Set in England during the winter of 1952, a group of strangers are trapped together at a manor house during a snowstorm. They soon discover that one of them is a murderer and suspicion runs wild.
Now celebrating its 60th year, The Mousetrap, written by Agatha Christie, is the author’s most popular creation and now being staged at the Walnut Street Theatre through March 4. This perfectly written whodunnit is based on a real life drama and was originally written as a short radio play titled Three Blind Mice. Christie herself never imagined it would last very long, let alone six decades.
But audiences proved her wrong, said Laurent Giroux, who plays Mr. Paravicini in the play.
“Audiences keep coming back to see this play because it has everything. It’s a little jewel with so many different facets to it that audiences just eat it up,” he said. “As for actors like me, getting to rehearse this play in a room, but then bringing it to an audience to see their reaction is quite daunting.”
In the play, Mr. Paravicini, who appears to be affecting a foreign accent, is a man who turns up at the manor house claiming that his car has just overturned in a snowdrift and is seeking refuge. Is he or isn’t he?
Buffalo-born Giroux, 62, was last seen at the Walnut in Aspects of Love. Over the years, he has performed on Broadway in Pippin, Chicago, Dancin’, Ambassador and Two Gentlemen of Verona.
He was also cast as Rooster Hannigan in the 20th anniversary production of Annie. He played King Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar and was featured in the national tour of The Light in the Piazza, as well as many regional productions.
“I remember when I first decided I wanted to be an actor, I was about three or four years old and sitting on my father’s knee watching Peter Pan on television. I pointed to the television set and said that’s what I want to do when I grow up. My dad thought maybe I meant Tinkerbell, but I made a hook with my hand, telling him that I wanted to play Captain Hook,” he said.
Believing in his son even at that young age, Giroux’s father enrolled him in a dancing school to see if he had inherent talent, which the little boy proved he did. Later, when Giroux was a young teen he told his teacher he was very serious about this craft. That’s when his teacher told him she had done all she could for him and sent him off to ballet classes so he could learn from a male dancer.
Later, Giroux enrolled at Buffalo State as an art major, then transferred to Adelphi University in Long Island. But after a week, Giroux auditioned for a spot as a soloist dancer at Radio City Music Hall, got the job, and has never looked back.
Along the way, he appeared in a touring company of Promises, Promises where, he remembered, the dance captain pulled him aside and said that although he was a good dancer, that’s not where his career should go.
“She told me that if I were smart I’d look to a whole different career because dancers generally have a shelf life. I knew she was right and decided to take her advice. I took voice lessons, studied the Meisner technique for acting, and eventually turned myself into an actor, singer and dancer,” Giroux said.
Today, Giroux insisted he’s thoroughly enjoying the road he’s traveled, and would recommend it to anyone — if they are willing to work hard.
“You have to be totally committed to your craft,” he said. “It has to be your life and all you really want to do, because if you don’t have that kind of dedication, it will be very, very difficult to make it.” ••
For times and ticket information, call 215-574-3550.EndFragment