EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
The following are excerpts from the December 15, 2014 DC Metro Theatre Arts Review of Deathtrap by Danielle Angeline
Deathtrap is a departure from the regular Christmas fanfare, currently in production at Everyman Theatre. Every scene is filled with an element of surprise worth gasping over. Written by Ira Levin, Everyman’s Director Vincent M. Lancisi leads a very talented cast through a play about a play full of murder, mayhem, and melodrama.
Lead character, Sidney Bruhl (Bruce Randolph Nelson) is a slightly obnoxious, slightly obsessed playwright that runs the gamut of emotions from his first to last line. Nelson transitions his character from mysterious to madness and has a quality reminiscent of John Lithgow. Costume Designer Kathleen Geldard dresses him casually in trousers, a button down shirt, and a sweater. In one scene he fashions a tweed jacket with elbow patches; quite the contrast to his out-of-his mind character.
Myra Bruhl (Beth Hylton), Sidney Bruhl’s wife is stunning in her blue chemise dress and bright turquoise shoes that are striking contrast against Bruhl’s light red hair. Her poised character goes from elegant to suspicious as her husband reveals bringing playwright of DeathtrapClifford Anderson out to their remote home. Hylton slowly builds on her character’s nervousness prior to his arrival as her confident diction succumbs to jittery chatter. There is no doubt though, this actress can scream – REALLY SCREAM!!
Clifford Anderson (Danny Gavigan) has that hottie, scruffy 1970’s look as he appears on stage in a suede jacket, shirt, and tight jeans. Gavigan’s acting style is indicative of Scott Bakula (NCIS: New Orleans, and Quantum Leap). His character’s upbeat attitude and the excitement in his voice dwindle as Sidney makes his inquires about Cliff’s play, Deathtrap As Clifford figures out Sidney’s intentions, his hesitancy becomes apparent as he stammers over his words and begins to ramble. This leads to a grim fight scene between Nelson and Gavigan, choreographed by Lewis Shaw, and had me holding my breath.
Helga (Deborah Hazlett) is very eccentric with her assertive mannerisms and her psychic abilities. Adding to her characters qualities is her accent. Like Hylton, Hazlett is also poised in this role but her funky dresses add a bit of twist. She is a little on the outlandish side and definitely offers comic relief, and that is what really makes her a likable character.
If you like surprises, a clever whodunit, and a lot of laughs, then Everyman Theatre’s Deathtrapis the show to see this season. With its superb cast, excellent direction, astounding Fight choreography, and brilliant design, Deathtrap will tickle your funny-bone as you scratch your head wondering what the heck is going on in the heads of these characters.