The Albert Lea Community Theater will stage the thriller “Deathtrap” – Albert Lea Tribune

If you’ve been wanting to see a Broadway play but don’t want to make it to New York, now’s your chance because “Deathtrap” arrives with Albert Lea Community Theater at the Marion Ross Performing Art Center starting Thursday.

“I felt in a way it was an interesting piece,” said director George Favell. “It’s part drama, part comedy, part farce, part thriller, part horror.”

“Deathtrap” was written by Ira Levin, the same Levin who wrote “Rosemary’s Baby”. It was later made into a movie starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve and directed by Sidney Lumet.

Favell described it as a two-act performance that includes five roles, a setting, and is very rich in props.

But don’t be fooled. “Deathtrap” had its challenges.

“When I’m directing a play, I’m also teaching the actors’ technique and style and how to speak, how to create the character…” he said. “It’s also a challenge when you’re trying to teach acting at the same time as you’re doing rehearsals for a play, so your time becomes very, very valuable.”

Favell described “Deathtrap” as an Alfred Hitchcock-like thriller with comedic elements and tension.

“I think you’ll see things on this stage that you probably don’t often see on a live stage,” he said.

Kurt Crocker will play Sidney Bruhl, Aaron McVicker will play Clifford Anderson, Risha Lilienthal will be Myra Bruhl, Bev Loos will play Helga ten Dorp and Jon Cochran will be Porter Milgrim.

Loos, who performed in high school and college, is a retired teacher who will be on her third play since arriving in the area.

“I love the applause, I love being another character,” she said. “I love the socialization of being with the cast, I love everything about it.”

Loos, who had read a script before auditioning, thought the play would be a drama and described Helga as eccentric.

His biggest goal for the show was to transport the audience away from the real world.

Lilienthal, who also works for the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village, has been involved in theater since kindergarten and keeps coming back to discover the stories and characters told, as well as the variety of people the experience attracts.

She decided to audition for “Deathtrap” because it was the next play on the show, and that helped make it a drama.

But unlike Loos, she hadn’t read a script before auditioning.

“It’s dark, it’s sad,” she said. “But there’s this little bit of comedy that’s just fun.

“It’s sad but it gives twists. It’s funny.”

His biggest goal for the show was to elicit gasps.

“Deathtrap” marks Favell’s directorial debut, although he served as assistant director for “Irena’s Vow.”

Tickets, on sale now, are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Visit the Albert Lea Community Theater website at or call 1-877-730-3144.

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