"I wasn't expecting anything to happen," intones detective Ace Baxter, "and that's just when anything CAN happen!" And happen it does, as Ace finds himself in a locked room standing in front of the only exit with a murder victim who was shot in the back ... and with Ace's own pistol. Shadows loom large when you're on the lam, as Ace finds out, whether he's disguising himself as a cleaning woman to inspect the scene of the crime, or ducking Sergeant Flint, who's chomping at the bit to clamp the cuffs on Baxter. The Professor helps out when he can, vowing to alert Ace if trouble is at hand. "I shall giggle like a little girl," he tells the less-than-impressed private eye. And when trouble does show its face, it turns out to be a very lovely face, belonging to Lola Cardeza, sultry suspect and owner of a tattoo parlor. Witnesses vanish, police stake out Ace's office building, and everyone, it seems, wants to hire Ace either to tail someone or steal a valuable painting. Confused? So is Ace! Who wouldn't be? This film-noir spoof is chock-full of the late-night characters that populated Hammett or Chandler crime novels and has more twists than a Danish bakery. With two sets and a cast of eleven, this show will keep your audience guessing, even after they've seen the ending! How will Ace solve the murder? Will they get him before he does? Tune in and find out just what really happened ... when the joker fired twice! Full evening.
PLAYWRIGHT PAT COOK TALKS ABOUT
"THE JOKER FIRED TWICE"
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I have always been a huge fan of the "film noir" type detective stories, conceived and brought to life by such great writers as Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Their style, their dialogue is so rich, so totally American.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: I suppose it would be Gunderson's metaphors, as in his references to the men from the morgue as "The Icemen Cometh." Again, this is just the style of dialogue (hopefully) found in this sort of story.
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS IN THIS PLAY COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: Totally composed from the types of citizens that haunt the '40s detective tales. No character, to my conscious knowledge, is based on anyone I know.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: As usual, a couple of hours of entertainment for both the audiences and production company presenting the piece. And, along the way, again hopefully, a pretty good mystery to solve.
Q: IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD ABOUT WRITING THIS PLAY?
A: I had great fun writing it. And I do hope this translates to the reader.