‘Wait Until Dark’: Thriller opens April 13 at Masquers Theater

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  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Carlino (Jesse Huntwork, left) doesn’t want Susy (Laura Knittle) to call for help in the Masquers production of ‘Wait Until Dark,’ opening April 13.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Gloria (Sandria Sanford, left) and Susy (Laura Knittle) must fight to save Susy’s life in the Masquers production of ‘Wait Until Dark,’ opening April 13.

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    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Roat (Adam Zaleski, background) may think he has the upper hand over Susy (Laura Knittle) – but he might be badly mistaken in the Masquers production of ‘Wait Until Dark,’ opening April 13.

  • Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Carlino (Jesse Huntwork, left) doesn’t want Susy (Laura Knittle) to call for help in the Masquers production of ‘Wait Until Dark,’ opening April 13.

  • 1

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Gloria (Sandria Sanford, left) and Susy (Laura Knittle) must fight to save Susy’s life in the Masquers production of ‘Wait Until Dark,’ opening April 13.

  • 2

    Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Roat (Adam Zaleski, background) may think he has the upper hand over Susy (Laura Knittle) – but he might be badly mistaken in the Masquers production of ‘Wait Until Dark,’ opening April 13.

SOAP LAKE — The suspenseful tale of a murder, a toy and a disabled woman fighting for her life will come to Masquers Theater stage next week. The curtain rises on “Wait Until Dark” April 13 at the theater, 322 East Main Street in Soap Lake.

“Wait Until Dark” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 13 and 14, 20 and 21 and 27 and 28, with matinees at 2 p.m. April 15, 22 and 29.

The play tells the story of Susy Hendrix (Laura Knittle in the Masquers production), who becomes the target of a trio of ruthless con men. Roat (Adam Zaleski) is looking for a doll – not just any doll; it’s filled with heroin – and he’s already killed to get it. Mike (Darryl Pheasant) and Carlino (Jesse Huntwork) don’t necessarily want to hurt Susy, at least not at first, Pheasant said. But they won’t let anybody get in the way, not even a young woman who lost her sight in a car accident. And the fact the doll was stolen by the little girl upstairs (Sandria Sanford) doesn’t make them any happier.

Being con men, the three use their skills to trick Susy. And even as Susy starts to figure it out, Roat, at least, still believes he’s got the upper hand – after all, he’s stronger than Susy, and she can’t see him. But Roat may be in for a surprise.

“Wait Until Dark” premiered on Broadway in 1966 and was made into a movie in 1967, starring Audrey Hepburn. Nick Mahaney, co-director of the Masquers production, said the movie was one of his favorites growing up. “I love it.”

Susy uses her special set of skills to fight her tormentors, and that presents a challenge for the cast and crew. Part of the second act is performed in near darkness – and, Mahaney said, for a few scenes the whole theater is blacked out. “It’s what you hear rather than what you see.”

It’s “definitely the most technical play I’ve ever directed,” and it’s a whole new experience for the actors, too. “Everybody is rising to the challenge,” Mahaney said.

Mahaney was the director of the 2017 production of “Noises Off,” the classic British comedy. “I wanted something very different for my next piece. Sometimes it’s good to try a different type of show.”

Co-director Heather Rhoades is making her directorial debut. “We work really well together,” Mahaney said.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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