A Night of Mystery and Suspense: STAGES at Camden County College’s THE MOUSETRAP

by Jason D. Smith

Josh Carpenter (Trotter) and Casey Williams-Ficarra (Miss Casewell) in a scene from STAGES at Camden County College’s production of THE MOUSETRAP.

THE MOUSETRAP by Agatha Christie produced by STAGES at Camden County College directed by Donald Swenson in Blackwood, New Jersey is sadistically enthralling. The show is a two-act dramatic play with a fifteen minute intermission that centers around a group of eight individuals snowed in at a guest house in the English countryside. The quiet manor quickly turns into a murder scene as the guests face the realization that one of them is the murderer and anyone could be the murderer’s next victim.

The show runs approximately two hours including the fifteen minute intermission. Normally I would only choose three or four actors or actresses to feature in a review, but this show demands mention of all eight of the actors and actresses. All of the actors and actresses portrayed their roles effectively and efficiently. Right from the start Felice Capece’s portrayal of Mollie Ralston came through as genuine and heartwarming. Eli Wood as Giles Ralston commanded respect as the worried and protective husband. Alex Licorish’s portrayal of Christopher Wren successfully embodied the unique and quirky personality of the young architect. As delightful as Joy Hubbard is in person she effectively plays the bitter and judgmental Mrs. Boyle. Casey Williams-Ficarra is a joy to watch as Miss Casewell with her perfectly timed comedic quips. Paravicini’s unique and enigmatic demeanor comes through from Paul Brodo’s performance. AEA guest artist Josh Carpenter led his scenes as Sgt. Trotter providing a strong foundation for the performance. A job well done by all the actors and actresses.

The first impression of the theatre was the set dimly lit with the fireplace casting its glow across the hardwood floor, the snow falling outside the window. The walls and furniture were all true to the period of the show which only enhances the overall success of the production. Truly impressive is a director who takes on the role of set designer and director while effectively performing both. The costumes designed by Krissy Sneshkoff were period as well while also being both visually stunning and complimentary to the actors.

Swenson’s ability to lead his actors and production staff yielded a remarkably stunning performance worthy of Agatha Christie’s historic work. There is a reason this play is in its 60th season in London. You won’t want to miss your chance to catch it in South Jersey. I look forward to my next review of STAGES at CCC.

by Agatha Christie
Directed by Donald Swenson
November 30, December 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 2012
STAGES at Camden County College
The Little Theatre – Lincoln Hall
College Drive
Blackwood, NJ 08012

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