The Thin Man

Written by:

Lucia Frangione

Cast Size:
8

Roles For:

  • Men: 5
  • Women: 3

Genre:

Comedy
Mystery

Themes:

Diaspora
Family
Marriage
Murder
Race

Length:

110 min.

Year Written:

2018

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas eve, 1933 in The Thin Man. Nick is a retired detective married to Nora, a wealthy heiress who imports silk from China. They’ve headed to New York for a Christmas getaway with his best friend, Mack. They all quickly become embroiled in a murder mystery featuring Nick’s former boss, two of his ex-lovers, some wild children and a speakeasy full of seedy ex-cons. As much as Nick wishes he could escape his past, Nora finds all this detective work very intriguing.

Characters:

This play can be performed with eight actors (5M, 3F) and up to twenty actors.

1) Nick Charles – 40-50. A San Francisco ex-detective. Sexy, smart, charming, Greek ancestry.

2) Nora Charles – 40-50. A witty, elegant San Franciscan heiress of Chinese heritage.

3) Mimi Jorgensen – 40-50. Mimi is a lusty carnivore in jewels.

4) Dorothy Wynant – 20. A fair, bruised beauty, naively experimenting with her sexual power. She expects to have a real psychotic breakdown shortly.

Marion/Redhead guest – Marion is a brash torch singer who never learned to dance. (both can be doubled with Mimi or Dorothy)

5) Gilbert Wynant – 18. Gilbert is a bespectacled genius, boyish and frail.

Arthur Nunheim/officer 1 – 30s. Nunheim is a nervy heroin user. He can be doubled with Gilbert.

6) Shep Morelli – 40-50. Shep is a bruiser drug lord, prides himself on his loyalty.

Christien/homesick guest/bellhop/waiter – 30-40. Christien is an extremely handsome gigolo who speaks French. He can be doubled with Shep.

7) Lieutenant Guild – 40-60. Guild is a long-suffering jaded copper with a bad cold.

Studsy/lascivious guest – 40-50. Studsy is a friendly but physically intimidating ex-con who is very proud of his new speakeasy. Can be doubled with Lt. Guild.

8) Mac – 30-50. Herbert Macaulay is an honest face in a good suit. Reliable and quick.

Sparrow/officer 2 – 30-60. Sparrow is an obese drunkard with a high, thin voice. Can be doubled with Mac.

First Produced:

Commissioned and produced by Vertigo Theatre, Calgary; co-produced with Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon, 2018

Resources:

For inquiries about The Thin Man, contact the playwright’s representation at: kim.barsanti@lucastalent.com

For more information about the playwright and her work, visit the CWPO collection.

The Thin Man can also be accessed at the Canadian Play Outlet.

Notes:

There is a famous dog, Asta, written into the show. It is written to support the idea of having a dog that is never seen, only suggested, with clever staging and slight of hand. One could use a real dog if they wished. The original production used a puppet.

Based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett.

Visit the playwright’s website here.

Gallery: