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Mystery Thrillers Onstage in New Productions


Anyone who is a fan of the long-running “Midsomer Murders” television series understands that any English Country Murder Mystery can easily be translated into a Litchfield County/Tristate region murder mystery.  So many elements remain the same: Large estates (some with sheep), Wellington boots, Range Rovers, foxes screaming in the night, people riding horses.

So it makes sense that two small regional theaters are staging classic murder mysteries this summer.

The Sherman Players in Sherman, Conn., are performing an English Country Murder Mystery written by Anthony Shaffer called “Whodunnit” from now until May 21. The show opened on Broadway in 1982; its plot resembles that of the 1976 silly film “Murder by Death,” which starred almost every actor alive in that decade, plus the author Truman Capote.

Long story short: A large group of people with secrets they’d kill to protect are invited to an English country house, where the host reveals that he is preparing to blackmail each and every one of them.

Obviously, murder and hilarity ensue.

The large cast is made up of actors from Connecticut and New York.

Remaining performances are May 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on May 15. Tickets are $24 for adults and $12 for students. Reservations can be made online at www.shermanplayers.org or by calling 860-354-3622.           

The play “Deathtrap” is set in Long Island and holds the record for the longest running comedy-thriller on Broadway. I know it best from the 1982 film that starred British actors Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve.

The action has been moved from The Island to Litchfield County in a new production by TheatreWorks New Milford.

The show opened May 6 and performances continue until Saturday, May 28. Show times are 8 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, May 22.  Tickets are $25 for reserved seating. Students and military personnel and veterans with ID will be admitted for $20.

Reservations can be made online at www.theatreworks.us or by calling 860-350-6863.

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