Review: “The Mousetrap” in Ross

When something becomes popular enough to be successfully parodied, what made the original source material so popular tends to be forgotten. Case in point – the British murder mystery as exemplified by the works of Agatha Christie. Christie wrote 66 detective novels (many featuring the characters of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot), 14 short story…

Review: “Crimes of the Heart” in Ross

The Ross Valley Players conclude their 89th season with a production of Crimes of the Heart, running in Ross through August 11. Beth Henley’s tragicomedy won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was followed by a film adaptation starring Sissy Spacek that nabbed three Oscar nominations. The Magrath sisters have gathered at their grandfather’s…

Review: “Scott & Zelda: The Beautiful Fools” in Ross

The venerable Ross Valley Players have a long history of presenting new works to their audiences. In 1984, they initiated the Ross Alternative Works (RAW) program, dedicated to staged readings and full productions of original works by Bay Area playwrights. This season brings Scott & Zelda: The Beautiful Fools, running now through April 28. Written…

Review: “These Shining Lives” in Ross

At a time when occupational safety regulations are being loosened and funding for the agencies responsible for their enforcement being reduced, it’s good to be reminded how those safeguards came to be and what life was like for American workers before then. The Ross Valley Players’ production of Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives does just…

Review: “Deathtrap” in Ross

Mysteries and thrillers present interesting challenges for critics. We want to give audiences enough of an idea of the plot to pique their interest without giving away any of the twists, turns and surprises audiences should discover for themselves. Well, here goes. Playwright Sidney Bruhl, once a successful writer of theatrical thrillers, is tired of…

Review: “The Odd Couple” in Ross

There’s no more proven commodity for community theatres than Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. A reliable audience-pleaser since its 1965 Broadway debut, the story of mismatched roommates has been adapted for film and television numerous times and Simon himself rewrote it for an all-female cast. The Ross Valley Players production running through December 16 is…