In "Deathtrap" by Ira Levin, writer's block gets the better of Sidney Bruhl as he conjures a plan to steal the brilliant play of one of his students. Aggravation and desperation take center stage in Edward Brennan's production, playing at the Quogue Community Hall through January 29th.
As Sidney, Andrew Botsford portrays the anxiety and distress of a playwright yearning to be the toast of Broadway again quite well. In speaking to his wife, Myra, played by Rosemary Cline, Sidney mentions he would do anything to get that success back. Tristan Vaughan plays Clifford Anderson, Sidney's student, and is great in the role of a young college student and co-con man. Also fantastic was Diana Marbury providing most of the comedy as the prying, sly neighbor Helga Ten Dorp. As the observant lawyer Porter Milgrim, John J. Steele, Jr. is an integral part of the twists and turns of the show.
The stage was exquisite. Rustic beams, a beautifully aged desk, and a wall of antiques and props from his shows (including a pair of Houdini handcuffs), made up Sidney's living room/study. Sean and Diana Marbury did a wonderful job building a true country home.
Only two minor downsides were noticeable. This story is a "comedic" thriller. There were humorous moments, but this incarnation came over more as a thriller. The actors were more intense and suspenseful than anything. Also, you would not have known this was set in the 1970's. The grand living room/study for a set and even the costumes didn't have any evidence of the 70's era.
The Hampton Theatre Company's vision of "Deathtrap" is a terrific attempt to freshen up a classic story, one we still hear about today, albeit in other forms. Nestled in Quogue, this little theater has some big talent and bright ideas for their productions.
"Deathtrap" is presented by the Hampton Theater Company at the Quogue Community Hall in Quogue, NY, through January 29th. By Ira Levin; Directed by Edward Brennan; Set Design by Sean and Diana Marbury; Lighting by Sebastian Paczynski; Costumes by Teresa LeBrun. Formore information please call 631-653-8955 or visit www.hamptontheatre.org