Manistee Civic Players’ “Deathtrap” to open Friday

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MANISTEE — The Manistee Civic Players’ production of “Deathtrap” is set to open at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, located at 101 Maple St. in Manistee.

Showtimes will continue at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Next week, “Deathtrap” will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 and 28 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 29.

The local production is the directorial debut of Kendra Carr, a veteran of theater, having done many shows both on and off stage.

“It’s been an awesome experience so far,” Carr said. “I have a wonderful group of actors. Many of them have been on stage for decades, so there’s a lot of experience there.

“We also had the support of our Manistee Civic Players board of directors, who have just been wonderful,” she added. “They’re always willing to answer any questions a director has and help out any way they can. … I’m excited to bring a show to a place I’ve been acting in for years.”

“Deathtrap” holds the record for the longest running comedy-thriller on Broadway and was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.

It was written by Ira Levin, who also authored “The Stepford Wives” and “Rosemary’s Baby.” In 1982, “Deathtrap” was adapted into a film starring Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine, and Dyan Cannon.

In the play, seemingly comfortably ensconced in his charming Connecticut home, Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a dry spell which has resulted in a string of failures and a shortage of funds.

A possible break in his fortunes occurs when he receives a script from a student in the seminar he has been conducting at a nearby college — a thriller which Sidney recognizes immediately as a potential Broadway hit.

Sidney’s plan, which he devises with his wife’s help, is to offer collaboration to the student, an idea which the younger man quickly accepts. Thereafter suspense mounts steadily as the plot begins to twist and turn with devilish cleverness, and with such an abundance of thrills and laughter, that audiences will be held enthralled until the final, startling moments.

“The show has twist and turns and a lot of action,” Carr said. “Weapons and fight scenes are a big part of it with plenty of comedy mixed in.”

The local cast consists of Michael Mikula as Sidney Bruhl, Jackie Karnisz as Myra Bruhl, Jordan Sell as Clifford Anderson, Mimi Stansell as Helga ten Dorp, and Alfredo Cruz as Porter Milgrim.

Mikula also built the set audiences will see on the stage. Scott Fransee serves as stage manager for the production.

Tickets can be ordered in advance by calling MyNorth Tickets at 800-836-0717 (9 a.m. –5 p.m.) or online at www.manisteecivicplayers.org. The Ramsdell’s box office will be open for ticket sales from noon to showtime on show dates only.

 

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