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Suspense thriller puts patrons in the dark


Review


October 09, 2013 | 10:10 AM

It's not often that a theatre plunges into total darkness for a play's climax, but Hayswood Theatre's fall production of the mystery-thriller "Wait Until Dark" does just that.

"Wait Until Dark" was made into a movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin in 1967. The Bravo Network has rated the film's final climax 10th in its Scariest Movie Moments poll, and Hayswood's talented cast does an absolutely fantastic job of capturing the heart-pounding action.

The main character, played by Carrie Cooke Ketterman, is Susy, a blind housewife of Sam (Scott Smith). She's become a target of three thugs who are looking for a hidden doll that contains heroin. There are plenty of twists and turns as the con men change their identities to try to trick Susy into helping them with the doll.

The con men, Carlino (played by Jake Minton), Mike Talman (Allen Platt) and leader Roat (Jeff Ketterman), use Susy's disability against her in an attempt to reclaim the doll. They disguise their voices, pretend to write things in notebooks, use window blinds to signal each other and — to their demise — underestimate how the woman has coped with becoming blind as they continue to search everywhere for the drug-filled doll. Unfortunately, Susy no longer has the doll. Turns out it was swiped by her young helper, Gloria (Kira Hanger), who later returns it to Susy's apartment.

Susy's husband only appears for a few minutes at the start of the play, but an attempt to make his wife more self-sufficient by using her other senses helps set up the production's final scene.

Roat seems like a cliché villain at first, but, as the suspense builds, his menacing presence provides just the punch to get viewers on the edge of their seat.

In the final scene, which is mostly conducted in the pitch-black theatre, Susy uses her disability to her advantage after she knocks out all of the lights in her apartment as she and Roat (played by her real-life husband) battle it out in good versus evil. Susy and Roat spar with only the occasional lighting of a match providing a brief and small amount of light. Without giving much more away, playgoers will have to wait until dark at "Wait Until Dark" to find out exactly what happens just before two police officers (Rob Mendlik and Debbie Smith) arrive on the scene.

There's no blood or gore in the production, so pre-teens and older could attend without a problem, as long as they aren't afraid of the dark or some occasional screams.

The play, written by Frederick Knott, is directed by Bob Trinkle. It runs the next two weekends, at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. matinée on Sunday.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for senior citizens or students younger than 18. To purchase tickets, visit the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center in Corydon or call 738-2138.

Twitter: @_alanstewart

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