A sweltering New York City summer; Son of Sam is still at large. A massive citywide blackout is around the corner. The year is 1977, and on the verge of bankruptcy, a city barely keeps it together, not unlike detectives Francis Kelly (Kevin Brief) and Jack Delasante (Matthew J. Williamson), two of NYPDs finest, who have nabbed two of its worst: Jimmy Rosario, a.k.a. Jimmy Rosehips (Matthew Thompson), and Simon Cohn, a.k.a. Sean de Kahn (Gary Lamb). A dry-cleaners is held up. Its owner, Mrs. Linowitz, is shot point-blank. Theres hell to pay, especially when the boys in blue have no qualms about beating a confession out of these low-life suspects. Problem is, Jimmy and Simon are no rookies, and their ability to manipulate the demons that plague the seemingly hard-boiled Kelly and Delasante turns up the sweltering July heat inside the police station. First performed at the Public Theater in 1978, this revival of Thomas Babes gritty interrogation drama is masterfully orchestrated by director Albert Alarr, whose fluid blocking and brutally realistic fight choreography make full use of Sarah Krainins impeccably authentic set. The entire ensemble shines, showcasing both the humor and suffocating pain of a text that poignantly explores the light and the dark sides of our natures. (The show does contain full-frontal nudity.) Crown City Theatre, 11031 Camarillo St., N. Hollywood; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through March 6. (800) 838-3006, brownpapertickets.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; March 26-27, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 5. Continues through March 20, 2010