May 18--Classic, black-and-white detective films and dime-store pulp fiction novels inspire much of "Dirk Darrow 2: Rudy Knockers, Jaded Dick," the one-man comedy sequel by Tim Motley.
There's the fast-talking, cigarette-smoking private dick wearing a trench coat, hat and holster. There's talk of dames, bank heists and cops. And one-liners are aplenty. They're mostly the sexual-innuendo kind -- which are low-hanging fruit, considering the title of the show -- while others are just plain cheesy.
"In Philadelphia, danger is always lurking behind every corner," Darrow says. " That's why I only live in round buildings."
But "Darrow" strays from what makes most film noir movies worth watching -- the good story. Told through a series of monologues mixed with portions of audience-participation bits, "Darrow" is, at times, hard to follow. What's supposed to be a "whodunit" becomes a "What's going on?"
It was no help that Motley seemed to stumble through a few lines during the show.
"Darrow" does have its moments. A scene in which Motley uses a deck of cards to tell a story is well-timed and fun to watch.
Beyond the scripted parts, Motley may be at his best when he's forced to improvise with audience members. Quick thinking and self-deprecating, Motley generates real laugh-out-loud moments when he's thrown a curveball.
However, those moments are too few.
After almost of hour of sometimes confusing twists, the climax of "Darrow" is merely limp.
60 mins. Rated G-14. Yellow venue.
5-18, 8 p.m.
5-20, 10:45 p.m.
5-22, 9 p.m.
5-25, 2:45 p.m.
5-26, 11:30 a.m.
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