Milwaukee Chamber Theatre

'Deathtrap' springs surprises in Milwaukee Chamber Theatre's comic thriller

Saturday, August 12, 2017

by Mike Fischer, Journal Sentinel

Can  we become so obsessed with death that we forget how to live? Beneath the chills and chuckles delivered by Ira Levin's DEATHTRAP - longest running comedic thriller in Broadway history and now on stage at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre - that's the question confronting aging playwright Sidney Bruhl, contemplating murder of an upstart rival from nearly the moment we meet him. Surrounded by the past - including framed posters from his previously staged plays and mounted displays of the murder weapons used in them - Sidney lives in a deathtrap of his own making. Obsessed with and defined by what he was and all he now has, he's repeating himself. That's par for the course in the mystery genre within which Sidney works. "Every possible variation seems to have been played," a character says to Sidney at one point. Even some of the clever stage business baked into this production repeats scenes from famous thrillers.

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