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City of Dreadful Night - Full Length Play, Drama

City of Dreadful Night

Don Nigro

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Full Length Play, Drama

3m, 1f

ISBN: MS00000000254

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is being made available now in manuscript form prior to its publication.

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play



120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - 1940s / WWII


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Period Costumes


Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Nominee! 2013 Jeff Awards, Best Production of a Play
Steeped in the rich, strange atmosphere of black and white film noir New York movies from 1946-49 combined with the city paintings of Edward Hopper, this laconic full length is the sort of movie you might have cast John Garfield, Anthony Quinn, Ida Lupino and Elisha Cook Junior in if you'd been making the second movie of the double feature in 1947. Mysterious and funny, this play is not a parody of those movies but rather a deep immersion in the feel of them, as crystallized by Hopper's late night in the city paintings. Gus is a small time hood who's obsessed by the feeling that his girlfriend Anna is keeping secrets from him. He asks his younger brother Tony, a veteran who's had a serious head injury in the war, to follow her and find out what it is. Tony follows Anna, is confronted by her, becomes himself fascinated by her, and step by step the three of them slip into a dangerous nightmare triangle. Anna's secret is perhaps not that she's cheating on Gus, but something much more disturbing, involving her search for a sister that Gus or Tony may have murdered at Coney Island before the war. Step by step Tony is led deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of Anna's stories until he's not sure who he can trust, including himself, because his war injury has seriously affected his memory. But the solution to the puzzle seems to keep drawing them back to Philly's diner, and the mysterious night clerk there. This play is suspenseful, mysterious, very funny, rich in atmosphere, and has great roles for actors.
Nominee! 2013 Jeff Award, Best Production of a Play


3m, 1f


Ensemble cast

Rental Materials


N/A (Not a musical)

Don Nigro

Don Nigro

Don Nigro is among the most frequently published and widely produced playwrights in the world and has continued to build a deeply interrelated and diverse body of dramatic literature, employing a wide variety of dramatic conventions and styles of presentation. He has written monologues and epics, spare realistic dramas and surreal homicidal puppet farces, plays with music and verse plays. He ... view full profile

Now Playing
Meg Wallace 4/4/2016 6:09 PM
Jean Heller Stephens 2/18/2013 12:13 AM
A play very much in the post-World War II film noir genre, funny, melancholy, edgy and a little sad. It explores a world where people co-exist in the same space but don't communicate. As a result, relationships are forced, misunderstandings many and nobody really knows those in the same space. An excellent murder-mystern which, if staged correctly, has one very surprising piece of the set. Just saw the world premier in Chicago and loved it.

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