If you are a fan of live theater and reside here in the Denver metro area then you are used to plays coming and going with short runs of a few days or a couple of weeks. Even on Broadway in New York …
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If you are a fan of live theater and reside here in the Denver metro area then you are used to plays coming and going with short runs of a few days or a couple of weeks. Even on Broadway in New York it’s rare to see a show that runs for several years. But in the West End of London at the St. Martins Theater, there is one play that opened back in 1952 and is still running at the same theater. It has the longest initial run of any play in history and on the 18th of November, 2012 it had it’s twenty five thousandth performance. This show has been running continuously for over 60 years!
It takes a pretty special story by a very talented author to make a record setting run like that, and so it is with a play called The Mousetrap written by the one and only Agatha Christie.
The Mousetrap began as a short radio play back in 1947 called Three Blind Mice and was later transformed into a full length stage play. It’s a mystery about a group of people who find themselves stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. Of course, in true Agatha Christie style, a murder is committed and everyone is a suspect. There’s a policeman investigating, this one named Detective Sergeant Trotter, who proceeds to uncover everyone’s special little secrets. The murder is solved in the end and it turns out to be … Ahhh, that’s a secret that you will have to find out for yourself by going to see the play because it has a twist of an ending that the audience is traditionally asked not to reveal.
So, call your travel agent and book that flight to London … or you can see it a little closer to home during January and February. Where? At the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, that’s where. They will be presenting The Mousetrap Jan. 28th through Feb. 23rd, with evening performances on Tuesdays through Saturdays starting at 7:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. matinees on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays.
Ticket prices range from $38-$53 and you can call the box office at (720) 898-7200 or go on line at www.arvadacenter.org to order them or to get more information. This is a very popular show, so I would recommend getting your tickets as soon as possible. The Arvada Center is located at 6901 Wadsworth Blvd.
So why is this play so popular that they have it running with so many performances to accommodate the demand? Well Dame Christie actually gave the rights to the play to her grandson, Mathew Pritchard for his birthday and outside of the theater in the West End of London, contractually only one other version of the play can be performed annually and this production is the one for this year. So, it’s not going to be coming back this way anytime soon. If you want to see it, this is probably your best opportunity to do so.
One more thing to mention is that the Wednesday and Friday evening performances can be audio described for the blind upon request, but those requests must be made at least a week in advance by calling the box office.
Also, there are three “talk-backs” scheduled for those of you who would like to interact with the cast and director and discuss the play after the show. Those will be happening on Friday, Feb. 7 after the 7:30 show and on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and Thursday, Feb. 20, after the 1 p.m. shows.
If you are a mystery lover or a fan of Agatha Christie, then you should get a big kick out of this show. I don’t know “who dunnit” but I do know it wasn’t the butler … The boarding house didn’t have one.
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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