Who knew that my favorite US playwright, Stephen Adly Guirgis, wrote slapstick comedy! Well, in “Den of Thieves” he certainly succeeds. Here is a hapless crew of safecracking robbers, out to grab a fortune on a caper that their leader says only a bunch of stupid idiots could mess up! Well, guess what! As their plan implodes the play develops into a delightful existential dialogue about the meaning of life. This colloquy will not only have you laughing but also makes a lot of sense. What is your life worth, eh? Think about it, they all do, and not to be a spoiler there’s a happy ending for all – even the one who deserves to die. In the classic mold of caper films of the past, this play begs to be made into a movie.
Kudos to the wonderfully over-the-top performers: Alison Quinn is touching as depressed Maggie; Frank Gallegos is bombastic as altruistic Paul; Kevin Hermann is mercurial as loony Flaco; Paulina Gamiz is coquettish as zoftik Boochie; Eric Geller is hilarious as sadistic Sal; Chris Lanehart is petulant as sentimental Little Tuna, and Chris D’Annunzio is imperious as the suavely Machiavellian Big Tuna.
Directed by Eric Augusztiny at a pace and energy that matches Guirgis’ swift changes of mood. Minimalist set and lighting by Nicholas Acciani and Andrew Dunn. Believable 1990’s costumes by Jessica J’aime. Produced for 2Cents Theatre Group by Kristen Boulé & Roxanna Kaye.
At Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood. Tickets at (323) 960-5770 or online at www.2centstheatre.com or www.plays411.com/denofthieves.
Photos by Daniel J. Sliwa.
Also reviewed in the February issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY.