Infidelity, theft, deception and cold-blooded murder are very, very, wrong. They can also be a hell of a lot of fun, for the safe-from-harm theatergoer, at least. Mike Beyer’s new play, is a high-pitched, ninety-minute whirlwind of sex, greed, lies, violence—and what appeared to be macramé (or was it a collage of pastel cotton balls?). The playwright can be seen onstage as well, as Stan, the quintessential good-guy who, while in Vegas for a buddy’s bachelor party, is seduced by the beautiful and manipulative Rita (Heather Tyler), and lured into a dangerous scheme to recover a cache of stolen diamonds supposedly buried in his Naperville backyard. Matt Engle gets a lot of laughs as Rita’s trigger-happy, lunatic ex-lover, and Dave Skvarla raises the creep factor almost beyond my comfort level as crime boss Fishman. Prop Thtr’s intimate black box is a great space for this company, and Alan Donahue’s set takes great advantage of the room’s potential. Lengthy scene changes bleed the momentum a bit, but the actors’ stamina brings you right back in—they are obviously having a great time up there, and inviting us to do the same. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it is a fairly clever, certainly entertaining effort at noir parody—bring your friends, grab a drink and watch these characters self-destruct. (Valerie Jean Johnson)
At Prop Thtr, 3504 North Elston, (773)539-7838. This production is now closed.