Sunday, October 18, 2015

On Stage: Wait Until Dark (2015)

The Theatre Institute at Sage (Russell Sage College for those of you outside the home district) rose from the ashes of the NYS Theatre Institute in 2010, continuing the tradition of quality productions. The one link between the two companies is actor-director David Bunce, who didn't act in the season opener, "Wait Until Dark", but has been an influence on the current company.

I confess that I'd never seen the movie version of "Wait Until Dark", with Audrey Hepburn, though the interest has gotten stronger after seeing the TI production, which closed today.

Anyway, a quick summation of the plot is in order. A blind housewife is caught in the middle when a pair of con men attempt to obtain a doll that might have something to do with a drug deal that also involves her husband, a photographer. The TI production was, at least for the final performance today, signed for the hearing impaired. Two acts, in a total time, not including intermission, of just over 2 hours. This was the first TI production I'd seen, as I'd not been at the Schact Fine Arts Center on Sage's Troy campus in nearly six years ("King Island Christmas").

While Charlie Barnet IV was charming as Mike, one of the con men, to the point where you'd believe he was actually willing to turn his life around, Taylor Hoffman conveyed all the right emotion as blind Susie, the role essayed by Audrey Hepburn in the movie. Funny thing. One of the villains was played by a fellow named Matt Harvey. Insert your Mets jokes here (and there were a couple of other Mets fans, moi aside, in the audience).

Up next for TI is an adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, which, as Harvey explained when addressing the audience after the ending of the play, subs for the annual Christmas production this year. It runs December 4-17, wrapping a week before Christmas. At least in that case I can say I've seen the movie.

Rating: B.

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