“Double Indemnity”: 50% Bitter

BITTER It’s quite distracting, especially when you’re being told the story not always sequentially with the action. Additionally, though we’re obviously watching a play set in the ‘40s, we’re hearing it in the language of a ‘40s movie that explains it all for us in such a simplistic way that it incites laughter in moments when it should freeze the blood. There’s little or no chill in the air, never a moment when one is compelled to feel anything for these people.
Madeleine Shaner – Park La Brea News/Beverly Press

There are delicious touches, including an effective use of voiceover, sexy music blanketing the proceedings, and two gangsterlike men, dressed in black and smoking cigarettes, who change the scenery. The emotional spine of the work, however, has not been captured.
Iris Mann – Backstage

Jeremy Pivnick’s lighting adds mystery to the spellbinding performances by the cast that also includes Benton Luke. Double Indemnity is a novel by James M. Cain that was a successful movie featuring Fred McMurray as Walter, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis and Edward G. Robinson as Keyes.
This adaptation is extremely well written and performed at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. It is playing in repertory with Violet Sharp and will continue through March 15. Both productions are recommended.

Carol Kaufman Segal – Stagehappenings

Filed Under: LemonMeter

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