In Play Reviews

For Susan Hendrix (Taylor Jean Grady), a young World War II bride living with her husband Sam (Daniel Zubrinsky) in 1944 Greenwich Village, the world is always dark. Blinded in an accident, Susan met her husband in hospital where she was recovering. He suffers from PTSD as a result of his war experiences, and now works as a photographer who travels a lot.

Taylor Jean Grady in Wait Until Dark at Lakewood Theatre. Triumph Photography.

In Wait Until Dark, now playing at Lakewood Theatre, Sam is dismissive of Susan’s neediness. He wants her to be more independent. Susan is game, but lacks confidence.

Meanwhile, three thugs are looking for a doll that somehow ended up in Sam’s bag when he traveled home by train from a photo shoot in Philadelphia. They have traced it to the Hendrix’s basement apartment. They plan to get it back by any means necessary, even if it involves a body or two. Game on.

Taylor Jean Grady and Paul Angelo. Triumph Photography.

Lakewood Theatre Company’s production is Jeffrey Hatcher‘s 2018 adaptation of the original 1966 play by Frederick Knott. (Playwright Knott also wrote Dial M for Murder seen on this stage a year ago.) While the original was set in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, Hatcher changed it to 1944, which was a more desirable period to be living in the Village. The 1966 Broadway play starred Lee Remick and Robert Duvall; the 1967 film featured Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin.

Sam is lured out of town, and Susan is left to deal with those in search of the doll including Carlino (Stan Yeend), the fake cop; Mike (Mario Calcagno), a so-called Marine buddy of Sam’s; and the murderous Roan (Paul Angelo) and his knife, Geraldine. A body turns up in a nearby vacant lot, and Gloria (Lana Sage), the kid upstairs, spends most of her time acting like a teenager.

Paul Angelo and Geraldine in Wait Until Dark. Triumph Photography.

Directed by Nancy McDonald, the action moves forward and Grady proves more than adept in her role as a blind woman–particularly when the lights go out and the play reaches its hair-raising conclusion.

With Laurence Overmire as assistant director, the creative team includes John Gerth, scenic design; Steve Knox, producer; Margaret Louise Chapman, costume design; PJ Harris, stage manager; Nate and Juniper Zwainlesk, lighting design; Marcus Storey, sound design; Kurt Herman, technical director; Grady Penna, properties; Emily Creer AhYou, assistant stage manager; and Megan Jolly, vision loss consultant.

Wait Until Dark is just the thing to jar you out of the winter doldrums. It runs through February 16 at Lakewood Theatre Company.



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