Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

January 13, 2020

REVIEW: The Majestic Theater, Deathtrap

The Majestic Theater, West Springfield, MA
through February 16, 2020
by Konrad Rogowski

Photo by Kait Rankins
Ira Levin’s classic play “Deathtrap,” abounds with murder, mayhem, and never-ending plotting to ultimately decide who gets top billing in any theatrical endeavor. Hence the phrase: a role that you would kill for.

The Majestic’s production, under the direction of Robbie Simpson, provides the audience with an evening of well-played twists, turns and reversals of fate as two conniving authors vie to see who will end up with the rights to a potential box office smash, and a bankroll to match.

Ron Komora as Sidney Bruhl and Jack Grigoli as Clifford Anderson play the rival writers with the roles of cat and mouse changing hands from scene to scene as they each plot to outdo the other and win the prize. Krista Lucas as Myra, Bruhl’s long suffering wife, attempts to be the referee in this deadly match of wits, not knowing exactly what the rules or the goal of the real game are; this is a mistake that leads to unexpected consequences. Lisa Abend as the psychic, Helga ten Dorp, and Walter Mantani as Bruhl’s attorney round out the cast and add some fine comic moments as they complicate the two playwrights’ plotting efforts with their other worldly, and legal, advice and insights.

Complimenting this great script, and setting the mood for evil doing is Greg Trochlil’s rich set, replete with virtually every implement of destruction imaginable … swords, guns, daggers, rifles, and of course, handcuffs, a garrote, and a crossbow, leaving the possibilities of just what may happen to whom next, wide open.

“Deathtrap” is two hours of suspense and surprises that keep you thinking that you finally know who done it, until you find out that the laughs and the larceny aren’t over just yet.