New Adaptation of Wait Until Dark, Starring Alison Pill, Opens Oct. 16 at the Geffen Playhouse
By Adam Hetrick
A new world-premiere stage adaptation of the classic 1966 Frederick Knott thriller Wait Until Dark, starring Tony Award nominee Alison Pill as a blind woman who must fend for her life, officially opens Oct. 16 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Matt Shakman stages the production that began previews Oct. 8 and will run through Nov. 17 in the Gil Cates Theater. Jeffrey Hatcher, who penned the new adaptation, has reset the tale in the 1940s. The original, which starred Lee Remick on stage (and Audrey Hepburn in the classic film), was set in the mid 1960s. The play was last revived on Broadway in 1998 starring Marisa Tomei and Quentin Tarantino.
Pill ("Newsroom," The House of Blue Leaves, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) plays Susan Hendrix in a cast that also includes Brighid Fleming as Gloria, Rod McLachlan as Carlino, Matt McTighe as Sam, Adam Stein as Roat and Mather Zickel as Mike.
"In this version, she is mean, she is funny, she is vulnerable and she's awful in those vulnerable moments, too," said Pill, who stars in the central role of the updated production. "She's a person, and she's had a really bad day." Read the full interview with Pill, director Shakman and adapter Hatcher here.
According to the Geffen, "The adaptation moves the play back to a time when guns were rare and the threat of violence was lurking locally and globally. World War II (1944) was a time when most men were away at war except for the draft dodgers, the wounded, and those not fit to serve. These are the men who set out to exploit a blind woman’s vulnerability."
Here's how it's billed: "A ground-breaking thriller, Wait Until Dark follows a blind Greenwich Village woman who finds herself in the middle of a con. And a murder. Who is in on it? Desperate and depraved thieves believe Susan is in possession of their big score and set in motion a manipulative psychological war on her vulnerable state. That is, until Susan plunges herself and the audience into the dark in which she exists using it to her advantage."
The production has set design by Craig Siebels, costume design by E.B. Brooks, lighting design by Elizabeth Harper, music and sound design by Jonathan Snipes, fight direction by Ned Mochel and Amy Levinson as dialect coach.
For more information, visit GeffenPlayhouse.com.
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