by Dalt Wonk, 2006
Dangerous Gardenias is a cabaret comedy. It premiered at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, then transferred to Le Chat Noir Cabaret for a sold-out, twice-extended run.
The story follows Richard, a married man, who has stolen a suitcase of cash from his criminal brother, so he can run off with Jane, the girl he’s fallen madly in love with. She’s a pretentious bubble-head. But he’s blinded by the romance of it all.
The story begins when these enamored fools meet for a tryst at the Cabaret.
Richard: You still come here often, don’t you?
Jane: I come, sometimes, to try and remember.
Jane: I don’t remember.
Richard: Memories can be so painful, when they bring back the past.
Jane: And one remembers so little else, except the past, really.
Unfortunately, Richard’s wife shows up, looking for her spouse. His brother shows up, in search of his dough. Worse still, a Mob hitman shows up!
Dangerous Gardenias lives up to its name — hilarious, nonsensical, irresistible. Imagine “The Maltese Falcon” starring the Marx Brothers instead of Humphrey Bogart.