A Play About Puppets Who Do Terrible Things To Each Other
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
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.