The CENTER has returned indoors for its autumn season, and to say I'm OK with that is an understatement.

By Andrew Andrews

Deathtrap marks the return of indoor performances at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Photos by Olivia Michaels Bogert.

Sidney Bruhl is a playwright with a string of successful murder mysteries under his belt who can’t come up with his next story.

After receiving a perfect manuscript from a student in one of his seminars, Sidney suggests to his wife Myra that he would literally kill to make it his next commercial success.

Sidney invites the playwright, Clifford, to their home, under the pretense of offering to collaborate on the story to make it viable.

When Clifford arrives, Sidney uses one of the medieval weapons in his collection to strangle him, then demands that Myra help him dispose of the body in her flower bed.

After their psychic neighbor Helga ten Dorp appears with a frantic warning that something terrible is about to happen in the house, Sidney and Myra compare the discrepancies between her predictions and what actually transpired.

Full of plot twists that start before the end of Act I, Deathtrap won’t have you wondering whodunit?, but it will have you wondering who will be the next to do what.

Cindy Kubik, Elaine Young, John Remington, Austin Carrothers and Jeremy Ratel make up the cast.

After a successful summer of open air performances from their outdoor stage, the CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck returns indoors to launch their autumn season.

Vaccination checks, masks and social-distancing were in place to protect the audience at our opening night show, making it a pleasure to sit in the stadium seats before the CENTER’s main stage—except for the occasional kick in the back of my chair by the platform-heeled patron sitting behind me.

With a unique twist on the common trope of a play-within-a-play, Ira Levin’s 1978 script is a self-referencing play-about-a-play, and it’s easy to see why the original Broadway comedy-thriller was nominated for four Tony Awards and adapted for the big screen.

On a perfectly-stereotypical set for a murder, the cast and crew of The CENTER’s production did a fine job of keeping us both engaged and entertained, with the melodramatic portrayal by Cindy Kubik standing out for its comedic effect.

Although I wouldn’t exactly nominate this production for any “best of” awards, my partner and I agreed that it was an enjoyable experience.

For only $25 bucks a seat, it’s also a great value, and I highly recommend you catch one of the few remaining performances of this very limited run.


Andrew Andrews attended Deathtrap at The Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck on Friday, October 1, 2021 @ 8:00pm to write this review.