“Wait Until Dark” is a suspense-filled tale of a blind woman.
She is trapped in her basement apartment in New York City by three criminals searching for a doll packed with heroin. A 1967 film starred Audrey Hepburn as Susy Hendrix, a young woman blinded from an accident and recently married to a mostly absent photographer.
Citadel Theatre has taken on this challenging story and director Wayne Mell has struck gold with his heroine Ellen Cribbs, an actress skillful enough to portray a blind woman, and tough enough to withstand the character’s frequent falls and bumps.
This is Cribbs’ first appearance with Citadel and she is remarkable. Her Susy is smart and vulnerable, confident and terrified by turns, and she tackles the physical requirements of the role with abandon.
The three—Scott Phelps as Mike, the con man; Michael Jay Bullaro, as the bogus police officer; and Gerald Nevin as Root, the brutal murderer—warm to their parts as the show goes on. Nevin morphs into a monster by the final scene, part of which is played in pitch blackness.
Stage veteran Phoebe Ann Paslaski, 11, of Libertyville, plays the lonely, petulant Gloria, living upstairs, who becomes Susy’s vital ally. (The role is double cast, and she alternates with Blair Kathryn Bund.)
This is Citadel’s second season in the comfortable theater on the West Campus of Lake Forest High School, at 300 S. Waukegan Road, at Westleigh Road. Parking is plentiful and free.
“Wait Until Dark” is a great thriller with a terrific star. It more than merits a visit.
The show runs through October 30. For tickets, call 847-735-8554 or visit citadeltheatre.org.