|Edward G. Pettit|
served as MC for Saturday evening's Noir at the Bar Society Hill Playhouse: The Final Curtain, and I spent the rest of the event with a hunk of metal, glass, and plastic pressed to my right eye snapping the pictures you see here. Not only that, but I inadvertently threw away the one page of notes I'd taken, so regard the following account with due skepticism.
First we slipped our out-of-town visitors the Bavarian pretzel at Philadelphia's Brauhaus Schmitz, but we had to cut short the convivial piss-up before Adrian McKinty had sampled anything beyond a tiny fraction of the establishment's hundreds of beers. Over at the playhouse, nearing the end of its 57-year-run so it can be torn down for condos, we'd set up for what I believe was the biggest Noir at the Bar since I started Noir at the Bar in 2008
: seventeen authors reading from their work, plus a staged reading of selections from a play about David Goodis and his brother.
|T. Fox Dunham|
And we got through it all two minutes early, with the help of strict time limits and a boot in the ass from the theater's owner, Deen Kogan. The readings were a good mix of old favorites, samples of new work, and short stories by authors whose work I know from novels. I liked Ed Pettit's slice of Dickensian noir and Scott Adlerberg's version of the psychopath who is, by his lights, a perfectly normal guy. Ed and Scott are good readers, which only enhances the appeal of their writing.
|Jen Conley, Ed Pettit|
Jen Conley's reading verged close to horror, and she said afterward that her writing partakes of that genre as well as crime. William Lashner appears to have a sprawling piece of humorous noir on his hands. And Tony Knighton, a writer and Philadelphia firefighter who joined Noir at the Bar because I met his publisher in Bangkok
in November, read a piece that invoked Northern Ireland shortly before McKinty left the premises to catch a bus back to New York.
Duane Swierczynski and T. Fox Dunham were just two of the authors whose readings invoked real Philadelphia locations, and Erik Arneson gave fellow author Jon McGoran a place in his story in the guise of an orangutan. (McGoran returned the favor, though the fictional Arneson was human.)
|Mark Krajnak, fellow shooter|
and crime-scene fixture.
The rest of the readers were old Detectives Beyond Borders favorites, with the accent on favorites: Dana King, Richie Narvaez, Rick Ollerman, Joe Samuel Starnes, Wallace Stroby, David Swinson, Dennis Tafoya.
|Dennis Tafoya, Deen Kogan, Wallace Stroby|
It was all good fun, and we'll see you soon in Bristol, New Orleans, Philadelphia
, and Boston for a start.
© Peter Rozovsky 2016
Labels: Noir at the Bar, Noir at the Bar Society Hill Playhouse: The Final Curtain