Successful Broadway thriller writer Sidney Bruhl (Brian Foyster) has hit a long dry spell and is desperate for a hit. He and his wife, Myra (Cynthia Gravinese), conspire to steal a play from a young playwright (Burt Grinstead), whom Bruhl met while teaching a seminar on the genre. Ira Levin's 1978 hit ran four years on Broadway and has been playing regional theaters nonstop since because of its intricate plot twists, which are perhaps rivaled only by Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth for ingeniousness. Director Ken Sawyer has successfully added sensual passion to a play that usually succeeds solely through cleverness and scares. Though the casting is uneven, Grinstead brings a youthful energy and acting skill that increases as the play's tension mounts. Elizabeth Herron provides delightful comic relief in what is often simply a goofy role as the Bruhls' psychic neighbor. Technically the production is superb, with greatest plaudits going to Joel Daavid, who created an amazing woodsy cabin in the tiny theater space. Davidson Valentini Theatre, 1125 N. McCadden Place, Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; through May 6. (323) 860-7300, lagaycenter.org.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: March 30. Continues through May 6, 2012