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2 p.m., Sunday April 14

The Stage Door “Dials ‘M’ for Murder”

Oops . . . wrong title, but right genre!!  And the genre begs the hypothetical question:  If you could receive your heart’s desire by committing a perfect murder . . . would you?  Could you??

The majority of us would undoubtedly reply with a resounding “no,” but in Deathtrap by Ira Levin, that is almost the exact situation that lands in the lap of Sidney Bruhl, a somewhat has-been murder mystery playwright.

Eighteen years ago, Sidney wrote the perfect murder mystery that made him an instant success.  Following that initial smash, he had a few other plays with moderate success, but then he had a string of flops, and lately, hasn’t even been able to get any ideas down on paper.  He’s burned through all of his money and has been forced to live on his wife’s affluence.  He’s seemingly lost his mojo, his status, and his self-respect and has been relegated to teaching summer writing seminars at a nearby college.

Then, in walks Clifford Anderson.  Clifford was a student in one of Sidney’s seminars, and taking Sidney’s instruction to heart, has written a murder mystery that, Sidney is convinced, will be a sure-fire hit that will run for years and make millions.

Sidney is beside himself with envy.  Here is this upstart kid, who has paid no “dues” whatsoever, and he has somehow managed to write the play of the century!!  Not realizing that he has written the perfect play, Clifford asks his teacher, his mentor, if he would mind reading it and making some suggestions on improving it.

Sidney invites Clifford out to his secluded country home for a meeting and begins to hatch a plan on how he might kill Clifford and then present the play as his own.  As things begin to fall into place, Sidney’s distraught wife Myra worries that he’s really capable of committing murder and that he just might do it.  She wonders if she has ever really known the man she’s married to . . .

This wonderfully complex thriller is full of twists and turns, laughs and surprises.  It will keep the audience on the edge of their seats, and just when they think they have figured out the plot, a new twist sends them careening in a completely different direction.  It will keep everyone interested and invested until the very last line. 

Deathtrap is under the direction of Denise Harris, a staple and veteran of The Stage Door.  She came to the theater about 15 years ago when she was cast in Smoke on the Mountain.  Since that first endeavor, she has been involved in every aspect of the theater you can possibly imagine.  She has acted, directed, sewed costumes, procured props, run lights and sound, built sets, stage managed, been on stage crews, served on the board of directors, sold concessions, swept floors, and cleaned toilets.  If something needs done for the show to go on, Denise has done it.  Deathtrap will undoubtedly be another feather in her director’s hat and star on her theater crown. 

Deathtrap is set to run April 5, 6, 12, & 13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 7 & 14 at 2:00 p.m.  Tickets are $9.00 in advance and $12.00 at the door.  They may be purchased by visiting the theater’s website at or by calling 265-1590 (leave a message). 

Deathtrap is being produced with special permission from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, NY.  

Where: The Stage Door
Phone: 265-1590
Address: 601 Oak
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