Thrust eight strangers into an old mansion during a snowstorm and at least one is sure to wind up dead. We all know the setup and the question that inevitably follows: whodunit? But the predictability of the classic formula doesn’t make the tale any less enjoyable. Perhaps that’s why Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has become the longest-running show in the world, playing continuously in London’s West End since 1952 and tallying more than 25,000 performances. This Lakewood Theatre Company production passes muster with a well-cast ensemble that plays up the eccentricities and dark secrets of each character, from the squirrely Chris Wren (Samuel Summer) to the curmudgeonly Mrs. Boyle (Maxemillian Corkum). Leading the cast as the exasperated guesthouse owner, Lucy Paschall brings the most believable drama to the show’s campy vibe. Of course, some camp is to be expected—along with some heavy-handed obfuscation—when unraveling the motives of the portly foreigner who arrives unexpectedly or the mannish spinster who reveals little. But the action moves at a swift clip as characters dash through doors and up the stairs of the impressive set while Sergeant Trotter (Caleb Adderley) pieces together the events of the evening. Think you know who the killer is? Go play detective and spend the rest of the evening glaring suspiciously at your loved ones.
SEE IT: The Mousetrap is at Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S State St., Lake Oswego, 635-3901. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 pm Sundays, Jan. 19 and Feb. 2, 9 and 16; 7 pm Sundays, Jan. 19 and 26. Through Feb. 16. $32.