BWW Reviews: Colony's I'LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT Is Old-Fashioned Thriller Fun
If you like spooky ghost thrillers with lots of creepy sound and visual effects, Peter Colley's I'll Be Back Before Midnight is an old-fashioned treat. Think of Deathtrap, Sleuth and others in that genre, and it's a pretty darn good match with enough plot twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. Now at the Colony through March 3 ...Midnight boasts taut direction and a fine cast.
A young couple Jan and Greg Sanderson (Joanna Strapp, Tyler Pierce) move into an old country house five miles from civilization with only one nosy neighbor George (Ron Orbach) nearby. Jan's just out of an institution and on medication. Greg's a geologist, doing research and on grants made possible by her wealthy father. Greg's obsessive, overly protective sister Laura (Kate Maher) - Jan and Laura do not get along - comes for a visit to 'help' her sister-in-law's recovery. It's one uncomfortable setup after another. The house is supposedly haunted, and bizarre, inexplicable phenomena start occurring. Is it all Jan's imagination or are Greg, Laura and George somehow involved in trying to drive her over the edge as with the heroine in Gaslight? I'll Be Back Before Midnight has a lot of thrills and chills, but is also enjoyable for its dynamite sense of humor, provided principally by Orbach as country bumpkin George, the overbearing but likable farmer who consistently spouts out omens and grisly news items.
The rest of the cast are also first-rate under David Rose and playwright Peter Colley's fast-paced direction. Strapp is totally convincing as the victimized Jan. Lovely Maher is a gem as vixen Laura, whose sisterly love stretches way beyond normal limits. Pierce has perhaps the most difficult role. Is he connected to or totally disassociated from the horror that ensues? He keeps us guessing.
This is great entertainment, which is never easy for the actors/crew to carry off. It requires split-second timing, much physicality and some very minute, precision functioning technical contributions. Wonderful set design by Stephen Gifford, lighting from Luke Moyer and sound by Drew Dalzell. Fun, fun, fun! Don't miss this one!