In Zoetic Stage's Clark Gable Slept Here, the mystery begins before the show starts. Amateur sleuths in the audience may spend the moments before the curtain drawing their own conclusions about Robert F. Wolin's lavish, symmetrical set design — a penthouse suite in a posh Hollywood hotel, its color palette a modern mix of mauves and grays. They'll note the half-finished glass of champagne — or is it vodka? — on a small table, and the worn tennis shoes incongruously resting in a jumble on a countertop. And what are those phallic objects on the upturned bed sheet? Are those dildos? Yes, yes, they are.
|Photo by Justin Namon|
|Cast of Clark Gable Slept Here.|
Then the scene goes black, and we're held in suspense no longer. When the stage lights return, a naked, good-looking corpse (Robert Johnston) lies face-down on the patterned rug, while a quivering hotel maid (Vanessa Elise) stares at the horror. She doesn't speak English, we'll soon learn, but she lacks the words in any language to describe this fine mess. Luckily, Jarrod Hilliard (Michael McKeever) does, and as he strides in, dressed to the nines in a three-piece suit and black tie, he utters one of the great first lines in recent stage history: "Well, fuck me with a spoon." Leave it to the guy who wrote the play to give himself the best dialogue.
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