Regional Reviews: Connecticut & the Berkshires
This close proximity to the stage works very well with Sleuth, especially as surprises are gradually revealed. It is mentioned in the program for audience members to keep from revealing the plot of this play, since more than half the fun is finding out what unexpected things happen next. So, I can highly recommend Sleuth at Music Theatre of Connecticut, but recommend not reading the play or watching the excellent film version, starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, before seeing the play.
The cast is evenly matched, and they do full justice to the play. The set-up of the story is that Andrew Wyke has invited another man, Milo Tindle, into his home for a drink and discussion. Scenic designer Jordan Janota has done an outstanding job of designing the set of Andrew Wyke's living room with every table and chair perfectly placed and details intricate and exquisite, which literally sets the stage for Shaffer's play. As Andrew Wyke, John Little gives a distinguished and superb performance. With appropriate and richly designed costumes by Diane Vanderkroef, this actor fully embodies the character and seems to be having a grand time onstage. David Brickman more than holds his own as the younger character Milo Tindle, and his dashing good looks add to the textures of the ultimately multi-layered character. As the two share a drink in the first act, one can see that everything is precisely in place for the surprises to be gradually revealed.
I'm afraid that that's all I can say about the story in Sleuth. It can be said, however, that director Pamela Hill does a great job keeping the tension high, and her pacing of the play is perfect. Adding to the effectiveness of this production is the terrific atmospheric lighting design by Michael Blagys and the sinister music played at different key moments in the play. It should be mentioned that there are gun shots in this show, which can be a little jarring, but not, in my opinion, overpowering.
Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth is certainly well presented by this Music Theatre of Connecticut production, with both leading actors extremely strong and well-suited to their roles. Sleuth unfolds as a perfectly designed combination of drawing room comedy and detective story, with many unexpected plot twists along the way. Music Theatre of Connecticut So, come see Sleuth at Music Theatre of Connecticut; just don't be scared if there are more than a few things in this show that go bump in the night.
Sleuth continues performances at Music Theatre of Connecticut in Norwalk, CT through November 20, 2016. For tickets, please visit www.mtcmainstage.org or call the box office at 203-454-3883.