The new show, which debuts this month, is unusual in being a direct sequel to an earlier production, said group president Kevin Kincheloe.
“This show is a follow-up to “Café Noir,” which we produced in 2010, and which turned out to be a big hit for us,” Kincheloe said.
“Like the first show, this one is set at an exotic Caribbean island nightclub in the 1940s,” he said. “It’s a kind of tribute to some of those classic old movies that we all love, especially ‘Casablanca’ and ‘Key Largo.’
“We have a very familiar setting — a swanky club — full of all kinds of criminal elements, spies and intrigue. Just like before, there are characters who will be immediately recognizable to people who watch Turner Classic a lot. We have our Bogey character, a Peter Lorre type — we won’t mention who plays him — and some old-school femme fatales,” he said.
The production picks up shortly after the last one left off, with “man of mystery” Rick Archer fending off a host of dangerous types while trying to fathom a secret that’s already resulted in murder. The action takes place shortly after World War II, so the place is still full of complications left over from the Nazi era.
The group has been careful to try to create a stylish “black and white” look evocative of old-fashioned film noir (hence the title). There are also a couple of musical numbers to add to the fun. As always with Community Alliance., there are plenty of opportunities for audience participation, and everyone is encouraged to get involved.
“We’re excited to be back at our traditional venues,” said Kincheloe. “And we’ve expanded our range to new places as well.”
He said there has been a longer than usual break since the last production due partly to the elaborate nature of the show.
“We wanted to take time to make sure we cast the best people and did it right,” he said.
The cast includes newcomers Leroy Robinson as lead Rick Archer and Donald Henderson, in a demanding multiple role as some of Rick’s adversaries. Also new to the group is Bob Crowe, who portrays a colorful American detective. Other performers include such Community Alliance stalwarts as Bryant Deal, Leslie Goldsmith, Kelly Lively and Melody Pratt. Kincheloe also plays a small part in the show.
The play is directed by Kymn Hargrave, who first joined Community Alliance for the previous show, “Southern Fried Murder.” She made a great impact in her comic role in that production, which turned out to be Community Alliance’s most successful ever, as well as serving as assistant director. It was only natural for the group to turn to her to helm this most recent endeavor.
“She’s done a great job with a very complicated, elaborate show,” Kincheloe said. “She’s very talented, and we’re all pretty impressed. It’s especially nice that she’s able to add a comedic tone to things while maintaining respect for the movies to which this is a kind of tribute. That takes a lot of ability.”
The group is happy to be able to announce a return to performing in Douglasville, which was its original home and where it’s carefully maintained its roots over the years. In addition to locations in Villa Rica and Hiram, it will now be staging shows at the Irish Bred Pub, just off Douglasville’s historic O’Neal Plaza.
“Noir Pointblank’s” run continues throughout the month and into March at various locations.
The dates include Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Olive Tree in Villa Rica, Feb. 15 and 16 at the Irish Bred Pub in downtown Douglasville, and Feb. 22 and March 1 at the Olive Tree in downtown Hiram. Seating for every show starts at 6:30 p.m., except for the Feb. 16 show, which begins seating at 4 p.m. for that Sunday performance.
The price is $36 plus tax, which includes a multi-course meal, beverage and gratuity.