Friday, November 11, 2022

one thrilling play

I've been to the Tabard Theatre in downtown San Jose before, most recently for The Odd Couple, which was well done, but a small audience meant for rather anemic laughter. I thought maybe a serious thriller might work better if it were a good enough play, and this one looked promising: Wait Until Dark by Frederick Knott and Jeffrey Hatcher.

It's set in a basement apartment in New York some time probably in the 1950s or maybe 60s. It's got a complicated plot but it ends up with the woman who lives there being menaced by a psychopathic criminal who is sure she has the valuable missing MacGuffin. The gimmick is ... she's blind, so she turns the lights out on him.

Only a small part of the play actually takes place in total darkness, and there's another small part where it's just light enough to see shapes; the rest there is a light on somewhere, even if it's only coming from an open fridge. (But why, if she's pulled all the fuses, is there power to the fridge at all?)

The principals, Jaime Wolf (who is not blind) as the blind woman and Brandon Silberstein as the psychopath, are Tabard veterans and were excellent, but so was the rest of the cast who are mostly new to the company. Despite the rather confusing, dumped-in-at-the-deep-end opening, the plot proceeds apace, and our heroine's preparations for the confrontation which she knows is coming contribute to the suspense.

It turned out to be a good show and well worth the effort everyone put into it. It started out as a Halloween show, but it's still playing through this Sunday, so I'd recommend it to locals.


  1. This is of course a famous film as well. I hadn't known before about its being based on a play. --JDR

    1. And I had not known about the film. Audrey Hepburn and Alan Arkin, I find.