4/29/2005 - HCAC: "Night Watch"

Lucille Fletcher's psychological thriller "Night Watch," directed by Marilyn Schilkie, is the second production of TNT's 20th season. The play will be performed on Friday and Saturday, May 6, 7, 13 and 14 at 8:00 p.m., and  Sunday, May 8 and 15, at 3:00 p.m., at the Hackensack Cultural Arts Center, 39 Broadway, Hackensack.

The tale takes off when neurotic heiress Elaine Wheeler tells her husband and the police that she has seen a dead man in the building across the way. The police are skeptical. Even her husband has doubts. Is Elaine imagining things, or is there a murdered man? As the plot thickens and Elaine's agitation increases, the suspense continues to build. It's not until the chilling climax that the audience finds out what's really been going on.

The besieged Elaine is played by Patt Tanner of North Haledon. Patt made her TNT debut as Betty Chumley in "Harvey" and originated the role of Cassie in TNT's production of "It Isn't the Moon" by Christina Fragola. She was recently seen in the title role of "The Cat in The Hat" with Ann Coppola at the After 3 Theatre Company. Patt also performs in slice of life dramas at Meadowbrook Church in North Haledon.

Elaine's good-looking husband John Wheeler is Clifton resident Gus Ferrari, who has appeared in such TNT productions as "Harvey" (Duane Wilson), "The Playboy of the Western World" (Shawn Keogh) and "The Girl on the Via Flaminia" (Robert). Gus is a founding member of I.N.T.A.R. 53 Latino Actor Workshop and has written and performed for the comedy group Controlled Chaos. He has appeared in the films "The Siege," "Howard Stern's Private Parts" and "Unsavory Characters" and performs with Doomed Airship, an alternative band.

Lisa Garrabrant of Little Falls is Elaine's nurse and best friend Blanche Cooke. Lisa was recently seen in "Julie of the Wolves," a staged reading at the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts, and "Heat Lightning," an original production at Nyack's Main Street Arts. Lisa's onstage appearances also include "Little Shop of Horrors" (Audrey) at Long Branch Summer Theatre and "A Little Night Music" (the Countess).

New Milford's Harry Bates plays Curtis Appleby, Elaine's slightly sinister neighbor. Father of six and grandfather of 12, Harry has performed in numerous shows with Bergen County Players (most recently in "The Most Happy Fella.") and at TNT in "The Fantasticks," "12 Angry Jurors," "Fanny's First Play," "The Girl on the Via Flaminia" and "Playboy of the Western World."

Carol Campione of Bogota portrays Helga, the irritable German maid who knows too much or not enough. Carol has appeared with TNT as Miriam in "Beau Jest," Juror #2 in "12 Angry Jurors," Mrs. Knox in "Fanny's First Play" and Veta Simmons in "Harvey." She has been seen in Players Guild of Leonia productions of "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (Kate) and "Ah, Wilderness" (Aunt Lily), and in summer stock and children's theatre.

John Hall, who lives in Nutley, plays Lieutenant Walker, the skeptical detective who has seen it all (or thinks he has). John previously trod the TNT boards as Mr. Knox in "Fanny's First Play" and Judge Gaffney in "Harvey." He has also been onstage with Parkway Players in "Our Town" and "Hello Dolly." Television credits include "Law & Order," "Third Watch" and "Hack."

New Milford resident Barbara Liebgott is sympathetic psychiatrist Dr. Tracey Lake. Barbara made her TNT debut as Blanche in "Romantic Comedy," and played another role in an earlier production of that show with Parkside Players in Forest Hills, N.Y. Other onstage appearances: "Cactus Flower" (Stephanie), "Deathtrap" (Myra), "Chapter Two" (Faye), "Miss Firecracker Contest" (Carnelle) and "California Suite" (Gert).

Susan Reiser of Englewood Cliffs is Officer Vanelli, the nice young cop who has a surprising knowledge of great paintings. Susan is making her third appearance with TNT, previously appearing as Juror No. 12 in "12 Angry Jurors" and as Dora Delaney in "Fanny's First Play." Susan was recently seen with the Radburn Players of Fairlawn as Charlotte Wolf in "Up the Down Staircase."

Howard Schneider, a Bergenfield resident, plays put-upon neighborhood grocer Sam Hoke. Howard, who has done yeoman service for TNT over the years, is remembered for such productions as "Beau Jest," "12 Angry Jurors," "Fanny's First Play," "The Girl on the Via Flaminia," "Death Trap," "Bus Stop," "Fools," "Don't Drink the Water" and "A Shot in the Dark."

Director Marilyn Schilkie, a Teaneck resident whose previous directorial outings at TNT include "Beau Jest," "12 Angry Jurors" and "The Mousetrap,"says that even though she's been at the helm of several mysteries, "Night Watch" is unlike anything she's directed before. "I was drawn to this play because of its unusual twists," says Marilyn. "My challenge was to keep the audience second-guessing themselves."

The production is stage managed by Teaneck's Candice Gibson.

Tickets for "Night Watch" are $12, and $10 for students, seniors and theatre parties of ten or more. For reservations and information, call TNT at (201) 692-0200 or Hackensack Cultural Arts Center at (201) 656-8042. Visit TNT's website www.go-tnt.org for directions to the theatre.  If available, tickets can be purchased at the door prior to performance.

Coming from TNT in July: Arthur Miller's powerful drama "All My Sons."