note: entire contents copyright 2009 by Beverly Creasey
Remember those ‘40s movies with the hardboiled private eye narrating the story? If you have a soft spot for the guy who knew “the dame was trouble” and fell for her anyway---then you’ll fall for CITY OF ANGELS.
What makes Longwood’s production sizzle is Shonna McEachern as the quintessential femme fatale and Hilary Chadwick as the detective’s frustrated Gal Friday. Curt Fennell is spot on as the world weary gumshoe. The minute you hear his “voiceover” voice and his perfect inflection, you’re hooked.
What doesn’t work so well are the unnecessary scene changes (although a crackerjack crew gets the flats off and on with lightening speed). No one cares what color the room is: We’re smart enough to know when a scene changes locale. This is one musical which has to move fast. Momentum is what counts in CITY OF ANGELS.
Director Katie Pickett gets fine work from the whole cast, especially from Kevin Cirone as the manic producer (Is there any other kind?), from Kate deLima as a cigar chomping madam and from Julia Scott Carey’s be-boppin’ jazz quartet.