A View from the Cliff

by Cliff Kasden

 

Photo by Matt Wells

“Wait Until Dark” at LIC’s Chain Theatre

The chilling mystery thriller “Wait Until Dark” is successfully terrifying audiences at the Chain Theatre in Long Island City for a limited run.

The sixty five seat venue places everyone just inches from the sinister plotters and their target. Director John Arthur Long builds suspense and deception with a well planned strategy. First and foremost are skilled actors who are well versed in both the subtleties and bold strokes required for their characterizations. On the tech/special effects side, there’s a real “rainstorm” pounding on the set’s kitchen window. Finally, the careful use of sound, lighting and pauses all add to the necessary tension.

Artistic Director Kirk Gostkowski excels as the ruthless murderer, “Roat”.  His withering stare and wild, wild outbursts are perfect for this production. His intended victim is beautiful Susan, played by Christina Elise Perry. Her well blended combination of vulnerability, stubbornness and intelligence help add to the drama’s suspense. It is vital that we accept her characterizations, to sympathize and ultimately empathize with her. If not, the plot’s terrible revelations will not raise the hair on the back of our necks.  At Saturday afternoon’s Halloween performance, she succeeds. Brava!!

Kindly Sam (Patrick Pizzoloruzzo) is Sue’s husband. Along with immature, bespectacled pre-teen Gloria (Schuyler Press) they are Sue’s only real allies in the ordeal she faces. Irritating police sergeant Carlino (David Rey) earns our dislike and our suspicions. It’s Mike (Paul Terkel) who demonstrates the greatest ambiguous emotions and confusing loyalties.

Unfolding in the 1940s, a radio plays Bing Crosby. An oldtime rotary phone is an important prop. A functioning refrigerator and kitchen sink seem so mundane but are vital to the story. Kudos to everyone behind the scenes, too numerous to acknowledge by name. Once again they deliver a very competent and very enjoyable performance.

The Chain Theatre (Variations Theatre Group) is located at 21-28 45th Road in Long Island City.  For further information on this and future productions, surf to www.chain-theatre.org, call (646) 580-6003 or like them on Facebook. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.

 

 

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