Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

A Review of Chamber Theatre's Rollicking Whodunit, 'Deathtrap'

Monday, August 14, 2017

by Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine

Lightning flashes. Lamps flicker. Mozart's Requiem booms in the background. But it's the assemblage of torturous and potential murder weapons that constantly draw your focus in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's new roller-coaster production of DEATHTRAP. Arnel Sancianco honors playwright Ira Levin's devilish intentions in his set design of Sidney Bruhl's "writing room," a converted barn in the wilds of Connecticut. If Chekhov's old saw about a  loaded gun rings true ("If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired"), the display here suggests more grisly murders than a whole season of GAME OF THRONES. No chainmail, however. Just costume designer Eleanor Cotey's pleasantly wacky array of plaids and paisleys, glowing eerily under Alexander Ridgers' lighting design. We are in the late '70s after all - that long ago era during which a playwright might build a fairly lucrative career penning whodunits for the stage. Here, it's Bruhl (Bill Watson) who displays his legacy in the form of unusual weapons and posters from his previous Broadway hits. As the play begins, however, he's got a case of writer's block that would keep the Minnesota Vikings Fearsome Foursome at bay, and is getting tired of living on the family wealth of his doting wife, Myra (Susan Spencer).

Read more at Milwaukee Magazine


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