The New Jersey Repertory Company presents the World Premiere of Noir by Stan Werse, directed by Marc Geller. Noir will begin preview performances on Thursday, April 4, 2013 and will celebrate its opening night on Saturday, April 6 at New Jersey Repertory Company (179 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ), running through Sunday, May 5. Tickets are $40 ($35 during previews and $50 on opening night - with reception) and can be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or by visiting www.njrep.org.
Here are the facts, just the facts ... New York City, 1950 ... Andrews has left town, Klein is dead, and so is Lydecker. And Betty ... well, she's still alive, but someone has beat the pretty off her. And Clay Holden, he has his first big chance as a detective ... but this is one case that he may not want to solve.
Stan Werse's new play Noir is the playwright's homage to a style of cinematic storytelling that has had a profound and pervasive influence on our culture and has also frequently defined how our society is viewed by others throughout the world. Werse takes his audiences on a roller-coaster ride deep into the dark and shadowy world that characterizes noir.
The genre is said to have its roots in German Expressionism and one of the earliest efforts to bring this distinctive style to film was Fritz Lang's groundbreaking movie, M starring the young Peter Lorre. In the U.S. the pulp fiction of the 1930's with its strangeness, cruelty, and erotic elements, and its cynical and alienated characters with their moral ambiguities, further evolved the genre until film brought it to its fullest heights in the 1940's and 50's. There are some basic elements that tend to characterize noir and which Werse faithfully and dutifully incorporates into his play: There is always a murder, a crime investigation, and a convoluted story, and there is always a fatalistic and doomed hero, who has a special penchant for wit and for razor-sharp observations that he somehow manages to express even as fate and defeat close in on him. And yes, there is always a femme fatale, a beautiful young woman of questionable virtue who he knows full well is bad for him, and who just happens to come along to lure him to his doom, just like all those bad girls in films such as Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth,The Postman Always Rings Twice starring Lana Turner, and Double Indemnity starring Barbara Stanwyck.
Werse's play follows Detective Clay Holden (Darrell Glasgow) who has been assigned to a new post, to work with the bitter and cynical Norbert Grimes (Thomas Grube), and his partner, the not-so-dumb-as-he-looks resident enforcer, McQue (Michael McCoy). As expected, there enters a mysterious young woman, Helen Lydecker (Catherine LeFrere). Can Clay maintain his tenuous hold on his sense of morality and remain the "good" cop, when at every turn he knows only half the truth? Can he survive the corrupt world and the siren-song of the beautiful seductress who has desperately turned to him for help? His career and life are both on the line, and as in all noir stories everything is distorted through cigarette smoke and mirrors as he searches for clarity, but then as Helen wryly observes, "Right or wrong, what does it matter? Only the movies are black and white."
Directed by Marc Geller, the talented cast of Noir includes Darrell Glasgow,Thomas Grube, Catherine LeFrere and Michael McCoy. The production design team includes Jessica Parks (Set Design & Props), Jill Nagle (Lighting Design), Jack Kennedy (Sound Design), Patricia E. Doherty (Costume Design), Michael Carroll (Technical Director) and Jennifer Tardibuono (Stage Manager).
This production complies with all the standards and practices set forth in the Hays Code.
Stan Werse (Playwright) was the winner of the 2010 New Jersey Playwriting Contest for his play Buick Becomes Electra or The Torrid Zone. His ten minute play Tempus Fugit was performed at the Short Play Lab in 2011. He was a semi-finalist at the 2004 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition for 1954, a 2004 Nichol Screenwriting Competition semi-finalist for Medieval and the winner of the 2007 Chicago Script Works Screenwriting Competition for Opus in a Minor Key.