Reviews: “Wait Until Dark” & “Between Riverside and Crazy” in Santa Rosa

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.

Olivia Marie Rooney, Ezra Hernandez, Justin Thompson

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 (Olivia Marie Rooney). Soon a trio of very nefarious gentlemen (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.

Rating (out of 5): ★★★½

‘Wait Until Dark’ runs through Nov.  10 on the Monroe Stage at 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. Thu – Sat, 7:30pm; Sat – Sun, 2pm. $18–$29. 707.523.4185.

Photos by Eric Chazankin

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.   

Sam Ademola, Pilar Gonzalez, Mike Schaeffer

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

Rating (out of 5): ★★★½

‘Between Riverside and Crazy’ runs through Nov. 10 at Left Edge Theatre. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. Thu – Sat, 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $15–$42. 707.546.3600.

Photos by Katie Kelley

These reviews originally appeared in edited versions in the North Bay Bohemian.


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