Billy & Ray, Falcon Theatre

Photo by Chelsea Sutton.

Billy & Ray by Mike Bencivenga.

Pauline Adamek – ArtsBeatLA

Boasting a superb clowny performance by Kevin Blake as Hollywood filmmaker Billy WilderBilly & Ray is a light comedy about the making of the groundbreaking motion picture Double Indemnity. Mike Bencivenga’s enjoyable new play is currently running at the Falcon Theatre in Toluca Lake. A producer at Paramount Studios, Joseph Sistrom (Anthony Starke), has just purchased to rights to James M. Cain’s sordid novella Double Indemnity, based on a sensational real-life murder case from 1927. He’s desperate to oversee the making of a hit movie, or risk losing his job. But the studio needs to pass the stringent codes imposed by the Hays Office censors… No sex, no depiction or murder or violence and no dead bodies. A pretty tall order for a slice of crime ‘fiction…’ With its chiaroscuro lighting and tough dialogue, Double Indemnity went on to become the benchmark against which all subsequent film noir movies were compared.   Read more…