Every now and then the Pocket Sandwich Theatre puts away the popcorn melodramas and stages a real play. They have a doozey in this 30-year-old comedy-thriller by murder maestro Ira Levin (Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives). Fading writer Sidney Bruhl (Dennis Millegen) schemes to murder a handsome young dramatist named Clifford (Beau Trujillo) so he can steal the young man's perfect play and pass it off as his own. Sidney's wife Myra (Trista Wyly) doesn't have the heart to go through with the homicide plot. But is that the real story? Is that nosy neighbor (Angela Wilson) a psychic or a pretender who just wants to write her own play? Who murders whom and why is the juice of Deathtrap, which tweaks the genre by revealing all the plot turns to the audience and then turning each one on its head. Several jump-outta-the-seat moments send the audience into peals of horrified screams, then laughter. Haven't been so entertained at Pocket in years. Come early and have a snacky dinner in this venue, which offers beer and wine throughout the performance. Only one intermission also makes this production, nicely directed by Cindee Mayfield, a plus. Through September 26 at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird (across street from Mockingbird Station).
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 3. Continues through Sept. 26, 2009