BWW Review: WAIT UNTIL DARK at Tallgrass Theatre Company: A Thrilling Production That Will Keep You On The Edge Of Your Seat
A thrilling evening that will keep you at the edge of your seat!
Just in time for Halloween, Tallgrass Theatre is opening its new season, which takes us from coast to coast, with a thrilling production that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Frederick Knott's "Wait Until Dark" starts this season-long journey in a small apartment in New York. Each aspect of this production makes this chilling story a perfect fit for this haunting holiday season.
"Wait Until Dark," tells the thrilling story of a blind woman, Susy, who's husband is given a doll for safekeeping from an unknown woman at the airport when he comes back from Montreal. He brings the doll home not knowing that the doll contained heroin. While out of the house, two ex-convicts, Mike and Carlino break into the house for a meeting where they are informed about the doll. After discovering a dead body in the house, they are blackmailed into disposing of the body and finding the doll. After Susy arrives home. The convicts visit Susy trying to convince her to give them the doll. Will they be able to convince her to give the doll to them?
The set designed by Ronnie Wells grabs your attention as soon as you walk into the theatre. It sets up the thrill and danger of the show is by the amazing set designed by Ronnie Wells. His stunning set fills the entire stage. Part of what I loved about the set was how it set the period of the show. Each piece of furniture and appliance in the show, from the refrigerator to the sofa, looked like it came from the '60s. It also helped with making the stage area feel smaller like it was in an apartment. There were very few paths the actors could go on to get around which also added to the thrilling evening.
Of the night's biggest surprises was Amaya Veldkamp's performance as Gloria. She had an excellent performance, but what surprised me most was how she transformed her character throughout the performance. At the top of the show she came off as the obnoxious kid next door who purposefully throws things on the floor to get in Susy's way, but as the performance went on, you get to see how smart her character truly is when she helps Susy devise a plan to find out what kind of danger she ways in by using the phone and pipes to communicate.
Making his Tallgrass stage review is Josh Sampson taking on the complex role of Mike. While Tallgrass is taking us on a journey across the U.S., Josh took us on a journey with his character. His nuanced performance took us on a journey of an ex-convict questioning the path his character is going on. After he meets Susy, we slowly start to see an admiration grow for her strength as a person. His performance, and the way his admiration grew made me wonder if his character hadn't been lying the full show to Susy, what kind of friendship or relationship would have come.
Maggie Jane Tatone, who plays Susy, gave one of the best performances of the evening. What I enjoy about watching her on stage, is how she fully embodies a character. Her character Susy is blind and she played the performance as though she was too. While the set was small, she seemed to have memorized where everything was at. So as she moved around the set, if something was out of place, she would trip over it. When she needed or reached for something, she never looked directly at it. Everything was done so subtly that it never came off as a caricature of what a blind person.
From the set to the cast, and beyond, each aspect of this production will have you on the edge of your seat. "Wait Until Dark" is the perfect thrill to start this Halloween season. This production plays until November 10. To find out more about this production, or about Tallgrass Theatre Company, visit www.TallgrassTheatre.org
Review written by DC Felton
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