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Bigfork Community Players stage mystery classic

| October 24, 2019 4:57 PM

“Life is a mystery,” suggests Michele Shapero, who directs Agatha Christie’s mystery, “The Mousetrap,” opening Friday, Oct. 25, in Bigfork.

“For several years the Bigfork Community Players concentrated on comedies.” Shapero said, “But then we discovered that our audiences liked a good mystery, as well. ‘The Mousetrap’ combines comedy with mystery, illustrating that the elusive nature of comedy itself can be a mystery.

“The play opened in London over half a century ago and, still playing, has probably had the longest run of any show ever produced there.”

Reviews by the critics have been mixed, sometimes suggesting the story “middling” or the characters “cliches.” Others have suggested that the attitude of a reviewer may reflect on whether he or she managed to figure out the mystery.

“But “its long run is evidence that the play has never failed to please audiences.” Shapero said.

The story, set in mid-20th century England, revolves around five guests stranded at a quaint country inn by a blinding snowstorm. The guests are attended by two novice innkeepers and a policeman who arrives on skis. Everyone is a suspect as the guests begin to die, the result of murder.

This is the first mystery for Shapero, who has directed a number of plays ranging from “War of the Worlds” to “Steel Magnolias.”

“The actual process of directing a mystery isn’t much different than any other play,” Shapero said. “It’s a matter of letting the script do its job. And it’s always fun to discover the surprises in the script, in this case the surprising humor in murder.

“I always enjoy directing, especially when I have a good cast and this cast keeps me entertained night after night as we proceed to opening. I think it’s going to be a great show.”

The Mousetrap opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts. Additional performances are at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27. Tickets may be purchased at Bigfork Drug, the Pocketstone Cafe, Kalispell Grand Hotel, and at the door.