A conglomeration would be an understatement to describe christopher marlowe’s chloroform dreams. This play is closer to a mix and match. Like if you decided to take a simple t-shirt, add a fancy blazer, throw on a pair of khaki shorts, and top it off with a Converse and a backwards cap. It may look crazy, but on the right person in the right environment, it kinda works. Luckily, the person is Lunar Energy Productions, a group of theater artists no stranger to reimagining. christopher marlowe’s chloroform dreams, written with precision by Katharine Sherman, takes the title character and thrusts him in a noir world that of Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is on a mission to save his dame, Daphne, from the sinister Frizer and her own demons.
Overall, the ensemble was a joy to watch possibly because when they weren’t in the scene, they strategically shifting the scenery. Philip Gates’s staging was like clockwork. Scene shifts can tend to be gruesome, but not here. Every move was cleverly thought out. Gates and Scenic Designer Joshua David Bishop used the space miraculously. You enter the Red Room and ask yourself where’s the set. Fret not, like the mystery of the play, it’s hidden deep inside every nook and cranny. With Gates’s delicate direction combined with Sherman’s precise script, it’s clear that the writer/director combo has a clear dialogue between one another. Kalere Payton’s grayscale costumes evoked the right atmosphere. Her design for Marlowe’s costume, specifically the hat and the shirt, were brilliant. If you took a close look, you could see the detail of sentences on both items. On a larger budget, perhaps more his costume could have included this unique touch. The real joy to the design of the play was Alana Jacoby’s impeccable lighting. The space is limited, but the use of lighting spot on. The shadows she was able to create was exactly what a noir inspired play yearned for. The only real moment within the piece that lost me was the Spring Awakening-esque chorography. And the act break which was not necessary.
For all you noir lovers looking for something out of the ordinary, christopher marlowe’s chloroform dreams is probably for you. You’ll stay engaged from start to finish and wish your life was a Elizabethean Noir fairytale.