‘Deathtrap’ keeps the audience guessing – and laughing

‘Deathtrap’ keeps the audience guessing – and laughing
Tyler Gordon speed-painted a portrait of Maya Angelou at Diablo Regional Arts Association’s “On Broadway” gala. The painting was then auctioned off. (Photo by Ben Krantz)

Columns Sally Hogarty Stage StruckCONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA, CA (Nov. 9, 2021) — Pittsburg Community Theatre presents a suspenseful and often funny piece of theater with Ira Levin’s “Deathtrap,” which is full of twists and turns.

“Deathtrap” tells of Broadway playwright Sidney Bruhl, who has a bad case of writer’s block. When one of his writing students shares the draft of his new play, “Deathtrap,” Bruhl immediately knows it’s a hit and wishes he had written it.

Then he has an idea: Why not murder his student and pass the play off as his own? But life and murder are seldom that simple in Levin’s clever, humorous and gripping drama.
With Suzan Lorraine directing, the cast includes Jason Berner, Liam Cody, Marsha Howard, Kimberly James and Wayne McRice.

“Deathtrap” runs Nov. 13-21 at the Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez. For tickets, go to pittsburgcommunitytheatre.org.

Act II Improv, formed by improvisational actors who believe in performing “for good,” appears 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 at the Campbell. The group gives back to the community financially as well as providing a creative outlet for improv artists to innovate and grow. For tickets, go to campbelltheater.com/tickets.

A Christmas Carol

Center Rep is back in business offering its annual production of “A Christmas Carol” once again. Full of gorgeous costumes, special effects, music and wonderful characters, the show runs Dec. 9-23 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr.

I must admit I really love this show and so enjoyed playing the Ghost of Christmas Past many years ago. There’s just something special about the message of love and forgiveness that is especially poignant given the pandemic.
Center Rep’s season continues with “Our Town” (Feb. 4-26), “Murder on the Orient Express” (April 15-May 7) and “Beehive: The ’60s Musical” (May 27-June 26).

For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW or go to lesherartscenter.org.

Congrats to the Diablo Regional Arts Association (DRAA), which raised $250,000 for the arts at its “On Broadway” gala. Held at the Lesher Center, the event featured a red-carpet cocktail reception, silent auction and performances by Broadway’s Max von Essen and dance troupe Honey Taps.

DRAA also unveiled the center’s new headliner series during the festivities. The series kicks off Jan. 7 with Grammy Award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes, followed by Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell on Feb. 25. Kaiser Permanente College Notes presents top a cappella groups March 11-12, with the Dance Theatre of Harlem performing April 29-30. The series continues May 6 with the Joey Alexander Trio featuring the Indonesian jazz piano prodigy and concludes with Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Laura Benanti on June 25.

Call 925-943-SHOW or go to lesherartscenter.org for tickets.

Kathy McCarty

Kathy McCarty

A celebration of life for actress, playwright, director and educator Kathy McCarty is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Campbell Theater. As many of you know, Kathy died June 2 at the age of 58 after a valiant struggle with MS and a rare form of brain cancer.

She spent the last year of her life revising the script and working with composer Mitchell Covington on her full-length musical “Rivets,” an homage to the home-front soldiers of WWII. Her husband Rich is carrying on that work with Covington. It is hoped a song or two from the show will be performed at the celebration. If you would like an evite, email me at sallyhogarty@gmail.com.

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News.

Sally Hogarty
Sally Hogarty

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to sallyhogarty@gmail.com