Longest Running Play in History Comes to Stamford

Curtain Call/contributed photo

For a show that has never played on Broadway, The Mousetrap is probably one of the best-known theatrical titles around. If you’ve never seen it, you’re in for a treat from the master of mystery – Dame, Agatha Christie – when Curtain Call’s production opens in The Dressing Room Theatre on February 29,

In October 2024, The Mousetrap will begin its 73rd year in London, keeping its title as the longest running play in history, well-secured! Keeping in perspective, the average lifespan for an American male is 73 years – unless they fall victim to one of Christie’s murderers!

“I am a huge fan of mysteries…I grew up watching and reading every Sherlock Holmes mystery as well as many Christie plays, so I love producing shows like The Mousetrap here,” said Curtain Call executive director and producer, Lou Ursone. This is the second time Ursone has produced the show in The Dressing Room Theatre – the last time was in 2007 with the same director this time as well. Stamford’s community-based theatre has made a habit of producing Christie’s works each of the past several seasons because, as Ursone said, “People love them and they sell out.”

Selling out has been something of the gift that keeps on giving – Christie granted the royalties from the play to her grandson, Mathew Pritchard on his ninth birthday. Since that time, the show has grossed tens of millions of dollars which Pritchard has used to support the arts through his private foundation, the Colwinston Trust. “My grandmother gave me my grandfather’s wedding ring,” Ursone said jokingly.

Leading this production is veteran Curtain Call director, Joel Fenster who said, “There are plenty of reasons why Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is the longest running play in the history of theater, but at the end, it all boils down to it being a well-constructed and entertaining mystery that is the epitome of Dame Agatha’s writing.” “Most recently at Curtain Call, Fenster has directed Christie’s A Murder is Announced and Murder on the Orient Express, (among others).

“I love having Joel direct here because he is passionate about the material and really works hard at making even a story that’s well-known, seem fresh for audiences and actors,” Ursone noted. “I’m not one of those directors who tends to revisit previously done material. I’ve only done it once before with Christie’s The Unexpected Guest, said Fenster.” “With the exception of myself, set designer Peter Barbieri, Jr., producer Lou Ursone, and stage manager Kevin Tangney, everyone else working on this show both on stage and off are new to the material and are what makes redoing this material so exciting. Everyone is bringing something new to the table that makes this a very different production than the one we did back in 2007”, Fenster added.

In The Mousetrap, eight people are stuck inside a bed and breakfast due to a blizzard and one of them is a killer. We get a great set-up of a previous off stage murder, introductions to all the potential suspects and victims, and the arrival of the detective just before the place is cut off from all outside contact. What follows is a wonderful series of twists, turns, and surprises as only Agatha Christie could imagine. “If you’ve seen The Mousetrap before, whether just once or multiple times, or especially if you’ve never seen it, you owe it to yourself to come see this production if you are a fan of the genre or the author. You will get your money’s worth of entertainment from this talented cast that will keep you guessing until the very end as to whodunnit and whytheydidit,” said Fenster

The cast includes Miranda Falk, Jim Foley, Jordon Hensley, Patrick Kelly, Angela Mantero, Eric Marquez, Josh Pickel, Eleni Rosenboom. Others on the production team include Jamie Lajoie – lighting design, Gwen Bihl – costume design, Carole Foley – assistant stage manager, Wayne Yeager – technical director and Meghan Connolly – production assistant.

The Mousetrap has four entries in the Guiness Book of Records, including: the longest continuous run of any show in the world, most durable actor – David Raven, who playe Major Metcalk for 4,575 performances, and longest serving understudy – Nancy Seabrooke, who stood by as Mrs. Boyle 6,240 times, actually performing 72 times. And yet, the show has never played on Broadway nor has there been a film version made of the story. Fenster said, “When the opportunity presented itself at Curtain Call again, I was intrigued…especially with a Broadway production finally on the horizon (which was announced to open in Fall 2023 and has yet to be updated with any info about opening at any time.”

The Mousetrap is presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals and with support from the CT Office of the Arts, CT Department of Economic Development. All shows at Curtain Call are produced in cooperation with The City of Stamford.

Performances will run February 29 through March 24, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm. Tickets are available through the box office at 203-461-6358 or online at www.curtaincallinc.com. The Dressing Room Theatre is located at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. Seating in the Dressing Room Theatre is cabaret-style with a BYOEverything format, so grab some snacks and your favorite beverages. Doors open one hour before show time.

Curtain Call was voted Fairfield County’s BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP ten years running in the Annual Readers’ Poll of the Fairfield County Weekly and has received similar “BEST OF” awards from Stamford Magazine and StamfordPlus magazine for 2008 through 2023. Curtain Call received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011 and the ACE Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County in 2016.

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