As the author of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin knew how to construct taut thrillers with plenty of twists, scares, and chills along the way. He turned on all of his skills for Deathtrap, which won the Tony Award in 1978 and went on to play for years on Broadway. The Jungle Theater's Bain Boehlke — no stranger to onstage thrillers — brings the twisting tale to local stages, led by Steve Hendrickson and Michael Booth as the dueling playwrights at the heart of the play. They are joined by Cheryl Willis, Claudia Wilkens, and Terry Hempleman. "You can only see this play one time and be surprised," Hendrickson says. "Then you can come back and marvel at the construction of it." It's best to remain spoiler-free on your first trip to Deathtrap, but it centers on these two characters who are trying to create a stage thriller — called Deathtrap. That meta-theatrical sense runs throughout the script, which includes allusions to other plays by Levin and other classic onstage thrillers. The fascination for these stories is clear to Hendrickson. "I think everyone has fantasized about killing someone, but 99.999 percent of the time, we don't do it. We're always fascinated with, 'Could we do it, and could we get away with it?'" (Photo by Drew Trampe)
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: March 29. Continues through May 19, 2013
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