From the Author:
Doubles Crossed is a new retro-styled gangster comedy thriller play from Funny… Sheesh Productions. It's a modern day crime caper with an old-fashioned flair and executed at a breakneck pace.
Cindy Keiter, Tori Watson, Ryan Stadler, James Holden, and Steve Deighan in a scene from Doubles Crossed
Description: Dimwitted yet determined police detectives Ramsey and Flapjack have been hunting wisecracking hoodlum Freddie (aka Freddie the Finisher) and the notorious Dead Street mob with nothing to show for it. Now, Freddie's identical twin brother, hometown hero and newly appointed FBI Chief Irving Tower, is coming to town. With a retiring police chief and a crackerjack reporter breathing down their necks, the boys have only days to stop Dead Street's dastardly quest for the heist of the century and solve a femme fatale’s bizarre missing person case. Gumshoes, guns and gams galore!
First Produced: 2012
Date Added: 5/30/2012
Content Advisory: Stylized cops and robbers, shooting guns, multiple murders, minimal sexual content
Keywords: Comedy · Satire/Parody · Romance · Tearjerker · Mystery/Suspense/Noir · Crime · Pop Culture · Death and the Afterlife · Many Locations · Movies/Film/TV · Non-traditional/Non-narrative/Experimental/Post-dramatic · Surrealism/Absurdism · Technology and the Internet · Mostly Male Characters · Large Cast Size
2 Acts, 120 Minutes
4 Females, 8 Males
NOTE: Doubles Crossed is fully protected by copyright law and is subject to royalty. All inquiries concerning production, publication, reprinting or use of this play in any form should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doubles Crossed was first presented at the Robert Moss Theater, New York City, on June 1, 2012 with the following cast and credits:
Ramsey - Ryan Stadler
Flapjack - James Holden
Gina - Tori Watson
BMC - Ron Roth
Chief - Steve Dieghan
Jebsie - Allen Warnock
Lougy - Jim Heaphy
Freddie/Irving - Gregory Cohan
Sally - Cindy Keiter
Maxine - Monica Blaze Leavitt
Fedora - Victoria Guthrie
Director: Amber Gallery
Costume Designers: Catherine Siracusa & Sidney Levitt
Stage Manager: Joshua Levin
Lighting Designer: Ryan Metzler
Set Designer: Giovanni Villari
Assistant Director/Props Assistant: Jaq Sarah French
Musical Arrangement/Choreography: Sharon Fogarty
Postcard/Image Designer: Nick Dransfield
Instrumentation: Peter Dizozza
Video Director: Keith Chandler
Doubles Crossed, a new comic noir mystery by Jason S. Grossman, delivers on all counts. With its snappy dialogue and panoply of characters drawn from archetypal gangster movies of the '30s and '40s, it pays affectionate tribute to the noir formula while staying just this side of parody. More impressively, its carefully drawn, super-complicated plot qualifies as a splendidly satisfying thriller, with all of the loose ends neatly tied up by the end of the evening while providing opportunity for a (promised) sequel.
The story centers on a somewhat improbable set of identical twins. Freddie Tower is a mid-level henchman in the Dead Street Mob, an organized crime syndicate led by the enigmatically named BMC, Freddie's dad's one-time friend and rival. Freddie's brother, Irving, has just been named head of the FBI. When Irving comes to town—ostensibly on vacation—it's not long before complications ensue.
Added to the mix are a pair of bumbling cops, Ramsey and Flapjack, and an ambitious newspaper reporter, Jebsie Overcoat. Ramsey is in love with the police chief's daughter Gina, who auditions for a role in a movie being produced by BMC. Meanwhile, a woman of mystery named Fedora Faith enlists Ramsey to do a side job of a personal nature.
Grossman skillfully juggles all these elements, holding our interest unfailingly and coming up with a resolution that doesn't disappoint.
Amber Gallery directs the large cast on a spare but effective set by Giovanni Villari; good use is made of projections that help establish location. Costumes by Catherine Siracusa and Sidney Levitt are fine and go a long way to define the characters—I particularly enjoyed the coordinated ties worn by Ramsey and Flapjack and the decoratively patterned shirts favored by Lougy, BMC's second-in-command.
Gregory Cohan takes the dual roles of Freddie and Irving and makes them individuals. Ryan Stadler is excellent as Ramsey, and his sonorous baritone (which reminded me of James Naughton's) feels just right for Grossman's rapid-fire patter. Others in the company who make strong impressions include Jim Heaphy as Lougy, Tori Watson as Gina, and Cindy Keiter as Sally, the police station's cookie lady.
Like Grossman's earlier Love Me, Doubles Crossed works beautifully on stage but also feels like it would make a hit film as well. And then there's that sequel that Grossman mentioned in our podcast...I'll be on the lookout for that.
review of the original production in 2012
Thirty-third precinct. RAMSEY, a police detective, and FLAPJACK, his partner who walks with a limp, interrogate FREDDIE, a punk criminal donned in a cap and jacket. FREDDIE has a fresh blood stain on his shoulder.
RAMSEY: We got you now, Freddie…
FLAPJACK: Freddie the Finisher.
RAMSEY: Right now, you’re all hunky and dory. Your whole globe’s all Peyton Place. Everything’s peaches and gravy. You got the city on a rope, and you’re smelling up rainbows…Well, let me set you right: we’re onto you and the Dead Street mob’s extracurriculars!
FREDDIE: You’re a pipe dreamer. Everyone and his grand pappy knows you two are the lowest flatfoots in the city.
FLAPJACK: Says you!
FREDDIE: You couldn’t figure out this case even if I confessed word for word. I could pin it on you and your lousy lackey, and you wouldn’t be the wiser.
FLAPJACK: (Lunges at him.) I’ll pin you, you no good hoodlum--
RAMSEY: Hit the snooze button, Flapjack! (to FREDDIE) You’re all spanky ‘cause you pulled your biggest job to date. You’re movin’ upward with the Dead Street mob. (Smiles slyly to FLAPJACK.) But headlines on the pavement are your pally pals are going blond, Freddie; the chickadees are ready to lullaby; the fat lady’s about to Charleston. So why don’t you spiel us where ‘ya squirreled the loot?
FREDDIE: I ain’t got no idea. (He straightens and smiles.) But if I did happen to know, I’d say I stashed the cabbage under the rickety dumpster behind Fiden’s Furniture Outlet on third and thirty-third--
FLAPJACK: (Lunges at him.) I’ll stash you. I love that store, you no-good weasel!
Jason S. Grossman and Doubles Crossed: Jason S. Grossman talks about his newest play,"Doubles Crossed."
nytheatrecast: An interview with playwright Jason S. Grossman.