L.A. Noir UnScripted
The Theatre Asylum
I remember as a kid staying up late on Friday and Saturday nights staying up watching old movies with actors I never heard of but the stories were so compelling. My first film noir was the 1944 classic Double Indemnity with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck with Edward G. Robinson. I came in half way through the movie but my 10-year old mind quickly picked up what was going on. A love affair with black and white movies began and still goes strong to this day. Who can forget Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, or as Rick Blaine in the all time classic Casablanca and my personal favorite The Big Sleep playing the in-your-face detective Philip Marlowe? But what if Bogey had to improvise his role just for the hell of it? Could he do it? The fine talented people at the Impro Theatre would judge with scrutiny. As part of their UnScripted Series, the theater troupe gives another excellent and hysterical performance on their salute to the gritty, low down and dirty, respect to black and white films with an edge. Every show is different but the experience will be the same: absolutely one of the best shows in Los Angeles.
The gregarious Dan O’Connor takes center stage as Bobby, reminiscent of MacMurray’s role, a guy who gets involved in a deadly situation because of a woman, in this case his lovely wife Lorraine (the talented Edi Patterson). Lorraine has a shady past she tries desperately to keep away from Bobby. They go away for a couple’s weekend, where they meet the sinister looking and sounding Cyril Cole (Stephen Kearin) of Cole’s bar. A hangout for denizens, thugs and women looking for a love or a stiff drink. Lorraine comes up with an idea to make her and Bobby rich. They will rob muscleman Tony Spenser’s (Nick Massouh) safe and live it up. Meanwhile Tony makes plans to rub out Bobby but instead, accidently, or was it? kills sweet Mimi (Lisa Fredrickson) the waitress at Cole’s. Bobby whips out his .45 and tells Tony to meet him at the dock. We all know what happens. There’s always a body or two lying around and the story gets more twisted and involved. Directed by member Brian Lohmann, he truly understands the essence of film noir and executes it brilliantly. There’s humor, mystery, misunderstandings and most importantly, all around fun. Run for this show. You won’t regret it.
L.A. Noir UnScripted ends its run on Sunday, June 13 and plays Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at the Theatre Asylum 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Tickets available online at www.plays411.com/lanoirunscripted or by phone (323) 962-1632