@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
 

Wait Until Dark

By Fredrick Knott, Directed by Karen Caroe

  • L to R: Roat (Armando Sarabia), Sgt. Carlino (Danny Wade) and Mike (Bobby Senical)
  • L to R: Mike (Bobby Senical), Sgt. Carlino (Danny Wade) and Roat (Armando Sarabia)
  • L to R: Susie (Valina Hamilton) and Gloria (10/28, 11/5,11/10,11/12 & 11/13 Lydia Caroe )
  • L to R: Gloria (10/29,11/4, 11/6 & 11/11 Carly Hamilton) and Susie (Valina Hamilton)
  • L to R: Susie (Valina Hamilton) and Sam (Walter Carr)
  • L to R: Sgt. Carlino (Danny Wade), Susie (Valina Hamilton) and Mike (Bobby Senical)

Oct 28-Nov 20, 2011

FRI OCT 28, NOV 4,11, 18*| 8:00 PM
SAT OCT 29, NOV 5,12,19*| 8:00 PM
SUN NOV 6,13,20*| 2:30 PM
THU NOV 10 | 7:00 PM
* RUN EXTENDED

Description

A blind housewife named Susy Hendrix is the only obstacle standing between three dangerous con men and a fortune hidden inside a child's doll. What seems like an easy day's work quickly turns into a gripping game of cat and mouse as the trio lead Suzy on a dangerous path of deceit and murder, taking full advantage of her disability. One thing they do not count on, however, is that Susy has a plan of her own as she turns her disability into her greatest weapon. Once she has her plan in place, the only thing left to do is Wait Until Dark. Playwright Frederick Knott ("Dial M for Murder") has given us one of the most famous stage thrillers of all time. When it was first produced in 1966, The New York Post called it "a first-rate shocker!"

Credits

Gloria 10/28, 11/5,11/10,11/12 & 11/13
Gloria 10/29,11/4, 11/6 & 11/11
Mike
Roat
Sam
Sgt. Carlino
Susie
Director
Written By

Reviews

Local theater features a sinister story
'Wait Until Dark' is a delightfully dark production

- By Michael Mandel, Las Cruces Bulletin

Don't wait to see "Wait Until Dark" at the Black Box Theatre, go now.

This engrossing mystery play is necessarily complicated and intriguing because of its twists and turns. In this case, I was particularly glad director Karen Caroe had experience as a mother of eight children, which prepared her to handle the intricacies of both the plot and the supposed plot within the plot. I was befuddled by the end of act I and felt my lights nearly go out. It is indeed a sinister device to pit a blind woman and an 8-yearold girl against two excons and a mastermind villain molded out of pure evil. For those playgoers who tend to be squeamish, no blood ever spurts out on stage and no shots are fired. This play deserves its classic status because of its wellcrafted balance of bizarre elements and lively plot twists.

Taking on a classic of theater and film poses a problem of casting characters that are in themselves unique yet true to purpose. Particularly enjoyable in this production was Valina Hamilton's turn as the blind wife, Susie Hendrix. Her ability to negotiate sightlessly proved as believable as her emotional turns dealing with the domesticity of a life invaded by inexplicable evil as well as dealing with her impishly cute 8-year-old neighbor Gloria. The night I saw the play, Carly Hamilton played Gloria, but because of the demands of the role on a child, on alternate nights, Lydia Caroe fills the roll.

Before discussing how mean the villains are in the play, I'd prefer to get into how archly conceived Gloria is as an 8-year-old. I'm still amazed at how she meanly thwarts the blind Susie with a captivating charm. Some of her lines are delivered with an endearing freshness while others are lost in a childish rush of impatience. There were some precious lines she delivered which showed a great natural instinct for acting. At times, I felt she was more evil than the actual villains. And a good variety of villains they are. The dapper Mike Talman, played by Bobby Senecal, is the amiable conman who easily charms everyone. If Susie weren't blind, she'd see how much he looked like a Hollywood leading man. His smooth voice and assured demeanor win her confidence. Danny Wade, with closely cropped hair for this show, plays the tough Sgt. Carlino. Appropriately menacing, Wade throws his intimidating character around the set like a wrecking ball. He and Senecal have a good interaction of familiarity and hostility that forms a nice unison and necessary conflict that one would assume ex-cons have. Odd man out, Harry Roat, played by Armando Sarabia, is the truly evil mastermind, using the con men and orchestrating the elaborate plot to recover a fortune in hidden drugs. Although Sarabia has the icy, detached delivery of a truly cruel criminal, he'd lapse into an aloof, unfocused discussion at times.

Credit goes to Larry Chandler, Peter Herman, Ken Eastlack and Doug Roby for a nicely compact and useable set. I'm not sure why the entrance door was elevated, but it added an interesting dimension to the floor space. As for the lighting effects, you will have to see the show because I'm not giving anything away. And for an engrossing thriller with solid, quirky characters, you should make seeing the show a priority.

Performances at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St., are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday until Nov. 12. At 2:30 p.m. Nov. 6 and 13, a Sunday matinee is being held and at 7 p.m. on Nov. 10 a Thursday night show is scheduled. Tickets are $10, $9 for students and $7 for seniors 65 and over. All seats on Thursdays are $7. Make your reservations by calling 523-1223.

Wait Until Dark offers thrill for those who can still use a Halloween scare
- By Susy Castillo, NMSU Roundup

For those who like feeling a chill down their spine and want all extra scare, "Wait Until Dark" is a perfect way to spend an evening. The play centers on characters struggling for possession of a raggedy doll and offers some thrill and fright as a con man and a blind woman attempt to scheme and trick their way to victory.

The Black Box Theatre is a small enough location to create an intimate atmosphere for the show, making it feel as if one is in the middle of the action. With characters running in between the aisles, one cannot help but feel like a fly on the wall.

The play also offers action and mystery, keeping my attention throughout the show, and kept me wondering what would happen next and who would come out on top. Valina Hamilton, who's character is a blind woman named Susie Hendrix, showed passion for theatre through her performance. Bobby Senecal, who played a conman, made me feel ill and yet sentimental for his character.

By far my favorite actor was Lydia Caroe, a 13-year-old girl who played Gloria. Caroe's facial expressions alone portrayed the emotion behind the character. Every time she walked onto the stage she made me acquire even more liking to her. Caroe brought an originality that made the play even more special than the thriller alone, Caroe switches every other performance with Carly Hamilton, a third grader. "It's hard to do everything every night because the show runs for a long time," Caroe said. Caroe said she still has time for her regular life, since she switches off with Hamilton.

"Wait Until Dark" was written by Fredrick Knott. The play has action and mystery, Throughout its entirety, the play kept my attention wondering what was going to happen next and who was going to end up on top. "Wait Until Dark" is presented by No Strings Theatre Company and is directed by Karen Caroe. "Everything came together the way I had hoped," Caroe said. Caroe said Wait Until Dark is appealing for a wide variety of audiences. "It's a classic. It's like asking why should you read good literature. It gives you an all-around good cultural life," Caras said. Senecal said this production in particular was an educational experience for him because Caroe "really knows her stuff."
"
Wait UntiI Dark" can be appealing for people who would normally not attend theatre productions. The set made me feel like I was in an authentic home. The play will show on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 4 through Nov. 13, and on Thursday Nov. 10. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8 p.m., Sunday shows start at 2:30 p.m. and Thursday's performance will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $9.00 for students and seniors over 65 and all seats 011 Thursdays are $7,00. The Black Box Theatre is located at 430 N. Downtown Mall. For more information call 575-523-1223 or visit nostrings.org.

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