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Deathtrap is a 1978 play by Ira Levin that involves many plot twists. It was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play and holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadwaymarker. In 1982, it was adapted into a film of the same name starring Christopher Reeve, Michael Caine, and Dyan Cannon.


Sidney Bruhl is a once-successful playwright whose last several productions have flopped at the box office. He then receives a script by a novice writer named Clifford Anderson for a stage thriller entitled Deathtrap. Bruhl tells his wife Myra that the script is brilliant and he then concocts a murder plot whereby he will offer to help Anderson rewrite the script, but will instead kill him and pass the play off as his own. Needless to say, the plan quickly spirals out of control.


Deathtrap is Ira Levin's best-known play. It holds the record as the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway and brought Levin his second Edgar Award.


Following a Bostonmarker tryout at the Wilbur Theatremarker, Deathtrap enjoyed a four year run on Broadway, opening under the direction of Robert Moore on February 26, 1978 at the Music Box Theatre, moving to the Biltmore Theatremarker on January 7, 1982, and closing on June 13 of that year. It received a rave review from New York Times theater critic Walter Kerr, who wrote that it contained "Effrontery everywhere; and fun straight through." However, the Times' other theater critic, Richard Eder, panned the play.

The opening cast featured:

Seldes appeared in every one of the play's 1,809 performances - a feat that earned her a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as "most durable actress".

Cast Replacements as Sidney included Stacey Keach, John Cullum, Robert Reed, and Farley Granger.


  1. "Ira Levin, Author of Hit Mystery Play Deathtrap, Dies at 78", Playbill
  2. "No. 4 in Long Play Runs, 'Deathtrap' Will Close", The New York Times

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