Detective Story--The Busy Workings of the Precinct

Detective Story by Sidney Kingsley and directed by James Dunn now playing at the College of Marin is a winner.  The entire action of the play takes place in the detective squad room of a New York police precinct on a single day in August, 1949.  It is a large production (26 actors in the cast) and is perfect for the College of Marin to give all of these players a chance to perform as every manner of petty criminal, tough cop, and eccentric street character is represented in this gritty show.

The issue of intolerance and its consequences is the focus of Kingsley's Detective Story.  The leading character, Detective McLeod (Eric Burke) has a problem which is at the heart of the play.  He is uncompromising and sees things in black and white. There is only evil and good, criminal and honest citizen. When his dearly beloved wife, Mary (Jennifer Reimer) is found to have a connection with a criminal, McLeod's reaction rocks the boat.  Eric Burke is perfectly cast as McLeod. He has just the right amount of energy, conviction and self-righteousness.  

As always, James Dunn brings together a tip top ensemble from top to bottom.  Other standouts include Jeffrey Taylor as Detective Brody, McLeod's good natured friend who is more concerned with justice than punishment.  As McLeod's wife, Jennifer Reimer offers one of the most touching scenes when having to confront her husband about her past.  Putting a little comedy into this serious story are Kaya May as a nosy first-time shoplifter who enjoys her first day in the police department by doing some serious people watching and trying to pick up guys. Especially memorable performances are given by Robert Garcia, as reporter Joe Feinson, Rose Pearson as Susan Carmichael, Ian Swift, as Lt. Monoghan and elderly paranoiac Anne Ripley who tries to get her bothersome neighbors arrested for all means of illegal activities--activities she has seen them do by using her "electronic vision" that allows her to see through walls.  Also wonderful are Alan Weber as Detective Dakis who books first time shoplifter Kaya May and Wood Lockhart as Endicott Sims, a persistent lawyer.  All of the players did a great job with their New York accents and Ian Swift has a wonderful Irish brogue.  

Patricia Polen's carefully chosen period costumes and Ronald E. Krempetz's well designed set down to the minutest detail of the many roomed police station add the finishing touches to another magnificent production at the College of Marin.  Director James Dunn continues to impress as he did with his production of Hamlet last year at the College of Marin, past Mountain Play musicals and his many productions at Ross Valley Players.  

Detective Story continues at College of Marin through March 20, 2011.  Performances are held at 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays.  For tickets, visit or call 415-485-9385.

Flora Lynn Isaacson