It’s not often that a small town theater promotes a thriller-style production, but director Barbie Nettles has produced a show that will have you questioning a show starring the cast and crew of Wait Until Dark at the Monticello You hear opera house at night.
The public has three more chances to see this chilling show this weekend on May 20th and 21st at 8pm and May 22nd at 2pm.
Set in 1971 Greenwich Village, the play by Frederick Knott tells the story of Susy Hendrix, a blind woman who must use her wit and cunning to outwit three thieves in her own home. The story seems to double in complexity at every turn as day turns into night and Susy’s intruders become increasingly aware of how much she’s adapting to her surroundings.
The crew spared no detail in designing the interior of the Hendrix apartment. Every corner of the stage at the Perkins Performance Hall on the ground floor is used effectively to immerse the audience in the somewhat cramped apartment lifestyle, tastefully decorated in the 1970’s era.
The lighting design is deceptively simple in Act I, but becomes one of the most chilling factors in Act II, when night falls and Susy begins to devise an escape plan.
Phillip Martinez and Tim Nettles begin the show as an amusing robbery duo looking for a quick buck, and take on the roles of Sargent Carlino and Mike Tallman respectively when hired by the mysterious Harry Roat Junior, portrayed by Caleb Goodman.
Martinez and Nettles start out as borderline comedic characters, but are quickly drawn into the dark world of Mr. Roat with seemingly no way out. Goodman portrays a confident, cold-hearted, slimy villain with terrifying skill. Some of his background looks are eerily similar to the mug shots of the real world’s most famous sociopathic criminals.
Abraham Islas as Sam Hendrix and Aiko Austin as the heroine Susy Hendrix bring some rare moments of lightheartedness as they welcome the audience into a playful, loving relationship in their small home in the big city.
Austin’s portrayal of Susy as a charming and capable young lady is superbly done, with just enough subtleties to hint at her blindness without making her the focal point of each scene. Adolai Faith Scott offers much-appreciated comic relief as Gloria, a cheeky young neighbor hired by the Hendrixes to help Susy with daily chores.
Viewers will become friends with these two young women as they work to piece together the many pieces of Susy’s predicament.
It all ends in a gripping ending that will keep you hooked until the final lights go down on the stage, provided by Dale Austin as a local police officer.
when you go
What: Monticello Opera House Production of “Wait Until Dark”
When: May 20 & 21, 8pm, lobby and bar open at 7pm; May 22, 2 p.m., lobby and bar open from 1 p.m
From where: Monticello Opera House, 185 W. Washington St., Monticello
tickets: $22; available online at MonticelloOperaHouse.org or by calling the box office at 850-997-4242. Tickets will also be available at the box office. It is a standing room show with no seat reservations. Wait Until Dark contains scenes of staged violence and periods of total darkness, as well as a brief scene involving a smoke machine. Some content may be too intense for children. A full cash/credit card bar with premium beer, wine and cocktails will be available.
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