The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street – A Little Too Much Mystery (FRIGID New York 2011)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on March 2, 2011 · 0 comments

in Festivals, FRIGID 2011, Manhattan, Off-Off-Broadway, Reviews, Theatre

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The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street

The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street

Go into The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street at the Kraine Theatre expecting a hard boiled detective story full of tersely delivered dialogue, dames and dicks and that’s what you’ll get, in a manner of speaking. It’s your typical setup: two hard talking detectives (Sergio Lodolce and Adam Brome) are behind a desk in some seedy joint down town when a hapless dame (Maggie McGuire) walks in. She’s leggy, lovely and looking for her brother; a few tears, a little exposition, some wisecracks and the dicks are soon hoofing it all over town on a random chase that leads them down the path of innuendo, wisecracks, double entendres and mistaken meaning, all culminating with a big shootout in a warehouse.  Sounds like all the elements are there for the perfect noir send-up, yes?  Well, yes.  And . . . no.

Usually stories like this make me happy; when done well they crackle and snap with witty  dialogue, tough action and good ole fashioned chauvinism.  If, like me, you enjoy the genre then you’ll either be happy with the effort put forth by the team behind The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street (helmed by writer/director Sergio Solorzano), or  you’ll walk away with the strange feeling that somehow, in the end, this is one Mystery that never got solved.

Like the title, there was just too much crammed into this short hour, and some things were just out of place.  Maggie McGuire is a fine enough actress but she’s miscasts as the stereotypical “dame “- from the looks of it she was chosen solely for her ability to fill out the requisite red dress which happened to be on hand (it too is miscast, looking more like a cocktail dress than a dress representative of the genre).  She’s earnest in her delivery but at no point does she ever really sell the part convincingly.

Lines of dialogue are either intentionally absurdist (which, for their sake, I’m hoping) or the product of sloppy research – regardless I couldn’t tell which.  Incorrect time periods are thrown together, ala carte style, in service of a wisecrack or running gag.   The sexually confused sub-plot is a one note joke that gets tired after numerous references, and the actual plot was too convoluted to actually follow, for those wishing to do just that.

One standout was the fight choreography which was tremendously executed.  My recommendation would be to trim this show by half and submitted to Fight Fest later this year where it will fare far better.

While I do admit to reacting with a few chuckles those just didn’t seem worth it in the end; this was neither a side-splitting comedy that earned the right to strip the noir genre, nor a solid noir story that benefited from a few laughs.  Like the running gag, this show suffered from a case of mistaken identity.


The Mysterious Mystery of Mystery Street
Written & Directed by Sergio Solorzano
Presented by Blame Your Fate Productions New York, NY
The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street) $15
Thu 2/24 @ 7:30pm, Sat 2/26 @ 5:30pm, Wed 3/2 @ 10:30pm, Fri 3/4 @ 5:30pm, & Sun 3/6 @ 4pm

FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.


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