The current production is Eric Overmyer's 'American Theater Noir' Dark Rapture, originally produced by the Open Space Theater in Seattle. It is a tale in the classic noir vein of mystery, murder, and intrigue that is set against a cast of characters all pushing to be someone else, somewhere else, and starting anew.
Pulling off the stage version of "Film Noir" often loses the stylish intensity and suspense that only a camera can deliver. Not so here, as the cast and playwright deliver an on the edge of your seat story and performance that allowed the two and a half hour run time to fly by. Overmyer's brilliant use of language, syntax, and the poetic content words can hold allows for his characters to be schemers, dreamers and everymen all at once.
The cast is extraordinary and stars the riveting Katy Selverstone and Nick
Offerman, with knockout performances delivered by Dylan Kenin, Jeffrey Johnson, Shanti Reinhardt, David
Mersault, Don Oscar Smith and Sarah Sido.
Offerman and Mersault do not step on stage at the top of the play, they climb into a real world moment crafted by the design team of Keith Mitchell (Scenic), Craig Pierce (Lighting) and John Zalewski (sound). Smoke, fire and the sharp crackling burning of homes and exploding eucalyptus set a tense and suspenseful beginning that the two actors fully inhabit, and their audience is right with them from the first moment.
The sexy and sharp Selverstone is folded in a moment later and we are completely hooked. Her performance is a sharp dry-witted flashback to the kind of tough sultry "dames" that inhabited all the Noir films. Her Julia is never to be underestimated. Jeffrey Johnson was so stellar in dual roles; first as a hot stuntman comfortable with providing sexual diversion for Julia and second as an Armenian thug that it was a surprise to realize it was the same actor. He even threw in a lounge singer to boot in Act II. Our other Armenian, Christian Anderson was a firebrand and a hot head, living now and in the past, trying to right the wrongs of his nations people and doing an excellent job at making us believe.
Dylan Kenin could have easily played the role of Vegas over the top for dumb laughs, instead he gave his character quick street smarts coupled with a sleuth like intelligence that made the most of humor when he chose to use it. The "all is not what it seems" theme of the work lived out. Smith played Lexington just as smooth as could be, and gave us another throwback to the genres beginnings. Finally the other two women in the cast, Reinhardt and
Sido, who were both white hot simple at the outset and cool and complicated by the end, rounding out a top notch ensemble.
Director Larry Biederman gave constant fresh and innovative choices to his audience, creating moment after moment instead of scene after scene. He took a cast of talented actors and turned up the heat until everything sizzled. His integration of an award winning design team and even a choreographed set change at one point defined stylized for this production and it's appreciative audience. Anyone who Loves theater will love this show! -
evidEnce room website.
Sunday September 26th through Saturday October 30th.
TIMES: Thursday through Sunday at 8:00 PM.
ADMISSION: Thursday and Sunday nights $15.00,
Friday and Saturday nights $20.00.
Special rates for students, subscribers, and groups.
TICKETS: Reservations may be made by calling (213) 381-7118.
LOCATION: The Evidence Room is located at 2220 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, between Virgil and Alvarado, just west of downtown and close to the 101, 110, and 10 Freeways.
Limited free parking is available adjacent to the theater.
Abundant street parking on Beverly Boulevard.
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