Thriller ‘Almost Blue’ isn’t so much blue as noir

Erin Brehm as Liz and James Bocock as Phil in Theatre on Fire’s production of Keith Reddin’s “Almost Blue.’’
Erin Brehm as Liz and James Bocock as Phil in Theatre on Fire’s production of Keith Reddin’s “Almost Blue.’’Theatre on Fire

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A small band of misfits, thrown together in one man’s shabby rooming-house abode, makes desperate swipes at connection in “Almost Blue,” an absorbing thriller now playing in a Theatre on Fire production at the Charlestown Working Theater.

Playwright Keith Reddin’s homage to film noir is peopled with idiosyncratic variations on that genre’s stock characters, and director Brett Marks places his focus on them in an attempt to distract from some clunky plot reversals.

At the center of the action is Phil (James Bocock), an ex-con guilty of an unspeakable crime, who says he doesn’t belong outside prison. With his hangdog face and burly physique, Bocock epitomizes the gentle giant, imbuing Phil with sympathy amid the pathos.

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