Murder and Corruption at the Bootleg


Once again, the Bootleg Theatre has scored big time with an evocation of a colorful period inLos   Angeleshistory, that being the Black Dahlia murder case of the late 40’s.  The current production, The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse, visits this period having to do with the Elizabeth Short murder with the carnival atmosphere and botching up of the LA Police investigation which followed.

Detective Frank Jamison (Douglas Dickerman) is attempting to bring some light into the case by interviewing Modi Comfort (Daniele Watts) who is thought to be a lover of the suspected killer.  Surrounding them very slowly stalks the visage of Short, corpse like and emoted by Vangeline and accompanied by some very descriptive music and atmosphere, as the detective struggles to find answers.

There are images which appear from time to augment the scenario, such as a scene from the film Kiss Me Deadly, which, if it supplies no answers, does effectively provides some sense of the period very dramatically.

Ms Watts comes to the fore on two occasions, both giving  a brief glimpse into her side of the story and also proves herself to be a quite attractive and accomplished singer as she sings “I’d Rather Have the Blues that What I’ve Got”.

Along with the provocative introductory music from several sources, David J and Ego Plum provided the accompanying background music and lyrics.  David J also directed the piece.  Alicia Hoge-Adams, Artistic Director shares the honors with Jessica Hanna, Producing and Managing Director.

This theatre certainly stands behind the manifest, Quote:  A place whereLos Angelesartists of all disciplines can come together and create new exciting theatrical events.

Altogether, it was not your usual garden variety experience; so much so, that at the end the performers just exit the stage, leaving the audience hoping for more but getting nothing… curtain calls, nada.

Maybe a sign should be posted outside the door say “Slackers need not apply”.

Personally, it was my kind of theatre and it leaves food for thought just wondering what they are coming to come up with next.

Current production runs Thursday through Saturday thru October 1.



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