Film noir, pulp fiction, and 1920s detective novel intrigue have landed in the Chinatown Arts District in the form of A Slice of Danger. It’s a full length stage production at the ARTS at Marks Garage, co-written and directed by longtime Honolulu burlesque maven Miss Catwings of the Cherry Blossom Cabaret ensemble. It is her first such non-musical production.

On the Spot Improv’s Garrick Paikai, who also plays the lead role as a luckless, frumpy private detective, co-wrote the production with Miss Catwings. The show is in the second week of its run, with the final performances taking place over the coming weekend.

With a strong cast of female characters (four of them played remarkably by one actress), plot twists worthy of a Sam Spade novel, snappy dialogue filled with double entendre, and savvy local references, A Slice of Danger is a clever interpretation of a familiar cinematic trope. There’s a war among Chinatown’s many pizza parlors, fraught with peril and seamy with intrigue.

The play has enjoyed full houses during its run, and tickets for the remaining performances are selling fast. The ARTS at Marks Garage is an ample but intimate venue where the actors and action are up close. Audience members are encouraged to dress in the film noir/detective theme and many do so.

A Slice of Danger is a fine example of why the Chinatown Arts District has become so popular among Oahu creative types, and for Oahu visitors who are keen on experiencing Honolulu’s dining and entertainment scenes beyond the showrooms and chain restaurants of Waikiki. It’s a local, homegrown production, sponsored in part by award-winning J.J. Dolan’s Irish Pizza Pub. J.J.’s is just across the street from the ARTS at Mark’s Garage, so it will be easy pop over after the performance to satisfy the craving for a slice that you’re sure to have.

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