by Robert Simonson

L-R: Agosto Machado, Black-Eyed Susan, Tony Nunziata, Jim Neu, Mary Shultz. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

"For a film-noir parody with some teeth to it, forget Christopher Durang’s limp Adrift in Macao and try downtown ironist Jim Neu's La Vie Noir instead. Whereas Durang only gets a knowing chuckle out of the genre’s stylistic contrivances, Neu knows that the world of fedoras, shady ladies and rain-swept sidewalks has been creeping into our consciousness for decades.

"This short, warped sketch is set at the Blue Heron Lounge, a faux-Tiki bar situated on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Here, film professor Cody Bates (Neu) worries about typical metaexistential Neu concerns like whether people are becoming too 'fantasy-friendly' and whether they’re using conversation to audition new personas. He is joined in debate by the requisite mysterious dame (the ever-beguiling Shultz), a wronged woman (Black-Eyed Susan, looking like Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love) and a couple of mugs (Tony Nunziata and John Costelloe). Everyone drinks, but no one relaxes, since in Neu’s stillborn world, people always wonder if they’re coming by their experiences secondhand. 'Are you going to narrate our whole conversation?' Neu asks Shultz. 'You bring out the voiceover in me,' she retorts."


New York Theatre Wire - by Larry Litt

CurtainUp - by Elyse Sommer - by Lisa Ferber

Backstage - by Andy Probst

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