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I'll Be Back Before Midnight

a Comedy/Thriller
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Peter Colley

COMPANY : Kudzu Playhouse [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Kudzu Playhouse [WEBSITE]
ID# 3514

SHOWING : October 09, 2009 - November 08, 2009

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Jan, who's recovering from a nervous disorder, and her husband rent a remote cabin from an odd farmer who tells gruesome ghost tales. When the husband's sister arrives, frightening events transpire. What happens to the fragile wife as bodies appear and disappear gives this classic thriller its horrifying impact. A first rate thriller and a wonderfully spooky ghost story

"More spine chilling than Deathtrap. My ears still ring from the screams of the girls behind me." Toronto Post.

"A first rate thriller." London Free Press.

"Wonderfully spooky ... somewhere between an Agatha Christie mystery and a Hitchcock thriller. Peter Colley sends up the haunted house bit with both witty and maudlin dialogue, and at the next moment interrupts the audience's laughter with a heart thumping scare.... A really good ghost story." Toronto Globe and Mail.

Showing October 9-November 8, 2009
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm
Sunday Matinees at 3:00 pm

Please call 770-594-1020 for reservations


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jerry Harlow
Assistant Director Paul Komorner
Fight Choreographer Jeff McKerley
Stage Manager Anna Pages
Technical Director David Shelton
Set Design Wally Hinds
Costume Design Jane Kroessig
Props Design Kathy Manning
Sound Design Chuck Polasky
Lighting Design David Shelton
Laura Kim Bennett
George Derrel Emmerson
Greg Scott Kale
Jan Emily Sams
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REVIEWS

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No Cinderella at the Stroke of Twelve
by playgoer
Sunday, November 8, 2009
4.0
"I'll Be Back Before Midnight" is an effective thriller, enhanced by Jeff McKerley's strong fight choreography and by Chuck Polasky's eerily spooky musical score. It is well acted by all four members of its tight cast. The plot has just enough twists to keep the audience guessing to the end.

The set works well, although the chink lines between the logs don't match at the corners of the room. The room has huge pocket doors upstage that are impressive when closed, and that open to reveal a compact foyer. Outside the window, though, there is just blackness, with no hint of a country vista.

The set dressings are particularly impressive, especially since certain pieces need to be replaced after the energetic stage action pulverizes them. A built-in bookcase onstage contains a variety of weapons, adding a nice threatening touch to the proceedings. During intermission, a couple of women from the audience reached over and flipped through the "Vogue" magazine used as a prop in the show, in an effort to see how nearly it fit the stated time period of 1982. The only quibble I had was with the cordless phone. Its size and extendable antenna added a lot to the period feel, but the last moment of the show is making a phone call, which wouldn't work on a cordless phone with the power off.

Derrel Emmerson has the look of Santa Claus and the blustery delivery to match it, but his character sets up some of the spookiest events in the show. He does a very nice job, although the pace of the show is sometimes a little off when he gives extra weight to his portentous words.

The pacing has no problems when Emily Sams, as Jan, is in focus onstage. She plays a woman recently released from a four months' hospital stay, due to a nervous condition. She is completely believable in her role, as is Scott Kale as her husband Greg. They have a nice, strained connection onstage, as befits a couple who has had recent marital difficulties.

Kim Bennett, as Greg's sister Laura, has the most elegant costumes and does a fine job with her character. The director, however, has chosen to play up some pseudo-incestuous moments with her brother that don't serve the plot particularly well.

The plot contains a number of twists and turns. One particularly effective section revolves around a shotgun that may or may not have been filled with blanks. Trying to outguess the twists and turns of this section didn't work for me. I was surprised.

"I'll Be Back Before Midnight" is a perfect Hallowe'en show, with some humor in the first couple of scenes that gives way to dread and suspense in the later scenes. The large audience and I enjoyed the play. It obviously has gotten good word of mouth. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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