By Kathy L. Collins

If you love a good murder mystery, then you will not want to miss the Village Players’ version of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. All shows will be at the historic James McCabe Theatre located at 506 5th St. in Valrico.

The Mousetrap opens on Friday, February 3 with the now legendary Village Players’ Opening Night Dinner Theatre. Tickets for opening night are $25. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and the show will be presented at 8 p.m. All proceeds go towards renovation and maintenance of the historic James McCabe Theatre.

Shows will be performed over three weekends in February. Fridays, February 10 and 17 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, February 4, 11 and 18 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, February 5 and 12 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $13 for seniors, military with ID and students with ID, and $12 for groups of 10 or more (advanced reservations are required).

The Mousetrap opened on London’s West End in 1952 and has been running there continuously ever since. The play is known for its twist ending. Audiences are traditionally asked to not reveal the ending to anyone.

The Mousetrap is set in a boarding house where strangers are stranded during a snow storm. The characters include the newly married couple who run the boarding house, a spinster, an architect, a retired Army major, a strange little man who claims his car overturned in a snow drift, a jurist and a policeman who shows up on skis. Among this group is a murderer. One by one each character reveals their sordid pasts are revealed until the last nerve ending moment, the identity and motive of the murderer is revealed.

Gail Pierce, a producer and director with the Village Players said, “I oversee six shows a year and direct one or two of them. I especially enjoy murder mysteries and historical true stories. I prefer to direct these shows because everyone enjoys a good murder mystery.”

Pierce added, “We may not be the Straz Center, but I believe we are a good solid community theatre that offers residents not only affordable, quality theatre, but also the chance to be involved in a production. The door is always open for someone who wants to get started working on a show.” Tickets available by visiting www.villageplayersvalrico.com or by calling 480-3147 or 643-8292.