Coastal Rep's Deathtrap

Actor Scott Solomon poses for a photo as the lead character Sidney Bruhl in the upcoming Coastal Rep production of “Deathtrap.” Adam Pardee / Review

The Coastal Repertory Theatre is opening “Deathtrap,” by Ira Levin, a comedic thriller in which a once-successful Broadway playwright plans a murder to take credit for a student’s play. The production starts on Oct. 1.

“Deathtrap, a thriller in two acts, one set, five characters,” recited lead Scott Solomon from his lines in the show. “Juicy murder in Act 1, unexpected developments in Act 2. Sound dialogue, good construction, laughs in the right places.”

The thriller and comedy will be at the theater through Oct. 17.

“I think it’s magical,” said Allie Bailey, director, on being back in the theater. “It really reminds you of the value of live theater. Being able to share the space with other people and feel the energy back and forth, the give and take between the audience and the actors. It’s the magic of live theater.”

This is not Bailey and Solomon’s first encounter.

“I like to think of Scott as my guardian angel,” said Bailey. “Scott and I met on a production of ‘Peter and the Starcatcher.’ He was an actor in the production and I was the stage manager.”

They got to talking and realized that they had seen each other’s productions at the Pacifica Spindrift Players, and Solomon encouraged Bailey to submit to direct at the Coastal Repertory Theatre.

“I was speaking with Gail Irwin, who's one of the artistic directors, and she had mentioned that they were looking for young directors and really interested in offering opportunities to young directors and women in particular,” said Solomon. “That stuck in my head, so I dropped Allie’s name, and then ran over to Allie and dropped Gail’s name, and they ended up connecting.”

For this season, Bailey and Solomon had discussed doing “Veronica’s Room,” a production by the same playwright who wrote “Deathtrap,” but it was deemed too dark for the local audience. When Bailey read the script for “Deathtrap” for the first time, she was hooked.

“I didn’t choose the play,” Bailey said. “The play chose me. There’s so many layers and lots of surprises. It’s very entertaining because you think you know what’s happening and then it goes for another turn … and then another … and another.”

Solomon added that playing the playwright, Sidney Bruhl, was one of his bucket list roles.

“It’s funny and well written; the dialogue is tremendously fun,” said Solomon. “I was hoping that someday I would grow into it. Apparently, I have. I'm having a great time.”

Tickets are available on the Coastal Repertory Theatre’s website. The theater has implemented a vaccination policy for all those eligible. In order to attend, proof of vaccination will be required. Actors and volunteers will also be fully vaccinated. Masks will be required for the audience.

“They are really a lovely group of humans and we’re creating something, I think, truly special,” said Bailey.

Emma Spaeth is a staff writer for the Half Moon Bay Review covering community, arts and sports. Emma grew up in Half Moon Bay before earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oregon.

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