In designing Black Mask, a mystery rooted in detective fiction of the 1930s and 40s, LD Michael Gottlieb had the formidable task of reinventing the noir genre for the stage. Director Damon Kiely (who co-wrote the piece with Frank Bradley) envisioned a play that did not rely on the cliches of film. Gottlieb remarks, "We wanted to avoid doing a parody. If you made it too much in the style of film noir, then you would make those associations in your mind. There would be little worth doing ...

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