‘The Mousetrap’: Who will be next?

By Meredith Pechta, Theater Reviewer | Mar 06, 2013
Courtesy of: John Pai Mysterious guest Christopher Wren, played by Quinn Armstrong passes his dark coat, light scarf and felt hat to Monkswell Manor's proprietor Mollie Ralston, played by Hana Lass.

Murder mysteries don’t get any better than those written by Agatha Christie.

When she sold the rights to turn her book “The Mousetrap” into a play, she said she wouldn’t allow it to go to the big screen until it left the big stage. Sixty years later, there’s still no movie.

This murder mystery begins as they all must: In an English countryside house, far from others. There is a storm outside or, rather, a blizzard.

A news bulletin comes on the radio saying that there has been a murder in London, and that the person seen fleeing the scene wore an overcoat, soft felt hat and a white scarf.

The owner of the aforementioned house wears those very items… but so do most of his houseguests.

Giles and Mollie Ralston have recently turned their lavish home into an inn. They have five guests.

They are joined by a cop named Trotter, who has traced the suspect’s whereabouts to that location. He also has reason to believe that the murderer is there to settle a personal score.

The murder victim was involved in another case that cost a child’s life. Two of the other people there were also involved. But who is the suspect? And who are the intended victims? No one knows.

Agatha Christie enjoys toying with the audiences expectations – and so does the cast. At the center of it all is Mollie Ralston played by Hana Lass in a great performance. She is a voice of reason as well as compassion. But how much does she know?

Richard Nguyen Sloniker plays her enigmatic husband Giles. There are reasons to suspect him, but does it justify Mollie’s belief in her husband’s heart?

The detective in hot pursuit of his prey is played by Jared Michael Brown. Last seen in “Iron Curtain,” he shows us a very three-dimensional character who seems to want an admission at all costs.

The childlike Christopher Wren is wonderfully portrayed by Quinn Armstrong. He’s a new face in the crowd and suggests that there is something just a little ‘off’ about him.

Jennifer Lee Taylor is quite intriguing as the tomboyish Miss Caswell. Her character says little, but knows more than she volunteers. Is she a murderer or possible victim?

Mr. Paravicini is outrageously played by David Pichette, who might be remembered from last year’s production of “Sleuth.” He has a rather cruel sense of humor. Are his jokes to be dismissed or taken as warning signs?

Ellen McClain plays the fussbudget and boil on everyone’s back – Mrs. Boyle. She is a Village Theatre veteran, having been in eight of their productions.

And what of her patient traveling companion Major Metcalfe? He seems like a disinterested bystander, but is that just his cover?

In order to find out who gets caught in the trap, you must see this spine-chilling “Mousetrap” for yourself.

In celebration of its 60th anniversary, “The Mousetrap” is playing at the Everett Performing Arts Center March 1-24. For ticket information call 425-257-8600.

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