Frederick Knott's WAIT UNTIL DARK Opens in Manila, 1/17

(Top) Jamie Wilson (Harry Roat, Jr.) and (Bottom) Liesl Batucan
play the deadly game of cat and mouse in WAIT UNTIL DARK.
Photo by Jojo Mamangun

Manila, Philippines, January 4, 2014--Classic thriller "Wait Until Dark," which premiered on Broadway in 1966, will open Repertory Philippines' (Rep) 2014 theater season starting Friday, January 17 (closing Sunday, February 9) at Onstage Theatre, Greenbelt 1 in Makati City. "Wait Until Dark" is one of the few plays penned by English playwright-screenwriter Frederick Knott, best known for his 1952 television play, "Dial M for Murder."

In "Wait Until Dark," Knott, who was fond of creating female characters that fall victims to sinister plots, fleshes out the character of Susy Henderson, the newly blind wife of traveling photographer Sam Henderson, who has brought home a doll from Canada, which apparently contains several grams of heroin.

Previous actresses who played Susy were exemplary: Lee Remick (Broadway, 1966), who was nominated Best Actress in a Play at the Tony Awards; Audrey Hepburn (film adaptation, 1967), who was nominated Best Actress at the Academy and Golden Globe Awards; Marisa Tomei (Broadway revival, 1998); and more recently "The Newroom's" Alison Pill (Geffen Playhouse reimagined production, 2013).

The Los Angeles Times recently wrote about Pill, noticing her take on the challenging role, "Alison Pill plays Susan [Susy], the young, victimized woman who lost her sight in a car accident and now must fend off some thuggish con men who have descended on her while her husband is away. A phenomenal stage actress who has captivated TV audiences with her work on HBO ('The Newsroom,' 'In Treatment'), Pill makes even the clumsiest, exposition-laden moments worth watching.

(Left) Dani Gana plays the upstairs neighbor Gloria; (Right) Liesl
Batucan Susy Hendrix. Photo by Jojo Mamangun

"There's a grace to her portrayal even when she's stumbling around her character's basement apartment...She imparts to her lines, no matter how banal, a subliminal music. The very air around her seems to adjust itself to her luminous presence."

In Rep's new production of "Wait Until Dark," Liesl Batucan, a Rep mainstay, will play the visually impaired protagonist. Batucan, who appeared in Rep's "Sweeney Todd" and "Wizard of Oz," won Best Actress at the 2009 Aliw Awards for her performance in Nick Joaquin's "A Portrait of Filipino as an Artist," which was also produced by Rep.

Directed by Miguel Faustmann, Batucan will be joined by fellow Rep actors Joel Trinidad (Mike Talman), Robbie Guevara (Sgt. Carlino), Jamie Wilson (Harry Roat, Jr.), Arnel Carrion (Susy's husband, Sam), and Dani Gana (Gloria).

Besides Faustmann as director, the production's creative and production teams also include Baby Barredo (artistic director), Jethro Joaquin (sound and music design), Faustmann (set design), John Batalla (lighting design), Gidget Tolentino (production management), Gold Soon (stage management), Pol Roxas (sound technician), Pablito Salvador (lighting technician), and Adul Lasin (set execution and scenic artist).

For tickets, Rep is offering a limited 2014 theater season pass for only P480 per orchestra center seat: Visit repertoryphilippines.com.

Knott's "Wait Until Dark," Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County," Michael Frayn's "Noises Off," Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy's "Pinocchio," and Leslie Bricusse's "Scrooge" are in the pipeline.




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Oliver Oliveros Oliver Oliveros recently received a master's degree in public relations and corporate communication from New York University while serving as regional director for BroadwayWorld.com, where he accepted an Award for Excellence in 2013.

For nearly 20 years, Oliver has been handling public relations, corporate communication, and integrated marketing communications for numerous brands (including Pepsi), Broadway shows, Broadway stars, non-profit organizations, and mainstream celebrities.

He is also the editor-in-chief for FIL-AM WHO'S WHO, a monthly magazine that tells the real-life success stories of Filipino Americans from the New York Tri-State area.


 
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