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A Play About Puppets Who Do Terrible Things To Each Other

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On Saturday, March 8rd I went down to Silverlake's Manual Archives (a "Microtheater") and saw a strange and wonderful play called Concrete Folk Variations Part 1: Death Of A Sugar Daddy.

Written and designed by Susan Simpson, this absurdly titled play is a surprisingly gripping thriller about city corruption, sex and murder, set against the backdrop of LA's gay underground during the McCarthy era. It had literally everything - A scandal revealing the black underbelly of society's wealthy elites. Corruption, intimately connected to a period of massive expansion. A cast of characters right out of James Ellroy. A damaged, reticent protagonist dragged into the mess more by coercion than choice. Secrets, lies, sex, murders, ugly violence, institutional bigotry, and gross hypocrisy.

Told entirely with hand carved wooden puppets

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Which is to say, it was incredible. And believe it or not, it's probably the best (performed) crime thriller and Southern California period piece since LA Confidential.