Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Angel Face 

Novelist Cornell Woolrich's noir world of dames and bad boys comes alive in Word for Word production

Wednesday, Aug 22 2007
There are many fine noir details in Word for Word's 90-minute production of Cornell Woolrich's tale of a hardworking dame out to save her love-struck younger brother from the electric chair. But the overall feel of the production lacks the snap and sizzle of Woolrich's writing. A big part of the problem is the two-layer set by Mikiko Uesugi. The multiple staircases and doors are effectively dark and foreboding when empty, yet they end up stunting the flow of the action. The second floor is so high and far back in the large space that all sense of intimacy — like in the great noir film close-ups — is lost. Also, not all the actors make the most of Word for Word's style of speaking every syllable the author penned. There are times when we watch actors say they're about to do something and then watch them do it, a repetition that slows the story down rather than drives it along. The main exception to this is Michael Patrick Gaffney, who flows with ease through the many characters he plays, from deadbeat to detective and back again. Such moments make this production still decent entertainment, propelled by Woolrich's tight plot and wonderfully rich, twisted world.

About The Author

Molly Rhodes


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"