A Lighter Shade of Noir

The Betrayal of Nora Blake lovingly lampoons the hard-boiled film mysteries of yesteryear

Whereas most contemporary plays succeed based on their ability to toe the line between excess and economy of emotion, The Betrayal of Nora Blakerevels in excess and the irreverent abundance of extremes. The good character is 100 percent good, the bad one relentlessly evil. That the group can pull this off is a testament to the mastery in each actor's performance and in the stellar direction of Nickolas Grace. Each player skillfully paints his or her character in full Technicolor with such an overcoat of irony that the result is a hilarious parody of the time period and genre, leading us to laugh at ourselves and the pleasure we take in such over-the-top humor.

The Betrayal of Nora Blake debuted in London in 1998 to rave reviews and is now headed for off-Broadway. A musical en route from London's West End to the Big Apple rarely makes a pit stop in West Palm Beach. South Florida theatergoers should definitely take advantage of this opportunity, whether they are film-noir addicts or not.

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