As an avid fan of old noir movies, crooked cops, and general hard-boiled quick witted cynicism, needless to say I was looking forward to this show. The compere had obviously done his homework; the performance was a love letter to the noir genre comprising clips of movies, songs sung accompanied by a live band, little vignettes of noir movies, plus some original scenarios created by Dani Iannarelli following along the noir vein.
This was an interesting concept, but one that did not entirely pay off. Iannarelli was helpfully joined by four talented musicians whose renditions of classic noir themes such as A Foggy Day and Laura were the highlights of an otherwise uninspiring performance.
Each song was followed by a cryptic movie quote – theme from the Maltese Falcon, a clip of Humphrey Bogart saying ‘Now you are dangerous’ – and some wry observation by Iannarelli about the untrustworthy nature of the femme fatale, delivered in a barely audible growl, hat pulled down over his eyes. This was initially atmospheric, but it quickly became irritating – cliché after cliché layering over one another in a mess of mumbling noir generalities. I wasn’t the only one rolling my eyes as Iannarelli growled for the nth time about the beautiful seductress with the face of an angel and a heart of ice.
While providing a diverting sort of checklist for noir aficionados, this production had zip in terms of plot and was about as noir as a meringue.