Wednesday, 31 October 2018 05:13

Punk Monkey Productions Presents “Play Noir”

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James Elden, Jim McCaffree, Rich Cassone, and Lauren Fordinal in Lady with a Smoking Gun by Jeff Pearce. James Elden, Jim McCaffree, Rich Cassone, and Lauren Fordinal in Lady with a Smoking Gun by Jeff Pearce. Photograph by Shaun Landry.

Punk Monkey Productions Presents “Play Noir” - An Evening of Short Noirs. 

Directed by Roxanne Jaeckel, James Elden, Jim Shipley, Shaun Landry & Paul Braverman.

Punk Monkey Productions put out their seventh annual call for new Noir short plays into the universe.

Out of the hundreds of submissions they received from all over the planet, they chose these five beauties. 

The Coming Storm
Wendy Elizabeth Abraham and Adam Slemon in The Coming Storm by Michael Robinson. Directed by Jim Shipley. Photograph by Shaun Landry.

All the plays are lovingly set in the City of Angels and they cover everything from the classic gumshoe meets dame meets sticky end to a detective novelist and his twisted muse vying for freedom.  These are some brilliant examples of the genre and the entire evening feels like something straight out of the "Twilight Zone."

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Jim McCaffree and John Conroy in Bro by Robb Willoughby. Directed by Shaun Landry. Photograph by Lemon Melon Photography.

The cast is absolutely superb and were all clearly having a ball on stage.  The plays are a mixture of funny and thrilling and the music was also brilliantly and thoughtfully curated, adding an extra depth to the show.  Punk Monkey also employed a different director for each play, which I loved.  It’s remarkable how much impact another set of eyes has on material like this, every director setting their own tone despite the similar material. 

Roxanne Jaeckel, Jim Shipley, and John Conroy in Eve by Bob Kolsby. Directed by James Elden. Photograph by Lemon Melon Photography.
Roxanne Jaeckel, Jim Shipley, and John Conroy in Eve by Bob Kolsby. Directed by James Elden. Photograph by Lemon Melon Photography.

"Play Noir" is playful but never obvious, clever but not too cerebral, ironic but true to the genre.  It’s wonderful to see such dedication to “noir” without succumbing to the temptation to modernize or make relevant to our ‘now.’

Roxanne Jaeckel, Adam Slemon, Heidi Kendrick, and James Elden in Deuce Cooper: The Bloomfield Case by Paul Braverman. Directed by Crystal Craft. Photograph by Lemon Melon  Photography.
Roxanne Jaeckel, Adam Slemon, Heidi Kendrick, and James Elden in Deuce Cooper: The Bloomfield Case by Paul Braverman. Directed by Crystal Craft. Photograph by Lemon Melon  Photography.

Lord knows we can all do with some escapism and “Play Noir” is certainly that.  I love short plays, at their best they can not only give new playwrights a much-needed boost, but they can also energize, entertain and enlighten an audience. 

“Play Noir” at The Actors Workout Theatre is an evening of the very best of the short play and Noir genre and I highly recommend it!  Bravo!!

The Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, 91602

Running October 26 through November 18, Friday & Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm

Written by Jeff Pearce, Bob Kolsby, Michael Robinson, Robb Willoughby & Paul Braverman

Featuring the talents of:

Wendy Abraham - John Conroy - Rich Cassone - James Elden - Lauren Fordinal - Roxanne Jaeckel - Heidi Kendrick - Jim McCaffree - Jim Shipley Gyl Roland - Adam Slemon

Read 540 times Last modified on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 09:09
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer, director, filmmaker living in Los Angeles. She co-created the unprecedented project 52 Films/52 Weeks: A Year in Filmmaking, where she and her partners, wrote, directed, produced and edited a film a week for an entire year. She currently has several independent film projects at various stages of development.  

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