DEATHTRAP – This is definitely a hit for The Group Rep

THE GROUP REP presents “DEATHTRAP,”  written by Ira Levin directed by Jules Aaron. 

It’s 1979 and deep in the woods of Westport, Connecticut at a country estate.   Sidney (Robert Benedict Nello) has had a successful career as a playwright of thrillers but now seems to have hit a dry spell.  It appears that he will do just about anything to get the right story idea to create another theatrical success.   Lucky for us, Ira Levin’s infamous comic thriller, “DEATHTRAP,” is The Group Rep’s terrific new offering at the Lonny Chapman Theatre.  Is another hit in Sidney’s future? 

This is definitely a hit for The Group Rep.

LtoR Lloyd Pedersen, TJ McNeill, Robert Benedict Nello. Photo by Doug Engalla
LtoR Lloyd Pedersen, TJ McNeill, Robert Benedict Nello. Photo by Doug Engalla

Sidney is now desperate after a series of flops, and he and wife Myra (Gina Yates) devise a plan to give Sidney a great story idea so he can create his next hit.  Clifford (TJ McNeill), a former writing seminar student of Sidney’s, has sent Sidney a play for his comments, with Sidney inviting him to his estate for collaboration.  Sidney loves the play and wants it for his own.  But Clifford has written it.   Could this be Sidney’s new hit play?  Adding to the “merriment” is Helga Ten Dorp (LizAnne Keigley), a well known psychic staying in the couple’s guest house who seems to “know” the who, what and where of everything.   She “sees” danger.  She “sees” death.  Her psychic ability may cause some problems with Sidney and Myra’s plan.   Even Porter Milgrim (Lloyd Pedersen), Sidney’s perceptive lawyer realizes something is amiss.  Suspense mounts throughout the play, and there is a twist, then a turn, then a twist, then another turn, then a twist…well, you get the picture.  There are loads of twists and turns.   If you have never seen this play, or the fantastic movie, you will be in for a real treat.  Every moment has something unexpected.  It’s a thriller, with murder, but with loads of laughs.  And, wow, the ending.

LtoR TJ McNeill, Gina Yates, Robert Benedict Nello. Photo by Doug Engalla
LtoR TJ McNeill, Gina Yates, Robert Benedict Nello. Photo by Doug Engalla

This ensemble of wonderful actors really gives us the essence of what “DEATHTRAP” is all about, and along with the amazing Jules Aaron’s direction (which never disappoints), we have a terrific play.   With a first glance at the stage you will see an amazing set design by Chris Winfield, and you know instantly this is going to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

“DEATHTRAP” holds the record for the longest-running comedy thriller on Broadway.  But, we can see it at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.  Fun and thrills in our own backyard.  This is a great opportunity to see this award-winning play, “DEATHTRAP.”   Have fun everybody!


LtoR TJMcNeill RobertBenedictNello photoByDougEngalla

Cast:  LizAnne Keigley, TJ McNeill, Robert Benedict Nello, Lloyd Pedersen, and Gina Yates

Director:  Jules Aaron

Producer for the Group Rep:  Larry Eisenberg

Assistant Director:  Debi Tinsley

Set Design:  Chris Winfield

Sound Design:  Steve Shaw

Light Design:  J. Kent Inasy

Costume Design:  Angela M. Eads

Makeup Design:  Judi Lewin

Fight Director:  Orion Barnes

Production Photography:  Doug Engalla

Public Relations:  Nora Feldman

Graphic Design:  Doug Haverty + Art & Soul Design

Program:  Drina Durazo

Lonny Chapman Theatre

10900 Burbank Blvd

North Hollywood, CA 91601

Tickets:   or   (818) 763-5990

Runs:  April 6 – May 20.  Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm;

                                                Talk-back Sundays April 15 and April 28 after the matinee.

General Admission:  $25.00; Seniors & Students with ID:  $20.00;     Groups 10+: $15.00


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Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.