GreenMan Theatre stages dinner whodunit
Gilda Graham (Courtney Knysch) and Nino Frank (Carl Zeitler) star in "Smoking Gun" by GreenMan Theatre. | Courtesy of GreenMan Theatre
Feb. 22-23, March 1-3
Angelo’s Ristorante, 247 N. York St., Elmhurst
(630) 464-2646; Greenmantheatre.com
Updated: February 21, 2013 12:24PM
A noir-style whodunit is up next for GreenMan Theatre.
The original producti on, “Smoking Gun,” is a dinner theater fundraiser for the community troupe. Performances are Feb. 22-23 and March 1-3 at Angelo’s Ristorante in Elmhurst.
An interactive social hour with cash bar and cast members in character begins an hour before the show.
“Smoking Gun” was written by Carolyn Thomas-Davidoff and Carl Zeitler. Thomas-Davidoff, of Western Springs, also serves as director.
“People will see part of the show, eat some food, see more of the show, eat some more food, and they’ll have some clues and be able to guess who they think done it,” Thomas-Davidoff said. “People are welcome to dress up in period-style costumes.”
A spoof of the film-noir genre, the story is set in 1932 and takes place in the Coconut Lounge, which is run by notorious mobster Nino Frank.
“We also have Sam Spade — not the famous Sam Spade, but another Sam Spade who just happens to be a private detective — and he’s running his business out of the Coconut Lounge,” she said.
Meanwhile, Nino Frank’s girlfriend Gilda Graham wants to get married, but he wants to buy the perfect engagement ring — known as the Burmese Bauble. When the Bauble goes missing, Gilda hires Sam Spade to find it.
“We have lots of other funny characters and there’s lots of action,” Thomas-Davidoff said. “This is not a very serious, very heavy drama where two people stand on the stage and do nothing but talk at each other.”
Additional characters include Sam Spade’s loyal secretary, his not-so-loyal partner and scary ex-wife. Then there are uncooperative police officers, showgirls with their own agendas, a movie studio chief looking for talent, a mailman who makes unexpected deliveries, the staff and regulars of the Coconut Lounge and two visitors from the Deep South looking to make their Hollywood dreams come true.
The audience members become patrons at the Coconut Lounge, and before the night is through, one of the cast of characters will get bumped off.
This is the eighth dinner theater fundraiser Thomas-Davidoff has directed and the third one she’s written with Zeitler, including last year’s spoof on Hollywood westerns, “How the West Was Done In.”
“Smoking Gun” gently parodies such films as “The Maltese Falcon,” “Double Indemnity” and “Angels with Dirty Faces.”
“I still think that live theater is one of the best ways to be entertained,” Thomas-Davidoff said.