Steel Beam puts ‘Deathtrap’ on stage
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media January 10, 2013 4:02PM
♦ Jan. 11-Feb. 10
♦ Steel Beam Theatre, 111 W. Main St., St. Charles
♦ Tickets, $23-$25
♦ (630) 587-8521
Updated: January 10, 2013 4:40PM
One of Broadway’s longest-running comedy-thrillers is coming to St. Charles.
Steel Beam Theatre presents “Deathtrap,” written by Ira Levin. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays today through Feb. 10 at the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles.
“Deathtrap” is a witty thriller that tells the story of a writer who will go to any lengths to advance his career. A movie version of the play starred Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve.
Bernie Weiler of Aurora directs the play.
“It’s more of a ‘who’s going to do what’ than a ‘whodunit,’” Weiler said. “Who is capable of doing what and when? Essentially, it’s a very, very finely crafted play. It has a lot of twists and turns centering around a successful playwright who is encountering a dry period, who is presented with the opportunity to collaborate with a younger playwright on a play that he wishes might be his. Throw in the fact that the choices that are made by the participants in that venture are overseen by a psychic and an attorney who have aspirations of their own.”
This is his first venture with the play, he said, and he’s enjoyed discovering how much fun is packed into each moment, he said. It’s helped that his cast has been very fun to work with, he said.
“It’s a handful — the roles for the principles are very demanding,” he said. “It’s been fun watching them develop their characters. They are having fun finding the little bits in it that add to the mystery and the intrigue and surprises. They have a lot to master.”
Audiences will enjoy the play because it’s familiar — it’s been around since 1978 — and also because of all the twists and surprises, he said.
“Of course it’s really well-written and the dialogue is very witty,” he said. “There’s a lot of amusement packed into it. It goes along at a very fast clip. You could see it more than once and enjoy it for different reasons every time you see it.”
It’s an exercise in keeping ahead of people’s motivations and discovering what they might do, and trying to decide as an audience member if what you think might happen might actually happen, he said.
“That’s the fun of the play,” he said. “There’s a lot for the actors to do and I’m really confident we have the actors who can pull it off masterfully.”
Steel Beam’s version stars James Dauphin of Chicago; Daniel Scurek, Jeanne Scurek and Sherry Winchester Schultz of Aurora, and Dean Dranias of Lisle.