Saturday, September 22, 2012


A rich old lady with a mission. Two strangers. On the make? On the take? Or are they just good Samaritans? THE FAKUS: A NOIR (at the BCA thru Oct. 6th) isn’t really a whodunit as much as a who’s-doing-it-to-whom. Playwright Joe Byers applies turnabout fair play to the classic film noir scenario, muscling in on the confidence game with an out and out twist and lots of surprises.

Mum’s the word on the rest of the plot except to say that director Joe Antoun and the Centastage company cover all the angles in this stylish repurposing of the genre. Crackerjack performances and solid production values give THE FAKUS an authentic “mystery” feel, right down to the streetlamp and those ever present fedoras.

Bobbie Steinbach gives a raucous performance as the Catholic dowager in need of help to distribute her fortune to “pagan babies.” Paul Melendy’s entertaining swagger is surpassed only by his gymnastics as the “better menswear” mogul. Craig Mathers is yin to Melendy’s yang as the temporarily down on his luck aluminum salesman. Byers gets lots of laughs from the religious fervor they all muster to serve “the Lord.” Of course, nothing is what it seems to be. The delight is in the discovery…or is it the devil that’s in the details!