Adapted from Norman Kleins novella of the same title, this world premiere, co-written and co-directed by Theresa Chavez and Rose Portillo, explores historical Angelino Heights (not coincidentally the location of the theater) and the ghosts of its glamorous past. The Unreliable Narrator (David Fruechting) introduces us to the world of the play as it moves fluidly between the past and present. He speaks with Ezra (Ed Ramolete) and Molly (Lynn Milgrim), now two elderly residents of the neighborhood, as he researches a potential murder. Through their memories we learn of a younger Molly (Elizabeth Rainey), who came from Indiana and worked in mens clothing, which naturally brought her into contact with a number of men, including husbands Jack (Brian Joseph) and Walt (Pete Pano), as well as Jacks father and longtime customer Harry (James Terry). Chavez and Portillos expansive surround set, designed by Akeime Mitterlehner, offers a unique staging that, along with the accompaniment of live musicians Scott Collins and Vinny Golia, immerses the audience in the noir world. Francois-Pierre Coutures angular lighting, Pamela Shaws wonderfully detailed costumes, Claudio Rochas well-integrated videography and Diane Arellanos installation of historical artifacts which the audience is allowed to explore at intermission all enhance the ambiance as well. Rainey and Milgrim play their double roles with aplomb, but the pieces main drawback is the lack of dramatic momentum in the writing, making older Mollys line, at some point, a place becomes more important than a person, ring all the more true. Shakespeare Festival/L.A., 1238 W. First St., L.A.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through November 22. (800) 595-4849. About Productions.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 31. Continues through Dec. 6, 2009