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The Chinese Angle Dresses Sharp, Yet Plays Dull 

Wednesday, Sep 26 2007

This homage to everything noir is all about dames in broad-shouldered suits and cinched-waist dresses who strut and preen around the small stage looking for trouble. These ladies capture the spirit of a good noir whodunit by spitting out their insults like two-day-old chewing gum and staring down any man who tries to get in their way. The relish with which they embrace the tawdry lines playwright Hal Savage has penned for them just about makes up for the fact that there really isn't much of a story to speak of. Over the course of the two-hour play, someone gets killed in a Chinatown club and then the detectives spend the second act interrogating the trapped guests until the case is closed. What's more, there are some ill-advised voiceovers piped in from an old-fashioned radio that make the slow proceedings go even slower. But even when the plot stalls, hanging out with the characters created by Savage and the cast still makes for a decent evening of backtalk and sass.

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Molly Rhodes


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