Elliott Gould and Mariette Hartley are starring in a Broadway-bound revival of Ira Levin's thriller, Deathtrap, in roles originated by John Wood and Marian Seldes in 1978. The revival is directed by John Tillinger, who is artistic associate at Long Wharf Theatre in Connecticut.
In her November 1996 review of the touring production for This Month ON STAGE theatre magazine, Connecticut critic Rosalind Friedman wrote, "This serio-comic mystery play holds up much better than Angel Street and Dial M For Murder, both of which are mentioned by the skillful playwright, both of which received less satisfying revivals this season... Elliot Gould, always a twinkle in his eye, is charming and convincing, if a little slapdash in the first act... Mariette Hartley, as oh-so-sweet and wealthy wife, Myra, simply stuns in [Jess] Goldstein's chic costumes... Marilyn Cooper lends welcome amusement as the psychic; Doug Stender is perfect as Porter Milgrim, the buttoned-up family lawyer.
The production plays the Bushnell in Hartford, CT through Oct. 20. Other planned stops:
Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (Oct. 22-Nov. 3)
Bob Carr Theatre in Orlando, FL (Nov. 12-17)
Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami (Nov. Nov. 19-24
Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, TX (Nov. 26-Dec. 1)
Seldes subsequently wedded Garson Kanin after his long-running marriage to the late Ruth Gordon. "A tough act to follow," Kladitis heard somebody call Gordon, and he begged to differ: "Knowing Marian, I'd say she was a tough act to precede." Broadway's Deathtrap had several leading men but only one leading lady--Seldes, who made The Guinness Book of Records as "The Most Durable Actress" by not missing one of that show's 1,809 performances. (It became--after Life with Father, Tobacco Road and Abie's Irish Rose--Broadway's fourth longest-running non-musical.) -- By Robert Viagas and Harry Haun