Night Watch

Dr. Tracey Lake (Barbara Surowitz, right) consoles Ellie Walker (Paula Lucas) in Coach House Players’ production of Lucille Fletcher’s Night Watch. Original photos by Terri Dwyer.
My guilty pleasure is knowing what to expect—and not expect—from a community theatre, and this performance proves me right.

By Andrew Andrews

Ellie Wheeler has suffered from insomnia for as long as she can remember.

Looking out the window of her Manhattan townhouse early one winter morning in 1972, Ellie swears she sees a middle-aged man sitting lifeless in a chair in the abandoned tenement building behind her, with blood drooling out of his mouth.

Hysterical, Ellie insists that her husband John notify the police. But when Officer Vanelli and Detective Walker arrive and search the building, they find nothing but the dust-covered chair with no indication that anyone’s been in the apartment for a long, long time.

Over the next few scenes, we discover that Ellie was previously traumatized by the accidental death of her cheating first husband and his mistress nearly a decade earlier, and that John is having an affair with Blanche, Ellie’s long-time best friend who is living with the couple while between jobs.

Playing out like a variation of Gaslight, the cast of characters includes the wealthy couple’s suspicious German housekeeper, Helga, supposedly-renowned psychiatrist Dr. Tracey Lake, a deli-owner named Hoke, and a nosy neighbor named Appleby who wants the scoop for his local tabloid, The Kips Bay Tattler.

Katherine Reich (Helga), Lucas, Farrell Reynolds (John), Surowitz, Ken Goldfarb (Curtis Appleby), Tom Muller (Vanelli), Marilyn May (Blanche), Colleen Hack (Lt. Walker), Barbara Melzer (Director) and David Kent (Hoke).

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Andrew Andrews attended Night Watch at Coach House Players in Kingston on Friday, November 12, 2021 @ 7:30pm to write this review.

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