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Roller Coaster Mystery Ride

McLean Community Players present ‘Deathtrap.’

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Laura Peterson and Dan Eddy in the McLean Community Players’ production of "Deathtrap" opening on April 20 at Alden Theatre.

— "Deathtrap," by Ira Leven, has been fascinating audiences more than 30 years, since it debuted on Broadway. "Experiencing 'Deathtrap' is like your first visit to a circus, a thrilling delight with every twist and surprise," said veteran McLean Community Players’ director Jerry Bonnes.

"I love mysteries and thrillers; they are intricate and enjoyable. This play is so very well thought-out with plenty of nuance to entertain," said Bones who has put together a cast of five, including new-comers and old-hands. "Deathtrap" was nominated for the 1978 Tony Award for Best Play and ran on Broadway for about four years and 1800 performances.

The story line sounds simple enough, but the journey is far from a straight line through its two acts. It all begins with Sydney Bruhl (newcomer Dan Eddy) trying to deal with a long dry spell in his play writing career. What was once effortless, is now desperation. He hasn't had a hit show in 18 years. So what is he to do? And that is how "Deathtrap's" twisty ride of deceit, murder, laughter and who knows what else begins.

Eddy describes his character "as a fabulous role with lots of different emotions. It is a fun and challenging role of an urbane playwright undergoing a dry spell and searching desperately for a way out of his dry spell."

Clifford Anderson (newcomer Will Spilman) spoke of the joy in "the sarcasm of some his lines that he gets to say." His character in "the play is a charming individual with quite a few unexpected complications" to keep the audience guessing. Spilman said he "wanted the audience to have a good time as they figure things out."

Where and When

"Deathtrap" from McLean Community Players, at the Alden Theatre, McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean. Performances: April 20-May 5. Fridays-Saturdays 8 p.m., Sunday matinees 2 p.m. Tickets $14-$16. Call 703-304-3176 or visit www.mcleanplayers.org.

Note: Adult themes, production is most suitable for audiences 15 and older.

Sydney’s wife, Myra (Laura Peterson) loves mysteries and being in "Deathtrap" is great fun. Her character gets to "look on in horror at what is going on quite often in a play that is complex, along with its lighter humorous touches. Her character is generally "trying to prop up her husband during his desperate times and as they are at a crossroads."

To add to the realism of things, Producer Bunny Bonnes brought in a fight choreographer, Carl Brandt Long, so that "the audience sees fights that are both real and safe and enjoyable to watch. Everyone associated with the production wants the audience to have a great experience and even enjoy themselves more than they expected."