Noir: A Shot and a Chaser | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Noir: A Shot and a Chaser

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The Silent Theatre Company's wordless 2005 debut--Lulu, which made a big splash--drew on strong source material: Frank Wedekind's expressionistic plays and a 1929 silent film inspired by them. For its second production the company turns to original material, Nell Voss and Nick DuFloth's attempt at a film noir/graphic novel hybrid, and generates 15 minutes of content for a 90-minute production. Ostensibly the hardscrabble tale of a luckless detective tracking a lost heiress to a seedy 1929 speakeasy, it offers sketchily drawn, unconvincingly portrayed characters dallying in vague activities, often standing in self-conscious tableaux while a narrator reads their dialogue into a microphone. Lacking visual focus and period detail--the skilled jazz-combo accompaniment is pure 1940s--Noir is a featureless gray. --Justin Hayford a Through 7/28: Fri-Sat 10:30 PM, Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-544-1749, $10-$20.

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