Friday, October 21, 2011

Night at the Theater: Wait Until Dark

As a youngster, I saw the movie version of Wait Until Dark and loved the plot complexities. Of course, it didn't hurt that the beautiful Audrey Hepburn played the female lead, but the other cast members were equally strong: Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., and Jack Weston.

A few years ago, Donna and I saw this Frederick Knott play in Midland, and it was well done. Last night, we watched the Angelo Civic Theater (ACT) production, and I was left somewhat disappointed.

The plot revolves around Susy Hendrix, a blind housewife living in a Greenwich Village apartment. As a favor to a friend, her husband had recently returned from a trip to Montreal with a doll that contained, unbeknownst to him, heroin. 3 men then hatch a plot to trick Susy into giving them the doll. Their plot hinges on taking advantage of her blindness. It is a complex plot, and when well performed, it keeps the audience fully engaged. Last night, I just really wanted the play to end.

After watching Cabaret, I had hoped that all plays performed by Angelo Civic Theater would be of the same quality. In fact, several actors from Cabaret played key roles in Wait Until Dark. But I always knew it was a performance, and that is, perhaps, the key to pulling off a good play. I always knew, for example, that the actress playing Susy was not blind. And the accent of one of the actors was really strained.

However, I believe we attended opening night of the play, and that is usually not a good thing to do. I prefer to allow a few performances to pass before attending a play; this gives the actors a chance to become comfortable in their roles and get over opening night jitters. However, our calendar just got confused this time.

Regardless, we look forward to the next performance of ACT.

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