offoffoff theater



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Theater section
  • Theater main page
  • Theater archive
  • Theater links

    Current theater

  • Fall Briefs
  • Nick


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2008-2009 reviews:
  • Anaïs Nin Goes To Hell
  • beast: a parable
  • Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
  • Blasted
  • Buffalo Gal
  • China: The Whole Enchilada
  • The Corn Maiden
  • Crawl, Fade to White
  • Doruntine
  • Extraordinary Rendition
  • The First Breeze of Summer
  • Fringe Festival 2008
  • Fringe Festival favorites
  • The Glass Cage
  • Hair
  • Hidden Fees* (A Play About Money)
  • Jailbait
  • King of Shadows
  • The Longest Running Joke of the Twentieth Century
  • Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
  • Macbeth
  • The Master Builder
  • Missa Solemnis, or The Play About Henry
  • Mourn the Living Hector
  • A Nasty Story
  • Nowadays
  • the october crisis (to laura)
  • Oresteia
  • Other Bodies
  • Prayer
  • Psalms of a Questionable Nature
  • Raised by Lesbians
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • Sleepwalk With Me
  • Small Craft Warnings
  • Something Weird . . . in the Red Room
  • Soul Samurai
  • The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
  • Southern Promises
  • The Third from the Left
  • Twelfth Night
  • Voices from Guantánamo
  • The Wendigo
  • Zombie


      The Foul Stench of Death
    The noir to end all noirs

    "The Foul Stench of Death" peppers you with punch lines — many quite funny — in cleverly written, over-the-top spoofs of film noir and horror pictures.


    The theater business was slower than a one-legged stagehand . . . when she walked in. A tall blonde with a role in the B-movie sendup "The Foul Stench of Death" and legs longer than an Academy Award acceptance speech, this was a dame that any man with half an eyeball and a red smoking jacket would die for. And before five minutes have gone by, one has.

    Written by: Jonas Oppenheim.
    Directed by: Padraic Lillis.
    Includes individual plays: "The Foul Stench of Death," "The Foul Stench of Death II: The One About the Severed Hand that Kills People."
    Cast: Dennis McNitt, Gretchen McGinty, Kevin Cristaldi, Jeff Burchfield, Jordan Meadows, Patrick Burch, Mahlon Stewart, Jenny Langsam.

    Related links: Official site
    "The Foul Stench of Death" (the more inspired of the show's two one-acts) is a punch-line-packed goof on genre pictures, written by one Jonas Oppenheim. Episode one is a film-noir murder mystery complete with leggy dame, mysterious foreigner, a missing manuscript, a cryptic map, and a wisecracking detective. We see the crime as it happens. The corpse wears red.

    "You're not going to lie your way out of this one," says a booming voice from the shadows.

    "Wait — let me try!" the man in the red smoking jacket pleads. Shots ring out, and he's a goner.

      The Foul Stench of Death
    Detective Harem and his henchmen bumble through their investigation while doling out zippy lines like, "When Miss Fortune is around, there's no one worse to be than Mr. Fortune."

    Episode two is subtitled "The One About the Severed Hand that Kills People," which tells you pretty much all about it. It's a horror-movie parody complete with a disembodied hand, an exotic fortune-teller and a talking crystal ball.

    "The Foul Stench of Death" is full of laughs — good jokes, bad jokes, subtle jokes, jokes you see coming a mile away. The humor hits every note from Firesign Theater weird to "Naked Gun" stupid. There are some cracks so clever that you don't get them until two lines later, and there are some that thumb their noses at the theater itself. It's a mind-rottingly good time, and if you need more, the author is already threatening to come out with an episode three: "The One About the Six-Year-Olds Who Throw the T-Ball World Series."

    JULY 1, 2001

    Reader comments on The Foul Stench of Death:

  • I alost died laughing!   from Neil Dworkin, Jul 18, 2001
  • The Foul Stench of Death script   from Jordan Palmer, Jan 12, 2003

  • Post a comment on "The Foul Stench of Death"