Imagine you are a world famous playwright who has had a string of successes. Further imagine you’ve hit a dry spell when new ideas languish in a wordless desert, while your finances dry up just as quickly. What might you do to refill your reservoir? What lengths might you go to if you felt desperate?
Come meet Sidney Bruhl of Westport, Connecticut in Ira Levin’s thriller “Deathtrap” playing weekends until Saturday, October 6 at Berlin’s Connecticut Cabaret Theatre. To add a little angst to the proceedings, this is the first mystery Ct. Cabaret Theatre has ever mounted and it was the longest running comedy-thriller of all time on Broadway.
Get ready to scream, and laugh, as Sidney Bruhl works to get his literary edge back. Plays that swirl with mystery are difficult to craft, as he well knows, having written a string of flops. What he needs is a juicy plot, with one set, and five characters and it falls into his lap when a former student, Clifford Anderson, sends him his first play for Bruhl to evaluate.
Len Fredericks’ Sidney Bruhl is devious and inventive and willing to go to any lengths to get what he wants: a prize winning play, to restore his sagging fortunes and put his name back in the spotlight. With the encouragement of his wife Myra (Rachel West-Balling), he hopes to get Anderson’s consent to collaborate, to reshape and sharpen the script or to at least get a referral fee for finding it a producer and act as Anderson’s agent.
Matthew Collin Marrero’s Anderson is not as naïve and trusting as Bruhl would wish. He is not willing to sign away or even collaborate on “his baby” and the plot thickens. Adding to the bouillabaisse of suspense, a psychic Helga ten Dorp, cleverly portrayed by Karen Buck, moves in next door and “sees” much more than she should while Bruhl’s attorney Porter Milgrim (Dave Wall) is also too observant for his own good.
Artistic director Kris McMurray keeps a firm hand on the swords, crossbows, revolvers and garrotes as this roller coaster ride goes in exciting and unexpected directions.
For tickets ($30), call CT Cabaret Theatre, 31-33 Webster Square Road, Berlin at 860-829-1248 or online at www.ctcabaret.com. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:15 p.m. Remember to bring goodies to eat at your table or buy desserts and drinks at the concession stand on site.
Expect surprises as you learn firsthand the lengths a playwright will go to in order to achieve fame and fortune…perhaps even murder.