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updated: 10/13/2010 1:53 PM

Agatha Christie's 'Mousetrap' comes to NCC

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Murder-mystery fans won't need cheap plastic glasses to bring North Central College's newest theater production to life.

Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap is real-life 3-D, student Director Jared Grebner says.

"It's going to be in the round, so people will get the feeling that they're entering the boardinghouse itself like a 360-degree perspective of what's going on, said Grebner, a senior theater major. "It's like you're watching a 3-D movie, but it's live action.

The production opens at 7:30 p.m. today, with evening shows Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday in the Madden Theatre at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville.

Once audience members enter, there's no turning back from the tale that unfolds on stage and sometimes even in the audience as Detective Sgt. Trotter seeks out a murderer.

After a killing takes place in London, Trotter travels on skis to the Monkswell Manor hotel to warn guests there may be a murderer on the way. When one of the hotel guests turns up dead, it's apparent the killer already has arrived.

Arena seating adds an extra element to the eight-actor production that draws the audience into the action, Grebner said.

"It adds a little tension because it feels like you're being questioned, he said. "The actors will be pretty much right next to the people in the audience, so you're automatically going to feel like you're involved in what's going on on stage.

For example, many of the inquisitions take place toward the audience, he said.

Detective Sgt. Trotter, played by freshman Brian Warren of Glendale Heights, questions characters and tries to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

"There's a background story that goes along with it, Warren said. "Being the detective, I have a lot of that information and I fill in these spots.

Without giving up any of the important details, Grebner says the production stays true to the original version, which opened in 1952 and is still going the longest-running production in modern times.

"The Mousetrap is part of a series of student-led productions that take place throughout the school year. Directors have successfully completed the college's directing class and are chosen through an application process to lead a main stage production.

Tickets to the Friday and Saturday shows are sold out.

Prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.

For details, call (630) 637-7469 or visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.

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