EMAV Review: 'Clown Bar' is hard boiled, and hilarious at Majestic Rep

★★★★★ - Irresistible

Majestic Repertory Theatre Company presents an irresistible 5-Star production of Clown Bar, Adam Szymkowicz’s provocative parody of Fritz Lang 1940s film noir thrillers.

A hardboiled detective returns to his old watering hole to avenge the underworld murder of his brother -- and rekindle an old flame. There's whiskey-soaked dialogue, sexy molls, a hooker with a heart of gold, and more gunplay than a Tarantino flick.

But these ain't just any old gangsters – they’re gangster clowns!

Happy (the hardboiled detective) learns that Timmy (his junkie brother) is found dead. So Happy must return to his former life as a clown to ask a few questions. Happy left the Clown Bar and the organized clown crime world long ago, to work for the good guys. Can he survive the gun toting clowns who used to be his friends or “Blinky”, the lady clown he left behind?

My brother “was a good kid,” Happy recalls. “ ’Cept when he wasn’t.” Petunia, a sexy clown-waitress, replies, “It’s an uncomfortable way to go, death by shooting.”

From the very instant that the audience walks into the present day saloon that doubles as a cabaret, everyone interacts with antisocial clowns, listens to satirical torch songs, applauds risqué burlesque, and is swept up into the off-color humor befitting the cynical attitudes and sexual motivations of the noir genre.

At this joint the regulars wear clown makeup and costumes, and speak in the hard-boiled slang of 1930s gangsters. There are dames and goons, guns and booze, and all the characters keep straight faces desp