KILL A BETTER MOUSETRAP to Play The Complex at Hollywood Fringe Fest, 6/22 & 29


Miles Edward Merbinau has a plan to make the world's longest-running play go away. Unfortunately, Mr. Merbinau isn't all there himself.

The play in question is Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap," and Mr. Merbinau has his own motives behind his plot. Already, several efforts have backfired on him, so Merbinau is now determined to borrow a page from Dame Agatha's own works...murder!

Merbinau's wild theories, hare-brained schemes and ruminations on the contrariness of success provide the hilarity in "Kill a Better Mousetrap," a one-act comedy by Scott K. Ratner produced by Lanny Panlock Productions that's being presented as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at East Theatre at The Complex June 22 & 29 (preview on June 8).

Called "simply golden" and "delightfully witty" by mystery fans, "Kill a Better Mousetrap" features Ratner as Merbinau, along with Laura M. Hathaway and John W. Scoggins. The play is directed by Elisabeth Graham Elliot.

Show times are 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, and 5:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 29. A preview performance is at 9:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 8. Tickets are $10 and available at the Hollywood Fringe website at

The East Theatre at The Complex is located at 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. The play is family-friendly but recommended for audiences age 14 and up. Running time: 45 minutes.

According to Ratner, "The play was initially written in the last few days of 2010, almost entirely on my iphone 4 on bus trips to and from work at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. There have been several round-the-table readings of the play, and two presentations to date: a staged reading at the Gem Theater in May 2011, and a presentation at the Chance Theater in March 2013.

The play is based in historical fact and offers loopy observations of topics as obscure as theatrical licensing agreements and as nonsensical as Hollywood marketing.

Southern California-based playwright and actor, Scott K. Ratner, has appeared in over 200 productions on stage and in film and television. His passion for Golden Age detective fiction is displayed in his book and lyrics for two whodunit musicals, "All Talking! All Singing!! All Murder!!!" and "Murder on the High C's." He is also a professional magician and a contributing writer to Mystery Scene Magazine.

Anyone who's been to Disneyland or Knott's Berry Farm may recognize Ratner from the many roles he's played at both theme parks. Disneyland: Merlin, Deputy Mayor of Toontown, Pat E. Cake at the Happiest Birthday on Earth. Knott's: Dakota Dan in the Calico Saloon Show.

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