Regional Reviews: Philadelphia
Like all good noir, Fishtown begins with a private investigator whose case is about to take a strange turn. The investigator is technophobe Sarah Lowell (Tara Demmy), and the strange turn leads her and her social media savvy assistant Bradley (Zachary Chiero) to a technology company called OtherSide. Lowell wants to know how OtherSide's CEO James Aimsley (Joseph Ahmed) came into possession of some information, but in a world where virtual reality fantasies seem real and shadows can talk, the truth is hard to find.
Ahmed is so convincing as a millennial douche-bag tech CEO that you may find yourself wanting to stick your foot out when his Razor scooter zooms past. Aimsley's brainy but stressed out secretary Claire is rendered with deceptive charm by Jenna Kuerzi. Demmy is impeccable as the luddite P.I. Lowell, stubbornly holding on to her flip phone and microfiche while the world goes digital all around her. There are no weak links in this ensemble, and whether they are skulking under street lamps, shadow dancing behind drawn shades, moving together like acrobats, or discussing the implications of social media data mining, the entire cast is outstanding.
Beyond the wacky dancing, hilarious dialogue, and sleek noir styling, Fishtown is a cautionary tale about the technology that encourages us to create idealized versions of ourselves and warps the way we interact with others. It is a joy to watch and a lot to think about as you turn your cell phone back on and head home.
FishtownA Hipster Noir runs through September 23, 2017, at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 S. Hicks St. 80 minutes. For tickets call 215-413-1318 or visit fringearts.com.
Written by: Caitlin Weigel