The Mouse Trap
“Three blind mice...see how they run...”
This creepy children's rhyme sets the scene for Agatha Christie's murder mystery play: The Mouse Trap – now playing at Crown City Theatre in North Hollywood which runs through April 29! The Mousetrap opened in London's West End in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. The play is known for its ending, which you have to see to believe – no spoilers here!
The play is set at Monkswell Manor, a brand new guest house in England run by a young couple, Molly and Giles Ralston (Megan Cochran and Bobby Slaski).
Having just opened their establishment, the Ralston's offer hospitality to a wide assortment of guests during a snowstorm. Christoper Wren (a funky Hans Obma) is an eccentric, enthusiastic young architect. He wanders around the house and shamelessly flirts with Molly. Mrs. Boyle (Mouchette van Helsdingen) is a snippy, haughty and unfriendly elderly woman who nobody likes. Major Metcalf (AJ Adams), is an upstanding military officer. Miss Casewell (Annie Leiberman) is a strong willed, masculine, young woman with a sharp tongue. Mr. Paravicini (a snarky Michael Mullen) an eccentric Italian with a twisted sense of humor. He joins the fray at the last minute when his car overturns and the Ralston's take him in. As Mollie, Megan Cochran creates an engaging yet mysterious young woman. Her husband, Giles, is performed with vigor by Bobby Slaski, and he has his own secrets.
A murder has occurred in London where a woman, named Maureen Lyon has been strangled. A radio report about the murder notes that police are looking for a man in a dark overcoat, observed near the scene. The case of the dead woman is as follows: Lyon and her husband had mistreated their three foster children resulting in the death of the youngest. Both adults were imprisoned for their actions; the husband died in jail, while the wife served her sentence and had been released, only to be found strangled. Police suspect the elder boy of the abused children, who would now be twenty-two, of being the killer.
Snow has blocked the roads and the denizens of the house are trapped inside. Then the police call, saying they are dispatching Sergeant Trotter to the house, who arrives on skis. Soon after he arrives the phone line goes dead. Trotter reveals that a notebook found at the murder scene contained the address of Monkswell Manor and the words "Three Blind Mice". A note reading "This is the First" was pinned to the woman's body. The police have sent Trotter to find out how the Ralstons' guesthouse is connected to the murder, and whether the residents are in danger. As the evening wears on, Giles and Mollie become suspicious of each other while the guests snipe at one another.
Then the plot thickens: The opening notes of "Three Blind Mice" are heard whistled by an unknown party, and Mrs Boyle responds without alarm, speaking to the person only she can see. Suddenly, the lights go out and a scuffle is heard. Moments later, Mollie walks into the room and turns on the lights, only to find Mrs Boyle dead on the floor.
Whodunnit? That is the ultimate question! The cast performs their roles to perfection. We truly do not know who to suspect or blame within the scope of the play. Who can you trust? Who is not who they claim to be? Who will be murdered next?
The Mousetrap runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm until Sunday, April 29th, 2018. Crown City Theatre is located at 11031 Camarillo Street in North Hollywood. All tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased by calling 818-605-5685 or at www.crowncitytheatre.com