By Stephanie Meditz
On Feb. 11, Maggie’s Little Theater in Middle Village will open the curtains on its production of Agatha Christie’s 1952 murder mystery, “The Mousetrap.”
The whodunit follows Mollie and Giles as they open their guest house for the first time, only to find themselves snowed in with a murderer.
Producer and founding member of Maggie’s Little Theater, Dolores Voyer, said that several of the show’s rehearsals took place on Zoom to protect the cast from COVID-19.
“We rehearsed in person most of the time, but when we started this show, our director [Thom Harmon] suggested…to have certain rehearsals not in person. Things that don’t need to be in person, individual work between the director and an actor…don’t need to be on the stage,” she said. “We wanted to keep everybody as safe as possible…when we’re in the theater on the stage, the actors are free to and often do wear masks.”
This past summer, Maggie’s Little Theater put on a production of “Kiss Me, Kate,” its first performance since before the pandemic.
“I didn’t realize during the pandemic how much I missed it until we started again, and I think that a lot of people feel that way,” Voyer said. “We kind of got used to being in our own little bubbles, and now that we’re able to safely come out and enjoy live theater again, it’s such a great feeling to be able to collaborate with people and to bring something to the audience.”
Voyer is especially grateful for the cast of The Mousetrap and their motivation to produce quality work for the audience.
“This cast is wonderful. We are really lucky to have a couple of longtime veterans of community theater in Queens as well as several people who are new to Maggie’s Little Theater…they’re very dedicated, they’re very interested in the process,” Voyer said. “The amount of chemistry between the actors has really developed so nicely.”
Cast members who are recurring Maggie’s Little Theater actors include Bernard Bosio, Sarah Nowik and Mark York.
Although Maggie’s Little Theater typically produces more musicals than straight plays, it is primarily interested in producing shows that the audience would like to see.
“We’ve done some straight plays that are well known, some that are a little less well known,” Voyer said. “This one is kind of both well known and not, because it’s Agatha Christie but it’s a show that’s never been produced on Broadway.”
The Mousetrap has been running in London for 70 years, but it has not seen a Broadway stage in that time per Agatha Christie’s wish.
The show’s original contract states that it could not move to Broadway or be produced as a movie until it closed in London, and it has not closed.
“It debuted in 1952, and Agatha Christie herself thought it wouldn’t run more than a few months, but except for the pandemic, it has run continuously from 1952 until now,” Voyer said.
Performance dates for The Mousetrap are Feb. 11, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 12 and 19 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at https://www.maggieslittletheater.org and are $20 for adults and $18 for children 11 and under and seniors over 65.