EXCERPTS FROM THE REVIEW
The following are excerpts from the September 13, 2016 MD Theatre Guide Review of Wait Until Dark by Lynne Menefee
Everyman Theatre kicks off its 20th anniversary season with the 2013 adaptation of this fun, fast moving thriller. Donald Hicken directs a brilliant cast and production team. Chock full of twists and turns, a formidable villain, and a strong leading lady, the play culminates in one of the most memorable, heart-stopping finales in theater.
The show opens with a corrupt ex cop, Carlino (Todd Scofield), searching an apartment. Not as smart as the mastermind of the gang, Roat, (who will soon arrive on the scene), Scofield plays his role well as the “sympathetic” and maybe all too available police contact. The character also adds part of humor that is sprinkled throughout to balances the suspense.
“Wait Until Dark” is a prelude to what promises to be yet another fantastic season for Everyman.
The incomparable Bruce Randolph Nelson as Roat is deliciously creepy and belongs in the category of a thinking man’s villain. With the aid of a switch blade he has affectionately named “Geraldine,” nothing will stop him. No fault of Nelson’s, the script requires his character to give a talky exposition to set up the background of the story to date. But he does it beautifully and then the play goes into full throttle.
As in film noir, the use of light plays a major role in the play and is most crucial in the final, suspenseful scene when the theater goes completely black. We see (or don’t see) the world the way the main character Susan does. Lighting designer Jay A. Herzog does a masterful job at creating the mood, including the sliver of light beneath the apartment door and other crucial lighting effects. His skills are complemented by the clever sound design by Patrick Calhoun. We hear the ticking of the clock, street noises and people walking up the steps into the apartment building and “noir-ish” music punctuates the suspense as it would in film. Costume designer Ben Argenta Kress captures the costumes of the WWII era perfectly.
Everyman Theatre is one the finest and most consistent theatre companies that can be found anywhere. They never disappoint. “Wait Until Dark” is a prelude to what promises to be yet another fantastic season for Everyman.