February 1, 2013
ADA — It’s an oddball comedy that will keep you grinning and guessing as the Sam Shepard production of “Suicide in B Flat” opens at the Freed Center.
“The play is a combination of detective story and 'Twilight' episode,” said Joan Robbins, head of the theater department at Ohio Northern University.
The story follows jazz musician Niles, victim of a staged suicide or murderer, as two bumbling detectives try to solve the mystery surounding him.
“During the show, you start realizing that there’s another time dimension involved, and one time dimension bleeds into another until it’s resolved in a very funny, very strange way,” Robbins said.
“For me, the main thing about this play is that it was written by Sam Shepard, who is a mainstay of the American theater,” Robbins said. First produced in 1976, the play is a turning point from Shepard’s experimental work into his more commercial works.
“Shepard is a very important voice in American theater. This play, although strange, exists in the middle of his writing career. He is very much a poet of the theater, and this is just a really enjoyable show,” Robbins said.
Underscoring the 75-minute performance will be a jazz piano. “I think music lovers will enjoy this play just for the musical aspect of it. It’s going to be a fun performance,” she said.