The dick's a dame by Jane Moffat and Cheryl McNamara, directed by Sue Miner, with Moffat, McNamara, Mark Brownell, David Fraser and Stephen Reich. Presented by Femme Fatale Productions at the Tim Sims Playhouse (56 Blue Jays Way). Runs to May 31, Thursday 8:30 pm, Friday 8:30 and 10:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 pm. $16. 416-343-0011. Rating: NN Rating: NN
the noir genre is ripe for parody and an easy laugh, and in The Dick's A Dame, real-life couple Jane Moffat and Cheryl McNamara exploit all the clichés and then some. Unfortunately, even at 50 minutes the show's jokes wear thin, and we're left with an overlong sketch.Moffat plays Addie Clark, a private detective hired to... well, it's not really clear, which is part of the writer's point.
These thrillers were more about style, mood and attitude than they were about finding whodunit. The convoluted plot, revealed in a series of scenes, is the play's one fine, sustained bit of absurdist comedy.
As in the work's 2001 Fringe production, director Sue Miner moves things along cleverly, hitting the requisite locales - interrogation room, morgue, warehouse - efficiently.
Stephen Reich, Dave Fraser and especially Mark Brownell have fun playing a variety of 40s types. Ironically, they upstage the woefully uncharismatic Moffat, who's left to play one note, and McNamara, who looks good in period get-up but fails to connect with anything around her.
The lesbian subtext feels forced. Sure, we get all the jokes about "tailing." But there are lots of missed opportunities. After all, this is a genre where butchy Barbara Stanwyck can double-cross her dumb male leads and menacing, lascivious housekeepers eye nubile young charges.
The Dick's A Dame, but the show's a tough-talkin' tease.