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Michael’s Theatrical Pursuits

Review of the Mousetrap – By Meg Hale on 06/23/2010

In typical Agatha Christie form, The Mousetrap, the most recent production at the Brevard Little Theatre, grabs the audience immediately and keeps them guessing until the final scene.

Known for being the most successful writer of all time and selling more books than any in history with the exception of the works of Shakespeare and The Bible (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), Christie is most famous for her mystery novels, starring detectives like Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marble.

The Mousetrap, however, centers around a group of strangers that all happen to be staying at a British boarding house during a snow storm. As one would imagine, the situation intensifies when one of the guests is murdered. Opening at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, in 1952, The Mousetrap had the longest initial run of any modern play in history, running 58 years and over 24,000 performances.

The ensemble cast of characters includes a mysterious foreigner, a disturbed young man, a retired military Major and a quiet older woman. They, along with the newlywed couple that maintain the inn, are all under suspicion for the murder. In the BLT production, all the characters are perfectly portrayed by the actors who play them. Although the most fun roles are probably that of Parvicini (Mich Barg), Mrs. Boyle (Ann Strother) and Christopher Wren (Joseph Barcia). I also very much enjoyed the role of the good-natured police officer, played by Scott Bean.

Under the direction of Michael Wilson (who was also in charge of the lights and set) and the stage management of Liz Malone, the design and timing of this show were spot-on, making for a most compelling and challenging mystery, and totally worth the drive to Brevard.

Although Christie is obviously a master of her craft and an undeniably successful writer, I must admit that I found the plot of The Mousetrap just a bit formulaic and predictable. I did, however, really enjoy the moment when the killer was revealed and that my suspicions were correct. It’s a lot harder than figuring out whodunnit on Law & Order, where you just assume that the actor you’ve seen before is the killer. So, I suppose that mine was the proper reaction of an audience member for a mystery play, and likewise, confirms me as a born mystery-lover.

This particular show is also known for its twist-ending, which for decades audiences who’ve just seen the show have been asked not to reveal. And I cannot abide breaking tradition; so if you want to know the surprise ending, you’ll have to check it out for yourself.

The Mousetrap will be playing at the Brevard Little Theatre in downtown Brevard Friday and Saturday (June 25-26) at 8 p.m., and Sunday (June 27) at 3 p.m.

Click here to see the original article on Mountain Xpress’ website.


BLT Presents A Stunning Production Of The Mousetrap
By Bill Mashburn

Brevard Little Theater has reprised “The Mousetrap,” a classic murder mystery by Agatha Christie. It is a good decision. Michael Wilson, a fine actor who has appeared in BLT’s “A Christmas Carol” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” makes his BLT directing debut with masterful and creative control. As usual Maureen Edick, producer, touches all the bases.

The play is fast moving and energy driven, and there is an appealing synergy among the actors. The well cast show is a wonderful blend of well known actors on the Brevard theater scene and some very talented newcomers to the BLT stage.

First, all the actors have strong voices and individualistic characterizations. They keep the mystery going with carefully designed twists and turns.

Mandi Hart gives a very creditable and empathetic interpretation of the character of the young and inexperienced innkeeper, Mollie Ralston, and Michael Boulos is very strong and reliable as her husband and co-innkeeper, Giles Ralston.

Joseph Barcia, gives an incredible performance as Christopher Wren, the young, effeminate, wannabe architect. He has the mannerisms, affectations and facial expressions down to an art form, and both repels and attracts sympathy.

Veteran actress Ann Strother does a marvelous characterization of the haughty and ever so critical Mrs. Boyle, who engenders little goodwill among the guests or innkeepers.

Marvin Barg handles the role of Major Metcalf with his usual professionalism and competence. His is a solid performance.

Sonia Arnold weaves an intricate web of mystery around her character of Miss Casewell. Hers is a surprising performance.

Mich Barg is very entertaining and effusive as an Italian charmer, Mr. Paravicini. This is perhaps Barg’s best and at the same time most difficult performance ever.

And finally, Scott Bean, is relentlessly strong and effective in his role of Detective Sergeant Trotter.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see this summer sizzler with its surprise ending.

Performances continue this weekend with performances on Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 27, at 3 p.m. Reservations may be made by calling (828) 884-2587. All performances are at the American Legion Hall, 55 East Jordan St. in downtown Brevard.

See the original review in the Transylvania Times here.

The third production of the Brevard Little Theatre’s 60th season, The Mousetrap, one of the most popular mysteries by Agatha Christie, has been cast and is in rehearsal.  The director of the production, Asheville’s Michael Wilson, is directing in Brevard for the first time.  He says, “I remember the thrill I got when reading through my first Christie book, Ten Little Indians, because I never really knew just whodunnit until the very end.  The Mousetrap follows that vein and keeps the audience guessing the entire time.”

The cast, called “stellar” by Wilson, is evenly split between actors from Brevard and Asheville. It is comprised of Michele & Marvin Barg, Michael Boulos, Sonia Arnold, Joseph Barcia, Ann Strother, Mandi Hart and Scott Bean. Maureen Edick is the producer and Liz Malzone the stage manager.

The Mousetrap originally opened in London in 1952 and, with over 24,000 performances so far, is now the longest running show of the modern era.  The play is also known for its twist at the end that audience members are always asked not to reveal.  Previously performed by BLT in 2000, The Mousetrap is being reprised by popular request.

The play will be performed the two weekends of June 18th and June 25th at the American Legion Hall on East Jordan St. in Brevard.  For additional information or to make reservations, contact BLT at 828.884.BLTR [2587]

Auditions for The Mousetrap were this past weekend and we had some fantastic people audition.  After careful consideration, the following people have been chosen:

Mollie Ralston: Mandi Hart
Giles Ralston: Michael Boulos
Christopher Wren: L. Joseph Barcia, Jr.
Mrs. Boyle: Ann Strother
Miss Casewell: Sonia Arnold
Major Metcalf: Marvin Barg
Paravacini: Michele Barg
Seargent Trotter: Scott Bean

Congrats to the new cast.
Mark your calendars to come see the show!
The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie
June 18-27, 2010 at Brevard Little Theatre
Directed by Michael Wilson

The Mousetrap.

Auditions for The Mousetrap are less than 2 weeks away!  April 24 & 25, 2-4pm at Brevard Little Theatre.

55 East Jordan Street, Brevard, NC 28712. Here’s a map.

Seeking 5 men, 3 women – click here for more details.


Blue Ridge Theatre Collective!

From the creator of The Songs.
Stay tuned for the next installment of our cabaret.

More details soon…

BRTC is an unofficial collective of theatre enthusiasts from Asheville & all over WNC.

Become a fan, get involved!

The Brevard Little Theatre will conduct auditions for Agatha Christie’s mystery, “The Mousetrap” on Saturday and Sunday, April 24 & 25, from 2 to 4pm. The auditions will be held in the American Legion hall in Brevard. Michael Wilson will direct the show.  Performances are June 18-27, 2010.

The story is about a young couple, Mollie and Giles Ralston, who
have started up a new hotel in the converted Monkswell Manor. They
are snowed in together with four guests and an additional traveller,
who ran his car into a snowdrift. Detective Sergeant Trotter arrives
on skis to inform the group that he believes a murderer is on his
way to the hotel, following the death of Mrs Maureen Lyon in London.

When one of the guests – Mrs Boyle – is killed, they realise that the
murderer is already there. The suspicion falls first on Christopher
Wren, an erratic young man who fits the description of the supposed
murderer. However, it quickly transpires that the killer could be any
one of the guests, or even the hosts themselves.

Roles are available for 5 men and 3 women. Bring a resume and a head shot, if possible. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.

Performances are scheduled for two weekends, June 18-27, 2010. For more information, email Michael Wilson at

All of the characters have troubled pasts that will make them multi-dimensional and fun to interpret.


Mollie (late 20s,) She is a newlywed who, along with her husband, Giles, has just decided to open a guest house. While she seems pretty much with it, something unfortunate happened to her several years ago and it still haunts her to this day.

Mrs. Boyle (40s-50s) is a former Magistrate, thoroughly pompous and irritating. She finds fault with everyone and everything. In her eyes, she’s perfect.

Miss Casewell (around 30) She is cool, standoffish, very reserved, seems to look down her nose at everyone. Seems to have her undies in a bunch!


Giles (late 20s) He is married to Mollie. While he seems pleasant and accommodating enough, apparently he had a negative experience as a child that still weighs on him.

Major Metcalfe (40s-60s) He seems to have it all together, but he’s definitely hiding something!

Christopher Wren (18-19) is a college freshman. A thoroughly interesting character who never quite fits in, he is bright, nerdy and can be annoying to many!

Detective Sergeant Trotter (mid 20s) He has an official investigative manner. Troubled past? Maybe!

Paravacini (mid 40s – 60s) He’s the only one at the guest house who didn’t make a reservation. His car ended up in a snow bank (yes, there’s a blizzard out there) in front of the guest house. Fortunately (or unfortunately) there is a room available for him. He is an Italian visitor who loves his carbs and pasta (a jolly old elf).  This character offers plenty of room for interpretation.

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Click here to visit Brevard Little Theatre’s homepage

“Sensation” from The Who’s Tommy, May 2009.  That yellow blurry deaf, dumb & blind kid is me.  Fun show, lots of high notes & belting.  Produced by Asheville Arts Center & BioFlyer Productions.

Click any of the text above to watch it, while I figure out why Myspace videos have trouble on WordPress.