The Artificial Jungle Review – Film Noir Inspired

Program Cover courtesy of Point Loma Playhouse
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By Kathy Carpenter

Walter Ruskin, Kim Breslin, Brian Evans and Phillip Korth – photos courtesy of Point Loma Theatre

Point Loma Playhouse Presents, “The Artificial Jungle,” by Charles Ludlam. Directed by Robert Salerno.

Does crime pay? And is there such a thing as a perfect murder? These are much debated questions and “The Artificial Jungle” gives perspective into the answer. A character driven plot that’s a little bit raunchy and a lot of fun. Done in the film noir fashion the play was interesting, compelling, funny and fresh.

Charles Ludlam was a master of historical theatre and a genius of using his knowledge to master the ridiculousness of comedy. Giving us something unexpected and offbeat

Walter Ruskin, Kim Breslin and Brian Evans – photo courtesy of Point Loma Playhouse

The plot is a familiar one. A restless woman convinces her husband to hire a drifter to work in their shop. The wife and the drifter team up to kill off the husband for the insurance money.The shop is a pet shop in New York. A family-owned business that has been there for years. The drifter just wants to be part of something. He comes up with some good modern day promotions. “Ones that would work now but this is the past. One marketing item is to change the name of the store name to The Artificial Jungle, as they sell exotic type reptiles, snakes and birds.

Five wonderful characters, played by a team of absorbing actors who wrap us up in talent and lead us through a campy romp. Dori Salois, plays Roxanne, the wife and mastermind behind the crime. A frustrated wife, done to the hilt. Walter Ruskin, plays what I call the drifter. Kind of a mild James Dean. A man with a conscience who is reluctant to follow Roxanne, Brian Evans , takes on Chester, the somewhat naive husband. Kim Breslin, who plays Chester’s mom. Can’t say enough about her acting at the end of the show. Fabulous eye work. And then we have a man who was my favorite character, Frankie the cop. Stepping in as a last minute fill in Rhys Green was outstanding. A colorful group of characters mastered.

Kim Breslin, Walter Ruskin and Dori Solois, photo courtesy of Point Loma Playhous

A wonderful stage set up with a pet shop/ kitchen combo left stage and a bedroom set up to the right.The show takes place in the late seventies with costumes befitting the era. Set in a family-owned pet store in New York’s lower east side.

Come enjoy some classic fun.

Corvid practices still in place.

Walter Ruskin and Dori Salois – photo courtesy of Point Loma Playhouse

Point Loma Playhouse Presents

The Artificial Jungle

Mar 25 – April 10, 2022

3035 Talbot Street

San Diego Ca 92106

Phone: (619) 800-5497


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