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  The Mousetrap Reviews
The Mousetrap
The Mousetrap

The Mousetrap
Court Theatre
Thru - Feb 16, 2020

Show Information


Court Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...The three core performances, though, come from Kate Fry, Allen Gilmore and Erik Hellman and this trio has palpable respect for the quality of the material and they sufficiently anchor the show in actual behavior and insecurity to allow the all-important plot to do its thing. And the actress Tina Muñoz Pandya, playing one of the more enigmatic characters, adds a lot of life to that mix."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...Graney instills the mystery with a mood that spins as wildly as the plot. The tale veers between bone-chilling thriller and guffaw-out-loud comedy. Graney certainly leans into the dark-and-stormy-night shenanigans and retro camp the script invites. But his cast also captures the claustrophobic terror of being trapped in a place where lurking danger means every laugh comes with an undercurrent of danger."
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Catey Sullivan



Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...As far as the nonstop droll banter goes, it grows a bit stale after two-plus hours-much like the hard candies everyone keeps popping in their mouths, then throwing away. Whether you find it all a delightful confection or a bit too sickly sweet is a question mark, but murder and deceit have rarely been appointed or dressed so well."
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Dmitry Samarov



Windy City Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...As directed by Graney, the actors scarcely play realistic characters. Fry and Allen Gilmore ( as Mollie's husband Giles Ralston ) come closest, due to how their roles are written, and Tina Munoz Pandya ( Miss Casewell ) and Erik Hellman ( energetically on his toes as Sgt. Trotter ) are runners-up. Graney's approach is fun for a while, especially combined with the costume designs, but it fails to ratchet up the tension essential to the play, and the acting rings false when things turn solemn in Act II. The Mousetrap is real Agatha Christie, not one of many parodies, and perhaps Graney should consider that someone out there might not know whodunit or how."
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Jonathan Abarbanel



Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Recommended

"...Ssshh...No spoiler alert here! Can you keep a secret? Well, that is what Court Theatre is hoping you can do. If you're lucky enough to see Agatha Christie's timeless murder mystery 'The Mousetrap, ' which is as much as a thriller as it is a tragicomedy masterpiece, you've better keep your mouth shut, or who knows; you might be the mouse that gets trapped. In keeping with the tradition of the whodunnit tradition, Court Theatre requests that the existing audience does not divulge the killer."
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Rick and Brenda McCain



Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...For the last several years I have sent other reviewers to cover The Court Theatre. Mostly due to one who loves that theater and the distance. The truth of the matter is that I missed the marvelous productions and last night’s opening of “The Mousetrap” Agatha Christie outrageous comic/mystery just showed me what I was missing. I am excited to tell you that this is a sure award winning production from the set (Arnel Sancianco is an artist) to the cast and to the elegance in direction by Sean Graney."
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...The lights (Claire Chrzan) shift constantly across a spectrum of colors that reflect our universal inability to quite know who we’re with and what we’re seeing. All the cigarette smoking of the original has been replaced by a frenzied consumption of hard candies, a device that subtly ramps up the tension on stage with the nervous crackle of wrappers coming undone, the mild anxiety that the supply of sweets might abruptly come to an end and the persistent threat of auto asphyxiation. Catch this “Mousetrap” while you can: unlike the West End production, which hasn’t closed since 1952, there’s only about three weeks to have the pleasure."
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Irene Hsiao



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...This production is cheeky, somewhat campy and quite simply a whole lot of fun. Sean Graney helps audiences escape from their own troubles and immerses each theatergoer in a world of suspense and unexpected comedy. His production is populated by eccentric characters, each of whom is hiding a dark secret from themselves and each other. A welcome change from the Court Theatre’s typical fare, Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery takes place in the dead of winter, at a remote, rural retreat. This wonderful escapist entertainment is peppered with humor, startling plot twists, charismatic characters and just the right amount of determination necessary to catch a psychopathic killer."
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Colin Douglas



Chicagoland Theater Reviews- Recommended

"...Sean Graney developed a well earned reputation in Chicago theater for his edgy, adventurous productions but Graney’s theatrical sensibilities don’t seem a good fit for the realism required to sell Christie’s storyline. Christie’s script doesn’t need any directorial bright ideas. Graney has injected visual quirks, like artificially grouped characters, that do a disservice to the essential realism of the play. And program notes propose sociological trappings in the script that are unrealized, and unneeded. The second act, which is Christie at her best, should be the model for the entire evening."
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Dan Zeff



Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Perhaps best known as the longest-running play ever (notching north of 28,000 performances and counting), Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has been continuously on stage in London’s West End since 1952. Now, the reliably entertaining murder mystery set over a few snowed-in days at the remote (and fictional) Monkswell Manor finds its way to a stage much closer to home. Hyde Park’s Court Theatre presents a vibrant, comical take on this evergreen whodunnit through February 16. Directed by Sean Graney, the ensemble piece set in the “present day” (really, the post-war era of its original premiere) is here infused with bold color choices, whimsical set design and a self-aware sense of humor throughout that make the whole thing feel fresh and fun."
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Lisa Trifone



Chicago Theater and Arts- Highly Recommended

"...The beauty of any well written mystery is that everyone is a suspect. Any one maybe potential victim or the potential perpetrator, leaving the audience to say, "I told you so" or "I had no idea." In this regard this whodunit does not disappoint."
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Reno Lovison



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...There is a reason that The Mousetrap is the longest running show in theatre history (its London production has played over 28,000 performances in 68 years), and that is because Agatha Christie’s mystery is fun. In its current revival at Court Theatre, that does seem to be the operative word in Sean Graney’s directorial mandate. Graney’s entire focus here seems to be that the more fun they can with the play, the better. That notion begins with a highly imaginative design team and continues to his own at times silly but always enjoyable direction and leads to wonderfully stylized performances by an excellent cast that make this production come alive."
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Karen Topham



PicksInSix- Highly Recommended

"...The deliciously macabre, Sean Graney-directed production of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” which opened Saturday at Court Theatre, sports a top-tier Chicago-based company whose considerable talents come to life in the deeply chiseled characters and expertly paced drama that’s brimming with suspense. Lots of suspense."
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Ed Tracy



Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...If you too admire perfect timing, this production is a jewel that will dazzle. These are pro actors —all— who tease us in that sacred space where over-the-top co-mingles with believable. It helps that Graney stages what might be word-heavy scenes with antics like having the characters go for the candy bowl and wrap, unwrap, chomp, spit and swallow candies as if they are percussion accents to the violin voices. For Chicago theater-regulars and devotees of Hell in a Handbag productions, it surprises that no-stranger-to-drag-queen-shtick David Cerda is perhaps one of the most subdued characters on the stage, perhaps because this role comes without stilettos. Don’t read this implying he disappoints—he’s just tuning his instrument differently, and making room for all in the cast to get in on the farcical fun."
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Amy Munice