Magazine article Insight on the News

Wait until Dark

Magazine article Insight on the News

Wait until Dark

Article excerpt

Directors Quentin Tarantino and Abbas Kiarostami play to very different audiences.

Quentin Tarantino has two exhilarating moments during the 100 minutes it takes for Wait Until Dark to unravel at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on Broadway--his entrance and his curtain call. Critics have panned his performance, but the audience applauds him tyrannically. Would it be redundant to say that this much-hyped revival of the 1966 stage thriller is a celebration of ... celebrity?

Give Tarantino his due: It took enormous confidence (unmitigated arrogance?) to make his stage debut on Broadway, and he manages to sneer his way through the role of Harry Roat, the sadistic killer who stalks a blind woman living in a basement apartment on New York's Lower East Side. Screen actors often seem smaller than life when they go legit. Tarantino's lackluster performance is no worse than Jessica Lang's pallid interpretation of Blanche DuBois in the 1992 revival of Streetcar Named Desire.

Wait Until Dark would be hard to pull off under any circumstance. Playwright Frederick Knott (who also wrote Dial `M' for Murder) began with an interesting premise--a blind woman uses darkness to turn the tables on her assailant--but his story quickly bogs down in exposition and implausibility. …

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