Wait Until Dark at 6th Street & Between Riverside and Crazy at Left Edge (Aired: November 6, 2019)

Local theatres seem to be in a New York state of mind with two very different shows set in the Big Apple running on North Bay stages. 6th Street Playhouse brings the somewhat ironically titled Wait Until Dark to their Monroe Stage while Left Edge Theatre puts their audiences somewhere Between Riverside and Crazy.

Wait Until Dark playwright Frederick Knott only wrote three plays but two of the three (the other being Dial M for Murder) have become theatre standards. Film adaptations have led to increased audience familiarity with the material, robbing them of a bit of the suspense that Knott built into his scripts.

Photographer Sam Hendrix (Steve Cannon) has unwittingly transported a child’s doll full of heroin from Canada to New York and left it in the care of his sight-impaired wife Susi (convincingly played by Olivia Marie Rooney). Soon a trio of very nefarious gentlemen (portrayed by Ezra Hernandez, Matt Witthaus, Justin Thompson) arrive on the scene determined to get the doll surreptitiously by playing a deadly game of impersonation.  

Director Meghan Hakes has a good cast at work here, but the show’s MVP has to be lighting designer Vincent Mothersbaugh. Without giving too much away, lighting plays a big role in this play and Mothersbaugh delivers.  

‘Wait Until Dark’ runs through November 10 on the Monroe Stage at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30pm; there are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

For more information, go to 6thstreetplayhouse.com

Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Between Riverside and Crazy won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a stack of theater awards. It’s an odd mixture of comedy and drama that at its heart is a story of families – father/son, son/fiancé, father-figure/son, and the ‘brotherhood’ of law enforcement.   

Retired New York City police officer Walter “Pops” Washington (played by Corey Jackson) is living in a rent-controlled apartment with his recently paroled son Junior (played by Sam Ademola), his son’s fiancé Lulu (Pilar Gonzales) and their friend Oswaldo (an intense Jared Wright).

Walter’s former partner Audrey (Sandra Ish) and her fiancé Lt. Dave (Mike Schaeffer) are trying to get Walter to sign off on a settlement agreement stemming from a police shooting. The powers they represent aren’t above threatening Walter with the loss of his home to get his signature. Walter, who always seems pissed, gets really pissed.

It’s a solid production, and credit director Argo Thompson for bringing some theatrical diversity – both in casting and subject matter – to the area.    

‘Between Riverside and Crazy’ also runs through November 10 at Left Edge Theatre at the Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Rosa. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 8pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

For more information, go to leftedgetheatre.com

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