Hugen Hall, in affiliation with Strawdog Theatre presents the World Premiere of DETECTIVE PARTNER HERO VILLAIN.
Playwright Brett Neveu showcases an existentialist crisis superhero-sized. Neveu’s story intrigues for its quirky entanglements. His dialogue is smart. Imagine if Woody Allen had written “The Incredibles,” that’s the DPHV banter. The conversations are soul-searching quirky but witty, comic book based. Under the noir direction of Gus Menary, the identity crisis rolls out with authenticity, vulnerability and intrigue.
At the crux, John Wilson (detective) and Sam Guinan-Nyhart (hero) effectively struggle with boundary issues. A driven Wilson tries to engage Guinan-Nyhart in helping out on his latest case. A hilarious Guinan-Nyhart wants Wilson to put work aside to focus on their friendship. And Wilson doesn’t just have problems with his super hero, he also combats other distractions. His partner and the villain both interfere in the crime-busting. Marc Rita (partner) is a perfect good old boy with a side of Morgan Freeman. Rita charmingly makes this convoluted circle analogy. When Wilson questions it, Rita blankly responds with, ‘what did I say?’
Neveu’s twists on stereotypes continually cues the laughter. The villain, played marvelously creepy by Tim Parker, calls on the secret yellow phone. Not Batman red, the phone is yellow. Everything in this world is familiar but slightly off. Neveu’s mortals and super heroes mingle and grapple with evil and faith. And they do it while trying to develop bromances.
DETECTIVE PARTNER HERO VILLAIN is less about action-packed crime fighting and more about thought-provoking self-identification. The clever set-up felt very much like the first in a series of DPHV offerings. It impressively introduced these four characters and their conflicting personas. Okay, you got me! What happens next?
Running Time: Sixty minutes with no intermission
At Hugen Hall at Strawdog, 3829 N. Broadway
Written by Brett Neveu
Directed by Gus Menary
Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays at 8pm
Thru December 17th
Buy Tickets at www.strawdog.org
Photo by Tom McGrath.