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Psychedelic Noir 

Wednesday, Sep 12 2012
Heroes and Other Strangers is a one-man show set in 1970s Greenwich Village and San Francisco during the black cloud of Vietnam, teenage runaways, hippies, and revolutionaries. Before you glaze over the Age of Aquarius buzzwords and decide you've been there, done that, consider the show's writer and star Zac Jaffee. The play centers around a young photography store attendant in the village, neither pro nor against war, suddenly thrust into psychedelia, sex, and protest after he's sent to San Francisco to find two young girls who've run away. Jaffee takes on every character -- from the lost but endearing protagonist Lenny to middle-aged Jewish men, and every wayward girl in between -- for a more subtle, complex narrative that drops any overtones of counter-culture caricature. Jaffee calls his work a "noir tale," a sort of detective narrative in a confused reality, helped along by composer Luke Westbrook's curious score. Westbrook has a way of making the caustic quiet enough to be mysterious, and at certain key moments, charming. If you're into the more filmic qualities of theater, keep an ear open to Westbrook's score and Yvette Jackson's sound design. Jaffee's performance won the Overall Excellence Award at New York's International Fringe Festival in 2011 and the production is currently nominated for two 2012 New York Innovative Theater Awards.
Sept. 24-25, 8 p.m., 2012

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Neha Talreja

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