Marti Etheridge in&nbsp;<em>The Woman Who Knew Too Much</em>&nbsp;at the Ochre House

Review: The Woman Who Knew Too Much | The Ochre House

The More You Know

Kevin Grammer's noir musical The Woman Who Knew Too Much is another success for The Ochre House.

published Sunday, February 18, 2018

Photo: Trent Stephenson
Marti Etheridge and Justin Locklear in The Woman Who Knew Too Much at the Ochre House

DallasThe Woman Who Knew Too Much is billed as a “fantasy noir musical,” which is a pretty tall order for just under two hours, but playwright Kevin Grammer and the creative team of The Ochre House deliver exactly that.

Violet, the title character, spends her days in a hospital room being visited by doctors, nurses and family. It is only when she goes to sleep that we are thrust into The Jade, a seedy but glamorous nightclub. In this world, Violet is one of many confident, conniving, women who want to take over the club. Like all good noir, the show is filled with crime, drama, true love and betrayal.

The show features 12 musical numbers including “Welcome to the Jade” in which the set seamlessly transforms into the nightclub of the same name. The cast is beautifully choreographed for this song with a delightful mix of form and function; couples twirl while placing chairs, tablecloths flourish with kicks, and a bed becomes a bar. While this style of scene change is nothing new, the tightness of the cast is well highlighted here as well as Mitchell Parrack’s carpenter skills. The Ochre House consistently delivers new works, powerful performances, and a dash of grit that keeps Deep Ellum/Exposition Park firmly staked as a haven for artists in Dallas.

In the wordless opening number Violet, played brilliantly by Marti Etheridge, discovers her surroundings and attempts to make sense of what seems like her own body. She is fascinating to watch throughout the show, but in these first few minutes Etheridge sets the bar for the caliber of the performances to come. Throughout the show her performance is marked by intensity coupled with a sweet coyness that keeps the audience rapt while she moves easily between the two worlds Violet inhabits.

Other standout performances from the show include Yvonne, Violet’s sister, played by Olivia de Guzman, who delivers a show-stopping song in the second act. Watching Etheridge and Guzman play off one another is one of the highlights of the show. Justin Locklear’s Max is charming and brings a needed calm presence to the stage, while Carla Parker delivers a strong performance as Marguerite, boss of the seedy side of The Jade.

Matthew Posey’s set design is rich without being overly complicated and the gold Art Deco details and jade colored walls spill out from the stage and into the house, wrapping the audience into the performance. The costumes are gorgeous and saturated, paying homage to the noir genre.

The pace of the show frequently undulates from fast-moving to slow and intense, which asks a lot of the audience. Some of the lyrics are a little too on-the-nose for a musical about lost memory, but overall, The Woman Who Knew Too Much will have fans of noir and fantasy on the edge of their seats. Thanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
The More You Know
Kevin Grammer's noir musical The Woman Who Knew Too Much is another success for The Ochre House.
by E. Angela Johnson

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :