The ultimate Whodunit brings thrills & chills to MKE
I love a good murder mystery, but am woefully lacking in firsthand knowledge of Agatha Christie's work — I've never actually read any of it. But I do know that she's brilliant and we have her to thank for lots of derivative (if highly entertaining) murder-mystery plots of our modern time. I also know that her play The Mousetrap is the longest running show on London's West End — running for over 60 years to sold-out houses. Now, in a rare U.S. engagement, the Milwaukee Rep brings Christie's suspenseful script to the good land.
In short, The Mousetrap answers this question: What happens when a group of strangers are holed up in a snowbound manor house — and one of them just might be a murderer? I don't want to say too much about the plot — no spoilers here! But I will say that each character is deliciously complex and thoroughly entertaining in their own way, due in no small part to actors' superb performances.
From Brendan Meyer as the erratic, Pan-like Christopher Wren to Greg Vinkler as the smarmy Paravicini, the cast had me laughing out loud, gripping my boyfriend's hand, and holding my breath more than once. That a 60-year-old play can still prove relevant and elicit genuine thrills and chills to theater-goers of all ages is pretty amazing.
Though the actors and Christie's funny, suspense-filled script would be enough to make me go on and on about The Mousetrap, The Rep brought the illusion full circle with its gorgeous set design. You'll find the Quadracci Powerhouse transformed into a countryside manor — a cozy, seasonal scene with all of the vintage accouterments one might expect to find in an old English parlor. The snowy picture window adds an enchanting touch of holiday spirit.