Hillbarn Theatre Continues its 72nd Season with Deathtrap

Levin’s Masterful Comedic Thriller staged by veteran director Karen Byrnes


(Editor's Note: The following press release was submitted to Patch by Hillbarn Theatre Marketing and Operations Director Dan Demers)

Hillbarn Theatre will be entertaining audiences with the comedic thriller Deathtrap, playing for twelve performances October 18 – November 4, 2012 at Hillbarn Theatre,  1285 East Hillsdale Blvd. Foster City, CA.

The Story:  Sidney Bruhl, a successful writer of Broadway thrillers, is struggling to overcome a pattern of failures and a shortage of funds. A change of fortune occurs when he receives a script by a student from a seminar he conducted at a nearby college, a thriller which Sidney recognizes immediately as a future Broadway hit.

Sidney's plan, which he devises with his wife's help, is to offer “collaboration” with the student...Will he accept?

DEATHTRAP, written in 1978 by Ira Levin, was one of the biggest hits in Broadway history and the last major example of its once-bountiful genre.

DEATHTRAP enjoyed a four year run on Broadway, opening under the direction of Robert Moore on February 26, 1978, at the Music Box Theatre. On January 7, 1982 the production moved to the Biltmore Theatre and closed on June 13 of that year.

The New York Times called it an "Effrontery everywhere; and fun straight through.”

Original cast featured John Wood as Sidney Bruhl, and Marian Seldes as Myra Bruhl,    The talented Victor Garber played Clifford Anderson, Marian Winters played Helga ten Dorp, and Richard Woods played Porter Milgrim.

The Hillbarn Theatre Cast of DEATHTRAP is as follows:

  • Sidney Bruhl - Paul Stout (San Francisco)
  • Clifford Anderson - Adam Magill (Palo Alto)
  • Myra Bruhl - Paige Cook* (San Carlos)
  • Helga Ven Dorp - Monica Cappuccini (Palo Alto)
  • Porter Milgrim - Richard Albert (Burlingame)

*Appearing courtesy of the Actors Equity Association

Born in the Bronx in 1929 and educated in English and Philosophy at New York University, Ira Levin is one of the most successful and popular American writers of the twentieth century.

His first play—written at the age of 26—was distinctly non-horrific. No Time for Sergeants (1955), a military comedy adapted from a novel by Mac Hyman, enjoyed a long run on Broadway and also became a hit movie, launching the career of actor, Andy Griffith.

In 1978 Levin blended his talent for the gruesome with his ability to crack a joke and produced DEATHTRAP, a comedy-thriller that ran for more than four years. At its closing in 1982, DEATHTRAP had racked-up 1,793 performances, which made it at the time the fourth-longestrunning play in Broadway history.

Like his other top-selling titles, DEATHTRAP migrated from its original home to the screen in an adaptation directed by Sidney Lumet, and starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve.

Karen Byrnes earned her BA in Theatre Arts from NDNU and has directed over 100 productions in the last 30 years. This accomplished and award winning director has worked on such Hillbarn productions as Defying Gravity, Holes, and The Secret Garden (2004). Recently she wrote Between Yesterday and Tomorrow: Correspondence with an American Soldier in Vietnam.

Technical director Robert Broadfoot will be working in cooperation with costume designer Mae Matos and props master Rosita Issel to bring this hit thriller to life.

DEATHTRAP will also feature the lighting and sound design of Valerie Clear, and Ashley Taylor Frampton will be in the stage manager’s seat.

DEATHTRAP runs until November 4, 2012. The curtain lifts at 8:00pm Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 pm on Sundays.

Ticket prices are $34 for adults and seniors; for student prices please call the box office at 650.349.6411.

DEATHTRAP tickets can also be purchased live online at hillbarntheatre.org 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


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