DUELING PLOTS: Theatre Three’s musical City of Angels is set in 1940s Los Angeles with a pair of dueling plots. One involves a writer trying to adapt his novel into a screenplay and the other involves the actual characters of that movie. To delineate between the real and the fictional, some scenes are staged in color, the others in black and white. It’s an ambitious undertaking, and it sounds as if it pays off. “Transporting us back to 1940s Hollywood, complete with mysterious dames, dashing crooners, and sniggering thugs, director Bruce Richard Coleman displays how much fun the film noir genre can be onstage when translated correctly,” Lindsey Wilson writes on Front Row. “Theatre Three, with its cadre of talent and its fierce commitment to quality, meets and surpasses the challenges in a marathon production,” Perry Stewart writes on theaterjones.com. And Lawson Taitte offers special praise for the show’s music. “What keeps all this from feeling overcomplicated is Cy Coleman’s score,” he writes on dallasnews.com. “This musical chameleon’s scores could incorporate anything from operetta to R&B or country.” Catch it through July 13.
LISTEN UP: If you’ve ever wondered why you get more work done at Starbucks instead of at your desk at home, now you’ve got your answer. And it isn’t the coffee – it’s the noise. A new study shows that participants’ creativity went up when they were asked to brainstorm with 70 decibels of ambient noise in the background – about the level of a coffee shop. So next time you’ve got writers block, here’s your excuse to head out of the house.
QUOTABLE: “My goal is to challenge the mind of the audience. Film can force us to deal with our issues and prevent us from avoiding the ugly truth. It is a mirror and I want to reflect the nature of who we are.”