Director Damon Hartley breathes new life into the 1960's thriller, "Wait Until Dark" for the Mockingbird Theater in Newport by updating it and adding mood music to heighten the tension of the piece and showing a dead body falling out of a closet. This psychological thriller is about a blind woman, Susy Hendrix (Wendy Carol) being terrorized by three villainous conmen( Kelly Williamson, Al Elkins and Lou Longo) in her Greenwich Village apartment. They are after a doll with a microchip hidden inside it. Susy's neighbor, a young girl, Heather (Megan Sullivan) is the only one who can help her. Throw in S usy's husband (also played by Lou Longo) and a policeman (Joe O'Keefe) and you have the necessary ingredients for taut well acted and directed drama that keeps the audience on pins and needles from start to finish.
Wendy Carol is excellent as the blind woman. She has all the right movements and facial expressions to capture the essence of Susy. Wendy is frightened by the situation surrounding her but rises to fight off these hoodlums by using her wits and her other senses. A truly wonderful portrayal by this talented actress who wins a great deal of applause by it. The most outstanding performance in this show is by Kelly Williamson who plays the sociopath, Mr. Roat. He runs the gamut of emotions in this role, scaring not only Susy but the audience with its intensity. Kelly captures the insanity of Roat by killing two people and trying to kill a third. He handles both his lines and the physicality of the man with ease, showing Roat's animalistic behavior by tearing off his shirt and stalking his prey near the close of the show. The use of the stage blood is very realistic and Kelly deserves a lot of kudos for his tour de force performance in one of the best portrayals of this role.< P> Mr. Roat's two henchman are wonderful in their roles, too. Al makes the suave, Mike Tallman, a real cad throughout the show but handles the transition from his evil one to a little more understanding by the close of the show when he is willing to leave Susy alone. Lou handles his two roles beautifully, using gravelly voice for Carlino, he is a menancing presence throughout the show and as Susy's caring, perfectionist husband, Sam, he uses his own voice. He plays each part differently so unless you read the program, you would never know it is the same person. Megan handles the pivotal role of Heather, the pesky girl from upstairs beautifully. She handles the transition from bratty girl throwing the unbreakables on the floor to the caring one who helps Susy out, showing the talents of this young actress. The final member of this talented cast is Joe O'Keefe who plays the policeman who finds what has happened to Susy at the close of the show. So for a fantastic rendition of a very difficult show, be sure to catch "Wait Until Dark" at Mockingbird Theater, you won't be disappointed.