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Arts at ASU’s ‘Deathtrap’ Offers Twists, Thrills

July 12, 2010

A play within a play, “Deathtrap,” will keep audiences enthralled with its many plot twists for the Arts at ASU’s second Summer Dinner Theatre beginning July 29 in the Angelo State University Modular Theatre.

Show times will be at 8 p.m. July 29-31 and Aug. 5-7 with dinner served each night at 7 p.m. A matinee performance is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 1, with dinner served at 1 p.m. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. for the evening shows and at 12:45 p.m. for the Sunday matinee. The Modular Theatre is located in ASU’s Carr Education-Fine Arts (EFA) Building, 2602 Dena Drive.

Ira Levin’s 1978 play focuses on a successful Broadway thriller writer, Sidney Bruhl, who is trying to overcome a “dry” spell of failures and the resulting funds shortage. Out of the blue, Bruhl receives a dynamite script from a student who saw him in a seminar at a nearby college, and is seeking advice.

Bruhl sees the script’s potential and plots to get a piece of the action by offering the student a collaboration, something the student can’t pass up given Bruhl’s reputation and success. Bruhl and his wife draw the student into the plot, which begins to deviate from their planned course and gives the audience plenty of thrills and laughter all the way to the final startling moments.

“This play,” said director James Worley, “when it first came out was a very tongue-in-cheek homage to the whole suspense thriller genre. It followed on the heels of all the Agatha Christie murder mysteries that were written as novels first and then adapted for the stage.”

“It is definitely entertaining and always has a wonderful humor aspect to it,” he added. “You don’t have to be a theatre person to understand the humor because it makes many cultural references to the 1980s that ring true.”

A movie made from the “Deathtrap” script starred Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve and Dyan Cannon.

“This one is always a crowd-pleaser,” Worley said. “I’ve seen it done before and been involved in a production. Anybody who comes to this production expecting to see Michael Caine, well, we couldn’t get Michael, but we have some student actors who are doing some really fine work in it.”

Brian Carter will play Sidney Bruhl, Jamie Westfall will perform the part of Bruhl’s wife, Myra, Joe Zimmerman will play student Clifford Anderson, Molly Schwencke will play Helga Ten Dorp and Nickolus Coville will play Porter Milgrim.

Eldra Sanford serves as costumer and costume designer, Matt Smith is the technical director and set designer, Laurie Proveaux is the stage manager, Samantha Sandifer is the costume designer and wardrobe manager, Amanda Mitchell is the box office manager, Paige Southwell is the house manager, Martin Rodriguez is the master electrician and Amber Horton is the wardrobe manager.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, July 19, at $12.50 for ASU students and ASU activity card holders, $15 for non-ASU students and Arts at ASU subscribers, and $20 for the general public. The ASU box office is open weekdays from 2-6 p.m. in the Carr EFA Building. For reservations, call 942-2000.

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For more information on the production and cast, contact Worley at 942-2146, ext. 241.

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