Wait Until Dark on Stage at Pen Players

Wait Until Dark, Fredrick Knott’s classic thrill ride, is the fourth production in the Peninsula Players 74th season. The show runs through Sunday, September 6, with a post-show discussion set for Friday, August 28.

Wait Until Dark, a psychological thriller, opened on Broadway in 1966 and earned Lee Remick a Tony nomination and Audrey Hepburn an Oscar nomination in 1967 for their portrayals of Susy Hendrix, a courageous blind woman who finds herself in a deadly game of cat and mouse with sinister con men.

Roat, a cool-as-ice psychopath, smooth talks his way into the home of an unsuspecting blind woman. Unbeknownst to Susy, she is harboring a dangerous prize, and he’ll use every trick in the book to get it. Filled with Hitchcock-esque suspense, theatergoers will spend an evening on the edge of their seats while this thriller poses the question:  What frightens us more, the evil you can see, or the one you can’t?

Set in the 1960s, Harry Roat, Jr. and his cohorts Mike and Carlino use a cleverly constructed deception to convince Susy that her husband, Sam, is implicated in a murder and that she is holding key evidence in the crime, a doll. The deadly game intensifies when Susy refuse to give up the doll, which is really a vessel to smuggle heroin.

Susy discovers the subterfuge with the help of her adolescent neighbor, Gloria. Susy soon realizes the only way to win this lethal game is turn the tables on the crooks and make them play by her rules – in the dark.

The cast of Wait Until Dark is under the direction of Joe Foust, who has numerous acting and directing credits with the Players, including Deathtrap, Noises Off, and Caught in the Net.

Cast in the role of Susy Hendrix is Linda Fortunato, who was last seen on the Players’ stage in Noises Off and Fools. Her Chicago acting credits include Kathy in Singin’ in the Rain at Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Maggie in Lend Me a Tenor at Theatre at the Center; and shows with Marriott Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Drury Lane Oakbrook, and Fulton Opera.

Linda Fortunato plays the role of Suzy.

Roat will be played by Jay Whittaker who returns to the Players for his third season. His Players credits include The Mousetrap, The Lady’s Not for Burning and Rumors. Whittaker played Lloyd Wright in the New York production of Frank’s Home at Playwrights’ Horizons, and Richard, Duke of Gloucester in Edward Hall’s Rose Rage at The Duke on 42ndStreet. Most recently Whittaker was seen as Gregers Werle in The Wild Duck at The Court Theatre in Chicago.

Cast in the roles of Roat’s two accomplices are Kevin McKillip as Mike Talman and Neil Friedman as Sgt. Carlino. James Leaming will play Sam Hendrix. These actors have numerous regional theater credits including Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Court Theatre, The Goodman, Victory Gardens, Syracuse Stage, the Utah Shakespearean Festival and First Folio Theatre.

Making their Peninsula Players debuts are Matthew Fayfer, Anya Kopischke and Andrew Lenox. Fayfer, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and Lenox, a student at Carthage College, are participating in the Peninsula Players internship program this season. Kopischke will begin her freshman year at Gibraltar High School this fall.

Wait Until Dark is on stage through September 6. Curtain times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7:30 pm, except the closing performance September 6, which will be at 4 pm. Group and individual tickets are available, and individual ticket prices range from $30 to $35. There are no performances on Mondays. For more information or to reserve tickets call 920.868.3287 or visit