Arts Club Theatre Company with Vertigo Theatre
Farewell, My Lovely by Aaron Bushkowsky

Dates and Venue April 2–May 2, 2015 Mon & Tues at 7:30pm, Wed – Sat at 8pm, and Wed & Sat at 2pm | Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street

Director Craig Hall Cast Graham Percy, Beau Dixon, Lucia Frangione, Stephen Hair, Anthony F. Ingram, Jamie Konchak, Emma Slipp

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

The year is 1941, Los Angeles and Detective Philip Marlowe has been hired to find a woman by the name of Velma. The plot thickens with dead bodies, crooks, seductive women and the question, “What is really going on?”
This is the first theatre adaptation of the novel by Raymond Chandler. Marlowe is a film noir detective with long trench coat and famous detective fedora of the 40s. Marlowe is somewhat of an alcoholic and booze is being poured throughout the play. Come to think of it I don’t recall any of the characters involved refusing a drink.

Tonight is opening night and it’s a packed house. I find the theatre backdrop well done with black and white scenes of the 40s flashing on the various screens that are part of the architecture. I like the slick and quick manner of changing stage props with the actors sliding the props from Marlowe’s small desk to a fancy mansion’s interior. Of course there are the flashing neon lights of the bars as one of the trademarks of films noir.

Marlowe has a tendency to attract the beautiful women Konchak and Slipp who are part of his investigation. If he isn’t kissing a beautiful woman, or pouring another drink then he has this wonderful bantering relationship with the chief of police. The scene at the bar between Marlowe and Grayle was a very sexy 40s scene with a sultry female jazz voice singing "Cry Me a River."

The mix of film noir and jazz adds magic to the play. The acting is well done but I did find the play a tad on the slow side. More from the original novel could have been incorporated.

© 2015 Karen Fitzgibbon