Everyone loves a little classic noir story. But when you put a new twist on a classic genre, you know you’re in for a fun night. In the highly immersive Clown Bar by Adam Szymkowicz featuring music by Adam Overett, you placed right into the action of a noir style murder mystery. However the clever spin in this story is the characters happen to all be clowns.
As the detective with a past, Shane Zeigler shines as Happy. Zeigler is perfection for the noir style of the character. From body language to vocal inflection, Zeigler shined. Dan Tracy as Timmy was superb with his mix of humor and pain. Tracy’s characterization was captivating through the flashback scenes. Jessica Frey and Salty Brine as the main entertainers Petunia and Dusty respectively were truly the heart and soul of the production. Frey’s Petunia was always the source of cheap laughs while Brine’s Dusty had a wonderful report with the audience.
Director Andrew Neisler did a great job tackling the tough terrain of the space. But thankfully The Box was a wonderful location for the play. The speakeasy style ambiance was perfection. Neisler discovered the balance of dark and humorous within Szymkowicz’s script. While the tight central space allowed for some unfortunate sight line issues for certain audience members, expanding the stage to fill the entire bar was a nice touch. Costume designer Meghan Gaber found each actor’s personality through their clown costume. With iconic clown attire, Gaber still evoked the noir vibe of the world. Joe Cantalupo’s lighting design was top notch for the venue, bringing in the dark and smokey aura alongside the presentational moments.
Clown Bar is a top notch immersive event that is unique and bound to be a cult favorite. Don’t let the steep food and drink prices scare you away from truly enjoying the evening. “Clown Noir” is sure to be the next hit genre of entertainment.