Murder at Cafe Noir

by  Nikki Stern, David Landau

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 3f

"Mystery theatre at its finest." - Sun Times, Portland

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f
  • Duration


    75 Minutes
  • SubGenre


    Mystery/Thriller, Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Please note that the production packet includes PDFs of the following:
Police Reports
Music Lead Sheets
Business Cards

This ’40s detective story come to life features Rick Archer, P.I., out to find a curvaceous runaway on the forgotten island of Mustique, a place stuck in a black-and-white era. The owner of the Cafe Noir has washed ashore, murdered, and Rick’s quarry was the last person seen with him. Rick employs his hard-boiled talents to find the killer. Was it the French madame and club manager, the voodoo priestess, the shyster British attorney, the black marketeer, or the femme fatale? The audience votes twice on what they want Rick to do next, and these decisions change the flow of this comic tribute to the Bogart era.

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"Mystery theatre at its finest." - Sun Times, Portland

"Aptly tongue in check [with] clever punch lines and occasional song interludes." - Washington Times

"Fast and funny satire." - The Los Angeles Times

"This whodunit is darn good it's the kind of show that lingers on you mind, like a dame's perfume." - Maryland Journal

"A feast for connoisseurs of mystery." - Orange County Daily Pilot

"Riveting." - Daily Pennsylvanian

"It's as close as you'll ever get to stepping into Bogey's shoes at the Blue Parrot." - Boston Herald


Betrayal, Friendship


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget


  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance



  • Time Period: Present Day, 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 75 Minutes
  • Setting: The dining room of the Cafe Noir, a seedy supper club that seems to have fallen out of a 1940's detective film located on the docks of the island Mustique.
  • Additional Features: Audience Participation/Interactive, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes


4m, 3f
RICK ARCHER - a private eye who's always wanted to be Bogart or Mitchum in one of those 40s film noir movies, and has not gotten his chance.
MADAM TOREAU - a lady who's seen it all while managing the Cafe Noir - where everything is for sale.
SHEILA WONDERLY - her real name is Sheilda Schickelmeier. Once a spoiled rich girl, she took a job at Cafe Noir and learned about life the hardest way of all, becoming hardened in the process.
ANTHONY CAIRO - a dealer in the black market working Cafe Noir to avoid the St. Vincent police. He has two scars, one on either side of his face.
MARIE LARUE - the Creole illegitimate daughter of a Voodoo priestess and a St. Vincent's political figure. She sells spells and fortunes at Cafe Noir.
SIMON GUTTERMAN - a British barrister who lost his standing when he became implicated in a scandal of having affairs with wealthy female clients. He now caters to the clientele of Cafe Noir. Simon is always looking for a quick way to make it to the top.
THURSBY - a two bit gun runner.
VANGILDER - a Dutch blackmailer.
RIGFIELD - a British cop from St. Vincent.
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Casting Notes

THURSBY, VANGILDER and RIGFIELD are all played by the same actor.


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

Lead sheets and performance tracks.



Nikki Stern

Nikki Stern

David Landau

David Landau is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Mystery Writers of America. An award winning and published playwright, he has also won a few screenwriting awards and written a number of scripts for video and film. He received the Blackburn Award for Excellence in Playwriting for his hard-boile ...

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