The Mousetrap | North Shore Center for the Performing Arts | Theater & Performance, Fall Arts | Chicago Reader

The Mousetrap Recommended Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Nov. 7-Dec. 21 2014

A true freak de théâtre, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap has been running continuously in London since 1952, or about as long as Queen Elizabeth II has sat on her throne. There's no rational reason for this. The play is a minor contrivance: set in a newly opened country inn and fitted out with eight neatly limned characters, it's a variation on the English-manor-house murder mystery, distinguished, first, by an unusually ugly backstory and, second, by a so-called twist that's easily discerned before intermission. If the London production is anything like the one directed here by Jonathan Berry, however, the appeal becomes a lot easier to understand. Berry and an exquisitely cast bunch of actors walk a line between the script's vast kitsch potential and Christie's very real wit to create a lovingly subversive entertainment. Joe Dempsey, Laura T. Fisher, and Lindsey Pearlman, in particular, need to win something for their sly performances as a mysterious Italian, a dour retiree ("A lot of people don't know they have dry rot"), and a red-lipped Vita Sackville-West type. —Tony Adler

Price: $64-$75

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