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Moody noir musical 'Gunmetal Blues' depicts misfortune in surreal world

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Moody noir musical 'Gunmetal Blues' depicts misfortune in surreal world


December 09, 2008, 9:49 a.m.
CHUCK GRAHAM
Tucson Citizen

"Gunmetal Blues" rises out of the darkened Invisible Theatre stage as a 1930s nightclub gangster caper that's four parts atmosphere and one part action, with a twist. Armen Dirtadian looks terrific as Sam Galahad, the well-dressed loser who's old enough to know better but has never learned to resist.

Dirtadian is well-known around Tucson for his dashing roles as the broad-shouldered leading man at Gaslight Theatre, but is keeping his personality in the shadows here. He plays a private eye so down on his luck, no client is ever turned away from his tattered office.

Betsy Kruse Craig (another Gaslight star) steps into the IT spotlight as that tall blonde who doesn't care how much trouble Sam gets sucked into. She also plays three other blondes with their own suspicious motives.

Taking on several additional roles is Mike Padilla, who most…

Tucson Weekly : Arts : Live From the Red Eye

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Tucson Weekly : Arts : Live From the Red Eye

PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 11, 2008:
Live From the Red Eye
Blending both humor and sincerity, Invisible Theatre's 'Gunmetal Blues' offers a pleasant surprise
By JAMES REEL




I know what you're thinking, because I thought the same thing--and we're both wrong.
Invisible Theatre is putting on Gunmetal Blues, a musical inspired by the gritty 1930s-'40s private-detective stories of writers like Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler. It rattles off lines like, "The rain on my face was a washrag full of straight pins." You can't really take that seriously unless it's coming straight from Hammet or Chandler. And this is a musical, remember, in which two of the stars are longtime regulars at Gaslight Theatre.

You're thinking: This is just another silly, fluffy spoof.

But you're as wrong as stilettos on a choirboy. Sure, Gunmetal Blues starts off as a send-up of more noir clichés than you can list on a corpse's t…

'Gunmetal Blues' is fun noir schtick, with tunes | www.azstarnet.com ®

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'Gunmetal Blues' is fun noir schtick, with tunes www.azstarnet.com ®

'Gunmetal Blues' is fun noir schtick, with tunes
By Kathleen Allen
Arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 12.05.2008

The piano player tickled the ivories while the detective, dressed in a fedora and a shiny gray suit, downed five, no six, fingers of whiskey in one gulp.
The blonde crooned a tune while she made herself at home stretched across the piano. The player looked like he might tickle her.

And so it goes in Invisible Theatre's perfectly played "Gunmetal Blues," a sendup of 1940s detective flicks. Only with music.

Director Gail Fitzhugh struck just the right note with the play — it would be easy to overplay this one and not trust the audience to get the jokes or the references.

She trusted them, as did her cast, Mike Padilla as the piano player Buddy Toupee, Betsy Kruse Craig as the Blonde, and Armen Dirtadian as Sam, the private eye.

Craig and Dirtadian are veterans of The Gaslight T…