Review: THE MOUSETRAP at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Christie's most famous play now through February 17

By: Jan. 22, 2024
Review: THE MOUSETRAP at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre

Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre brings Agatha Christie’s iconic mystery, The Mousetrap to its stage through February 17th.  The classic whodunnit has been performed in London for the past 70 years and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest running play in the world.

All that being said, it still holds up remarkably well.  Although it may be the great, great Grandmother of the Knives Out movies, The Mousetrap knows how to surprise, and just like those movies, blends humor and suspense effortlessly.

Kate Strenzel-Whitworth and James Arthel Reiley star as married couple. Mollie and Giles Ralston.  The Ralstons have just opened Monkswell Manor, a British guesthouse.  They seem to be in over their head as they greet their inaugural guests in the middle of a brutal snowstorm.

Guests include the stuffy Major Metcalf (Robert Tully), the ambiguous Miss Casewell (Theresa Walker Smith), the flamboyant Christopher Wren (Jordon Ross Weinhold), and the creepy Mr. Paravicini (Matt Michael).  Each actor employs a distinct and enjoyable characterization and effortlessly flip-flops between laughs and gasps from both the audience and one another.

Kelly Legarreta is also thrown in the mix as the cranky, old biddy, Mrs. Boyle. While Legaretta is a fine actress, the role would probably require less suspension of disbelief from a performer more akin to the character’s age.

Eventually, Detective Sergeant Trotter (Craig Smith) makes his way to the snowbound resort where he warns the residence of a killer on the loose, interviews the residents, and finds out exactly what secrets are being kept (there are a lot!)  Smith shows effective range in his performance, his detective can be aggressive one moment and reserved the next, depending on the circumstances.

The set by Dominic Lau is elegant.  The digital monitors that doubled as the guesthouse windows were an excellent and believable choice to convey the frigidness and isolating atmosphere associated with the blizzard.

Direction, by Victor Legarreta was solid. The pace was brisk, especially the first act.

Agatha Christie has sold more books than anyone other than the Bible and Shakespeare. This story easily explains why.  Go see it, learn the secrets of The Mousetrap, and then, most importantly, keep them to yourself!