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Players Guild of Leonia presents "Deathtrap"

originally published: 01/13/2024

Players Guild of Leonia presents "Deathtrap"

(LEONIA, NJ) -- Players Guild of Leonia, New Jersey's oldest continuing community theater group (since 1919), presents their first show of 2024 – the comedy thriller Deathtrap weekends from January 19 to February 4, 2024. With plot twists aplenty, Deathtrap tells the story of a has-been playwright, Sidney Bruhl, who is desperate to regain his prestige, and his young protégé, Clifford Anderson, who unwittingly offers an intriguing solution. How desperate remains a secret, and to tell you any more would be a crime!

Ira Levin’s Deathtrap was the longest running comedy-thriller in Broadway history, nominated for four TONY Awards, including Best Play. For this production, the usual proscenium setting of the Drill Hall has been redesigned into a thrust stage, with the audience on three sides – and close to the action.

The production stars Andrew Blais, as playwright Sidney Bruhl; Jodi Reiss as his wife Myra; Nikolas Elrifi as Clifford Anderson; Jessi Baden as psychic Helga ten Dorp; and T.S. Murphy as attorney Porter Milgram.

Players Guild of Leonia presents "Deathtrap"

Deathtrap is directed by Chris Hietikko, stage managed by Jeff Parsons, and produced by Kim Queren and Ralph Martinez. The creative team includes Edward Pierce as Design Consultant; Costume Design by Pixie Pierce; Fight Choreography by Paul White; Dialect Coaching by Jeff Woodman; with Props and Décor by Jeff Parsons. Evelyn Pierce is the Scenic Artist, David Tadiello is the Master Carpenter, and Katie Toledo is the Social Media Coordinator. John Westling and Ro Schaeffer serve as Assistant Stage Managers.

Performances take place at the Civil War Drill Hall Theatre (130 Grand Avenue, Leonia) over three weekends from January 19 to February 4, 2024. Performances are 8:00pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:00pm on Sundays. Tickets are $25 for Adults, $22 for Seniors and Students; tickets are available for purchase online.

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Director Hietikko said “Deathtrap is perhaps the most perfect two-act thriller ever written, with twists, turns, and shocking surprises that the audience will not see coming. I have wanted to direct this play for years and am thrilled to be tackling it with this amazing cast and creative team. It is exciting that this material from the late 1970s remains so fresh, funny, and entertaining today. I know the Players Guild of Leonia audiences will thoroughly enjoy this production, including the unique way in which we have redesigned the Drill Hall for Deathtrap. It’s a perfect evening of theatre.”

Deathtrap has been delighting audiences at home and abroad for decades and was lauded by the New York Times as “an absolute knockout of a suspense melodrama.” The play is set in 1979, and the creative team has fully embraced the scenic and other sensibilities of the era.

Please note: thunder, lightning, gunshots, stage weapons, and flashing lights are used in this production. For the safety of their patrons and actors, late comers will be seated at the discretion of the house manager.

Players Guild of Leonia presents "Deathtrap"

ALL PHOTOS BY Richard Frant Visuals



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