‘Mousetrap’ set to catch a murderer at Players Guild of Dearborn

Photo by Carol Rosegg. Kaitlyn Davidson (left) plays Cinderella to Andy Huntington Jones' Prince in Rodgers and Hammerstein's “Cinderella” through Feb. 28 at the Detroit Opera House. For tickets or more information, call 313-872-1000 or go to BroadwayInDetroit.com.

Photo by Carol Rosegg. Kaitlyn Davidson (left) plays Cinderella to Andy Huntington Jones’ Prince in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” through Feb. 28 at the Detroit Opera House. For tickets or more information, call 313-872-1000 or go to BroadwayInDetroit.com.

By SUE SUCHYTA

Ready to test your detective and deductive reasoning skills? Reserve your seat for the world’s longest running play, Agatha Christie’s murder mystery “The Mousetrap,” as it enters its 60th deadly year with performances at the Players Guild of Dearborn, 21730 Madison.

Directed by Karen Pritchard of Garden City, the show follows a group of strangers, one a murderer, stranded in a guest house in England during a snowstorm.

The show runs at 8 p.m. March 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19, and 2:30 p.m. March 6, 13 and 20 at the theater.

Tickets are $17, with a $2 student discount. For tickets and more information, call 313-561-TKTS or go to playersguildofdearborn.org.

The cast includes Dearborn residents Chris Boudreau as Giles Ralston, Kenneth Overwater as Detective Sergeant Trotter and Andrew St. John as Christopher Wren; Ross Grossman of Farmington Hills as Mr. Paravincini; Marc Walentowicz of Garden City as Major Metcalf; Tiffany Mullins of Livonia as Molly Ralston; and Northville residents Patricia LaFramboise as Mrs. Boyle and Sarah Zakaria as Miss Casewell.

Pritchard said she likes that “The Mousetrap” is filled with clues, and if one doesn’t already know the outcome, each character appears to be a suspect.

“As a director, it offers a unique challenge to have diversion, deception, (and) misdirection in all of the actors,” Pritchard said. “Not one person stands out. At any given moment every single person is ‘the bad guy.’ That is a kind of fun thing to play with.”

Mullins said she usually plays comic roles, and she decided to “switch it up a bit” and try a dramatic role in “The Mousetrap.”

“It’s obviously a classic,” Mullins said. “This is the longest running play ever. There must be something about it if it has run this long.”

Boudreau often works behind the scenes. He said he tends to do musicals when he does perform, so a dramatic role, especially one with an English accent, is a good challenge for him.

“It’s time to come out from behind the scenes and perform,” he said. “It’s what I love to do.”

Boudreau said the show has a strong cast, and the rehearsal process has been fun.

“The thing just comes to life over the weeks,” he said. “Just watching the evolution from the audition process to the final product is one of my favorite parts of doing theater.”

LaFramboise said she auditioned because it has been four years since she did a show, and she loves doing dramas.

She said her character’s challenge is rising from the stage floor and getting offstage during a blackout.

“Getting up off the floor has its challenges these days for me,” LaFramboise said. “Other than that, it’s fun to be a bitch, and it’s fun to hang out with all my friends.

“I am very proud of the quality of what we put on here at the Guild, and have been forever,” LaFramboise said. “That sells it.”

OPERA HOUSE BRINGS A NEW ‘CINDERELLA’ TO THE STAGE

Broadway in Detroit brings a delightful new spin on the Cinderella story through Feb. 28 at the Detroit Opera House.

With a new script by Douglas Carter Beane, the Rodgers and Hammerstein “Cinderella” brings a fresh perspective to the beloved tale.

If you loved the Julie Andrews, Lesley Ann Warren or Brandy version on the small screen, you will still find your favorite songs, as well as some lesser known songs found in the archives of the Rodgers and Hammerstein music library.

Familiar songs, including “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “Stepsisters’ Lament,” “A Lovely Night,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” are still there, and will set your toes tapping as nostalgia washes over you.

The new version gives us a Cinderella who isn’t just a pretty ornament for the Prince to fall in love with; she brings kindness and common sense to the relationship that he finds fascinating and lacking at court.

It is a positive re-imagining for today’s little girls to have a story that doesn’t tell of a passive miss who endures abuse until her outer beauty allows her to be rescued by an alpha male.

Cinderella also has a stepsister who is a friend and ally, who also provides a second love story for the show, a forbidden liaison hidden from Cinderella’s scheming stepmother.

Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long’s costumes are stunning and magical. Not only are they gorgeous, they facilitate some pretty amazing on-stage quick costume changes as Ella’s fairy godmother waves her wand.

Anna Louizos’ set is versatile, full of color and beautiful.

Josh Rhodes’ choreography is wonderful to watch, and adds another layer of magic to the production.

The musical at the Opera House is not the stage incarnation of the TV musical; it is a new creation, with neat twists and wonderful characters.

The feel-good show will put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. But act quickly. For tickets, go to ticketmaster.com or broadwayindetroit.com.

DAG ANNOUNCES CAST FOR ‘GREAT AMERICAN TRAILER PARK MUSICAL’

The Downriver Actors Guild announced the cast for its Biddle Hall spring dinner theater offering, “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” last week.

The show, which runs April 15, 16, 22 and 23, features a 6:30 p.m. dinner and a 7:30 p.m. curtain.

Dinner and show tickets are $28, with a $16 show only option.

Directed by Michele Devins of Southgate, the cast includes Lucinda Chavez of Allen Park as Betty, Michael Suchyta of Dearborn as Duke, Leah Paige Cooley of Lincoln Park as Jeanne, Southgate residents Brianna Bielak as Pickles and Kenny Konaszewski as Norbert, Melanie Aue of Taylor as Lin, and Kayla Aue of Novi as Pippi.

SCP ANNOUNCES ‘JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH’ CAST

Southgate Community Players present its youth production of “James and the Giant Peach” at 7 p.m. April 1, 2, 8 and 9 at the Corner Playhouse, 12671 Dix Toledo Road in Southgate.

Cast members include Allen Park residents Brecken Miliner, 15, as the Centipede, and Logan Crank, 11, as Mr. Trotter and the Captain; Adriana James, 13, of Lincoln Park as Sponge; and Connor Moran, 11, of Melvindale as the Earthworm.

Also in the cast are Southgate residents Blake Robinson, 11, as James Trotter, Rianna Rasizzi, 10, as Mrs. Trotter, and Sergio Krzesowiak, 12, as the old man and the first officer; Paityn Thibeau, 10, of Trenton as the second officer; and Madeline Baker, 12, of Wyandotte as Miss Spider.

Other cast members include Alex Beverly, 12, of Detroit as the Ladybug; Brownstown Township residents Yousef Fadel, 11, as the Grasshopper, and Olivia Williams, 11, as the TV reporter; and Kiera Woodman, 15, of Rockwood as Spiker.

HFC PRESENTS ‘THE DIVINERS’

Henry Ford College presents Jim Leonard Jr.’s drama “The Diviners” at 8 p.m. April 14 to 16, 21 to 23, and 2 p.m. April 17 and 24 at Adray Auditorium in the Mackenzie Fine Arts Center on the main campus, 5101 Evergreen in Dearborn.

Tickets are half price if purchased by March 15, and $15 afterward. To order, go to theatre.hfcc.edu.

Set in a small town in Indiana during the Great Depression, “The Diviners” follows Buddy, a young disabled boy, and his friendship with a disillusioned preacher.

Directed by Mary Bremer-Beer, the cast includes Matt VanHouten of Allen Park as Melvin; Dearborn residents Brighid Driscoll as Jenny Mae, Patricia Montemurri as Louella and Zach Ross as C.C. Showers; and Matt Micheletti of Dearborn Heights as Dewey.

Also in the cast are Detroit residents Shara Kirby as Norma and Lakiya Neal as Darlene; Alan Rezzonica of Grosse Ile Township as Ferris; Judith A. Fletcher of Hazel Park as Goldie; Josh Neilson of Inkster as Buddy; and Chris Ewing of Westland as Basil.