Upon entering the theater to take a seat, a noticeably different and spectacular staging arrangement sparks attention and sets the tone for a number of wonderful surprises to follow. NIGHT WATCH, as directed by Geoff Yaroschak, may at first unfold as your typical mystery story, full of the usual enjoyable intrigue, duplicity, melodrama, and curious characters, but beware; appearances can be used to distract and/or deceive. Elegant, wealthy Elaine Wheeler (superbly played by Linda Friday) believes she has seen a corpse through a window in the dilapidated building across the way. Neither her husband, nor her closest friend, are convinced of her sightings. Both feel that she is neurotic and in need of “treatment”. The police investigate, and find nothing, which serves to supply further evidence to Elaine’s loved ones of her deteriorating mental condition. Is Elaine hallucinating due to lack of sleep, stress, her painful past, or is there a more sinister game afoot?
The cast builds consistent tension throughout the show. Linda Friday gives a riveting performance as Elaine Wheeler, an unhinged well-to-do woman who is really much more than that, while Scott Grande presents a stoic portrayal of John Wheeler, her (seemingly) stalwart husband. Cassandra Hogan is hilarious as Helga the sometimes surly German maid, and Michael Romito supplies his character Curtis Appleby, a writer for the local “tattler”, with a sublime sense of innuendo. Blanche Cooke, close friend to Elaine Wheeler, is balanced well by Deanna R. Daugherty, who imparts her with sympathy and suspiciousness. Officer Vanelli is keenly portrayed by Ryan Neff, and Matt Mazza delivers a righteously agitated Lieutenant Walker. Teri Maxwell endows Psychiatrist, Dr. Tracy Lake, with a delightful professional manner, and Howard Algeo is unforgettable as Sam Hoke, local purveyor of potato salad, and red herring. All do a great job of adding to the cascades of curiosity pouring out to the audience.
The artfully constructed set (Ray Thompson) serves to allow multiple perspectives on the action within depending on where you are seated, is tastefully rich in detail, replete with apparent wooden flooring and deserves it’s own round of applause. The sophisticated lighting scheme (Mike Addice) is quite effective and well chosen sound effects (Mike Addice) also enhanced the mood of the piece. Silence was used to great affect as well.
Pay close attention to this intensely entertaining thriller’s twists, which run wild as the show draws to it’s flooring dramatic climax…
By Lucille Fletcher
Directed by Geoff Yaroschak
November 8 – 23, 2013
795 Ridge Road
Telford, PA 18969