"Out of all da dames in the woild who cudda walked inta my office dat day, why did it hafta be dat dame?"
That line, and versions of it, has been uttered by hundreds of private eyes, each time setting in motion a story that unfolds mystery by mystery by mystery.
That line comes to mind watching the ponderous musical "City of Angels" that opened over the weekend at Windfall Theatre.
This comic opera â€“ and I use the word "comic" loosely and the word "opera" in all its overwrought and confusing storyline â€“ was supposed to be a magic trip back to the days of film noir. No such luck.
The production is loaded with good actors and singers. But they seem trapped in a story, or stories, that develop so slowly that at some point it became easier to cry "uncle" and just sit back and wait for it to come to an end.
This play features two stories.
One is about a writer named Stine, who is working on a screenplay while trying to maintain his artistic purity.Â The second is the story that Stine is writing â€“ a private eye named Stone gets hired by a hot dame to find a missing girl.
The play moves back and forth between these two stories, moving each one along at a snailâ€™s pace until we get to the end where some long winded exposition tries to tie up all the loose ends and clue the audience in on what really happened.
Doing a play like this is enough of a challenge, but when faced with a too warm theater, a first act that lasted one hour and 35 minutes and a play that asked us to sit still for three hours, it was almost too much to expect this to hold together.
Or to hold my attention.
I really had high hopes for this show. Carol Zippel, the producing director at Windfall, directed this show, and she has long had a great touch with musicals.
What this needed, more than anything else, was a scalpel. There was just too much. Too much music, too much talking and not nearly enough precision.
There are jokes in this script but the overwhelming reaction to them was that…Read more...