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‘Wait ’til Dark’, ‘Conspiracy’, more mysteries on stage at LI

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Murder and mayhem, thrillers and thrills will be staged at several Long Island theaters in the coming weeks. From classic psychological thrillers of the 1960s to more wacky dramas with unexpected twists and turns by contemporary authors, there’s something for everyone.

Kyle Filiault (left), Sarah Berger, Kevin Mundy, Giovanni Marine and Ariana Velasquez in “Den of Thieves” at Cultural Arts Theater in Syosset. Photo credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

“Den of Thieves”

when | where March 24-25 at 8pm and March 26 at 7pm, Cultural Arts Theater, 170 Michael Dr., Syosset

information 20 dollars; eventbrite.com

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ 2004 black comedy (his “Between the Riverside and Madness” recently closed on Broadway) is as good as 2018’s Gerard Butler’s Heist Movies have nothing to do with it. It was one of Guirgis’ early plays, and director Andrew J. Beck said you started to see a lot of what he wrote take shape, particularly his focus on the 12-step program.

It centers on a young woman who joins a scheme to recover thieves who team up with her sponsor and two others to steal drug funds they believe are left unattended. Things don’t go as planned and they bargain with their lives in the second act. “One of Guirgis’ strengths is that he highlights characters that you rarely see on stage,” says Beck, which is why our troupe “loves doing these things.”

But behind the creepy humor, Baker says there’s a positive message: “These characters are trying to improve themselves.”

“The Spokane Act”

when | where April 14-15 and 20-22 at 8 p.m., April 16 at 8 p.m. and 3 p.m. South Shore Theater Experience, 115 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst

information $25; 631-669-0506, southshoretheatre.com

Martin McDonagh has been called the “bad boy of Irish drama,” but he set this 2010 play in a fictional small-town America. MacDonald was nominated for this year’s Oscar for writing, producing and directing “The Enchantress,” the strange story of a haunted soul searching for the hand he lost as a young man. Director John J. Steele Jr. said that, like many of his plays, MacDonald “took innocent things and gave them funny twists … It’s not particularly funny, but it’s definitely humor.”

The language was as filthy as the hotel room where the action took place (leaving the kids at home, Steele said), as two young marijuana dealers tried to sell him a hand that was clearly not his. But Steele said he has dedicated his life to search, and that’s pretty much the point. He knows the missing appendage can’t be reattached, but believes “it’s his for granted and he should have it.”

wait until dark

when | where April 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29 at 8pm and 2pm; April 16, 22-23 and 30 at Bayway Center for the Arts, 265 Main St., East Islip

information $40, $35 seniors; 631-226-8400, studiotheatrelongisland.com

“Even if you’ve seen the movie, there’s something different about seeing it live,” director Michael Brangeforti said of Frederick Knott’s “Wait Until Dark.” Starring Oscar-nominated Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman frightened by a hood who searches her home for a doll full of heroin, this 1967 film is a real bite Nail flakes, especially in the last 30 minutes.

But Blangiforti won’t look now. “I have my own opinion about how it should look, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen the film.” Acknowledging the risks of adapting a film, especially one as famous as this, he said he would try to craft a horrific ending . “I love the suspense,” he said, adding that he will use lighting and sets to increase the tension. Be warned, he said. “There can be some scary moments for our viewers.”

Three plays by Rupert Holmes, who grew up in Levittown, will be in theaters this spring, Credit: Getty Images/Neilson Barnard

accomplice

when | where April 21-22, 27-29 and May 5-6 at 8pm and April 23-30 and May 7 at 2:30pm, Manes Studio Theater, 141 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst

information $35, $30 for seniors; 631-226-8400, studiotheatreoflongisland.com

It’s a mini Rupert Holmes festival at the Studio — along with this 1990 comedy-mystery (Writer of American Mystery Edgar Award winner), the company is producing a play by the Levittown-raised playwright this summer “A Time to Kill,” based on the film by John Grisham, and his musical “Curtains” at the Bayway in May.

Director Frank DiSpigno said, “The Conspiracy” started out as a typical thriller, but it went in the direction of — as the saying goes, if we tell you, we’ll have to kill you. “The way he twisted this thing was amazing,” DiSpigno said. “By the end of the show, the audience is completely blown away.” There are thousands of bad mysteries, he says, “and they’re long and plotless and will put you to sleep.”

DiSpigno added that the show is entertaining and riveting, with familiar elements of thrillers interspersed with comedic scenes — like crazy actors unhappy with their makeup. “I saw it on Broadway and thought it was the smartest thing I’d ever seen,” he said.

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