes a bit of all things new, some classics and quite a bit of re-treading.

First up to the stage at Lakewood Playhouse as it begins its 71st season is The Mousetrap, by the maven of murder mystery, Agatha Christie.

In this suspenseful, fast-paced thriller, an unseen murderer stalks a group of victims who are snowbound at a country inn — in classic thriller style.

This is not the typical whodunit. The show holds the record for the longest initial run of any play in history, and in fact, is still running after more than 23,000 performances that span more than 50 years. It opened in London ’s West End in 1952 and has been in continuous performance ever since.

The Lakewood Playhouse version is directed by South Sound go-to-guy John Munn. Set designer for this Monkswell Manor stage is James Venturini, with costumes designed by Diane Runkel, lighting designed by Jason Burg, and sound designed by Joe Kelly. The cast includes Rachael Boyer, Christian Doyle, Michael Dresdner, Deya Ozburn, Mark Peterson, Syra Beth Puett, Mike Slease, and Alex Smith.

The show is one based on nuance and subtle phrasing and one the family can enjoy.

There will be one pay-what-you-can performance Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m., and an Actor Benefit performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. 

I can’t mention one Christie show without at least noting the other one playing in the South Sound. Paradise Theatre presents And Then There Were None, a mystery-comedy of sorts with statuettes of little soldier boys falling to the floor one by one as those in the house succumb to a diabolical avenger. The show runs until Oct. 4.

[The Lakewood Playhouse, The Mousetrap, through Oct. 11, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, $14-$22, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood, 253.588.0042]

[Paradise Theatre, And Then There Were None, through Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sundays, 9911 Burnham Dr. N.W., Gig Harbor, 253.851.PLAY]