Set in London, 1880, “Gaslight” tells the demonic story of the Manninghams of Angel Street. Under the guise of kindliness, handsome Mr. Manningham is torturing his wife into insanity. He accuses her of petty aberrations that he has arranged himself; and since her mother died of insanity, she is more than half convinced that she, too, is going out of her mind. While her diabolical husband is out of the house, a benign police inspector visits her and ultimately proves to her that her husband is a maniacal criminal suspected of a murder committed fifteen years earlier in the same house, and that he is preparing to dispose of her. Then starts the game of trying to uncover the necessary evidence against Mr. Manningham, a thrilling and exciting melodramatic game.
“Gaslight” premiered in London in 1939. It opened on Broadway in 1941 under the title “Angel Street,” and it became the long-est-running non-musical in Broadway history.
Playwright Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962) was also known for his plays “The Duke in Darkness” and “Rope’s End” (made into the film “Rope” by Alfred Hitchcock). Also a well-regarded novelist, he penned “Hangover Square,” “20,000 Streets Under The Sky” and “The Slaves of Solitude.”
Charlie Mount produces and directs the new production. He is the founder of Chestnuts, a wing of Theatre West devoted to the revival of great plays. Previous Chesnuts productions at Theatre West include “Waiting in the Wings,” “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” “Dancing at Lughnasa,” and “The Lion in Winter.” The shows have won Ovation and ADA Awards. Charlie also produced the 2007 production of Ray Bradbury’s “Falling Upward.”
Charlie’s cast for “Gaslight” includes (in alphabetical order) Emily Bridges, John Cygan, Mary Garripoli, Donald Moss and Corinne Shor. Set design: Jeff G. Rack. Lighting design: Yancey Dunham. Associate producer: Heather Alyse Becker.
Fans of mystery and suspense will relish this new production of “Gaslight,” presented on the 70th Anniversary of its initial run.
“Gaslight” plays August 28- September 27, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm, at Theatre West (3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los Angeles, CA 90068). Admission is $22 general admission, $25 premium seats (first four center rows), $17 seniors and $5 students (except opening night Friday, August 28, when all seats will be $27). For reservations and information, call (323) 851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org.