PAT LAUNER posted at TimesofSanDiego.com
RUN DATES: 9/11/15 – 10/11/15
VENUE: Scripps Ranch Theatre
The great thing about Anthony Shaffer’s intellectual cat-and-mouse game, “Sleuth,” is that it’s so intricately and exquisitely plotted, even if you’ve seen it before (not too too recently), you can experience the shocks and surprises all over again.
In the interest of not spoiling the fun for anyone, all that can be said is that the multi-layered puzzler is set in an English country house (natch), where Andrew Wyke has invited Milo Tindle for an evening of fun and games — with a little playful humiliation and a hint of murder thrown in. The tricks and ruses pile up, and things begin to spiral out of control, what with clowns, burglars, inspectors and all manner of smart, mangled mayhem.
Scripps Ranch Theatre is presenting a dazzling production, under the taut, hair-trigger-timed direction of Charles Peters.
Tim West and Tom Steward are terrific as Andrew and Miles, though who’s the feral cat and who’s the diseased rat at any given moment is hard to say. They play off each other brilliantly (and play — though it may be deadly — is the operative word here).
Mike McCullock has created a marvelously detailed set, meticulously dressed by prop mistress Angelica Ynfante. Lisa Burgess’ costumes are spot-on, especially the dress-up/disguise getups. The lighting (Mitchell Simkovsky) and sound (Susan Distabile) add nerve-rattling effects — like that goofball guffaw on the puppet called ‘Jolly Jack Tar, the Jovial Sailor.’
Whether you like deeply entangled detective stories or hidden cues, mind-games or a battle of the wits, you’re sure to relish these two hours of “Sleuthing.”
Scripps Ranch Theatre’s “Sleuth” continues through Oct. 11 in the Legler Benbough Theatre on the campus of Alliant University
Performances are Friday-Saturday at 8 p,m,, Sunday at 2 p.m.
Tickets ($28-$31) are available at 858-578-7728 or online at www.scrippsranchtheatre.org
Running time: 2 hours, 15 min.
©2015 PAT LAUNER, San Diego Theater Reviews