New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

The City That Cried Wolf

From 7 critic and 8 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Delightful

About the show

State of Play Productions presents a film noir-style detective story featuring famous nursery-rhyme and fairy-tale characters. More…

Corruption! Passion! Betrayal! Scrambled Eggs! Can Jack crack Rhyme Town's stickiest murder, or has he fallen for the wrong dame? Join private eye Jack B. Nimble as he makes some astonishing discoveries while tracking down the criminal mastermind behind the murder of Councilman Humpty Dumpty. Beneath this quirky fairy-tale plot lies an examination of important modern concerns, such as justice, race relations, terrorism, and the implications of freedom.


"The shimmering vibrance of 'The City That Cried Wolf' is due to the solid direction by Leta Tremblay. She incisively shepherds the enterprising, spot-on cast, design team and production crew to tease out the brilliance of the source material by Brooks Reeves. Together they just let it all gloriously shine...Peppering this multi-genre production with music and dance along with the witticisms...makes for a rollicking, high-quality evening that is immensely diverting and sheer fun." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Twisted and delicious…It’s a tale chockablock with adult themes told in a way that could keep even the youngest among us giggling. Playwright Brooks Reeves has filled the script with ‘dad jokes’ and punny nods to the source materials, providing enough winks and nods to keep things interesting for cool kids of all ages…A merry and versatile band of high-energy players do a fabulous job of creating personalities as distinct as they are diverse." Full Review


"You'll laugh out loud at this fun and fascinating show that puts an adult spin on fairy tales and nursery rhymes...The well-known characters are cleverly embedded in a noir detective story. This unique show has a talented, versatile cast...The company masters their characters and the inventive dialogue that has clever quips and quotes straight out of well-known storybooks...It is an entertaining, captivating show that is sure to please a broad audience." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“For a time, Reeves does a good job of keeping this comic ball inflated, coming up with a substantial number of zingers...Too many of the jokes barely raise a smile, though, much less a laugh...'The City That Cried Wolf' is the kind of thing...that you might see produced by talented theatre students as an end of the school year production, or even as an extended SNL sketch. But, for all its clever wordplay, it's still a spoof of an over-spoofed genre.” Full Review

Plays to See

"Reeves doggedly mashes up every Grimm’s fairy tale line and character onto every film noir whodunit trope, sometimes to amusing results...Tremblay’s direction keeps the changes flying fast...But this is a full-length whodunit stocked with rapid patter–lots of it–so inevitably the premise runs thin...There’s enough here for a very witty twenty-minute sketch. Run time is 90 minutes without intermission." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"An evening of music, puns, and murder that doesn't quite hit the mark...It has all the makings of a noir thriller, and it probably would be one, if every character wasn’t casually dropping nursery-rhyme-themed puns every couple minutes in between bouts of witty banter and monologuing to the audience...'The City That Cried Wolf' fell a little flat for me. I had trouble investing in the protagonists and I never really felt a good balance between the humor and the plot." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"What might be a funny idea for a short S. J. Perelman piece in the 'New Yorker,' or maybe a Bob and Ray radio sketch, quickly becomes laborious when stretched out over 90 minutes. Beyond the reframing of beloved children's stories and poems with a sordid adult sensibility -- an idea that gets old very fast -- the script has no particular point to make...The director, Leta Tremblay, has assembled a cast that knows how to deliver the dialogue in the right hard-boiled fashion." Full Review

Entertaining, Great acting, Confusing

See it if You like great comedic acting, great costumes, clever concept of weaving nursery rhymes into a murder mystery (yet still adult-worthy)

Don't see it if you dont like whodunits....which I dont because there is just so much back and forth (yet I still like this show)

Clever, Delightful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like comedy, tragedy, noir, swing era 40s stuff, cartoons, puns.

Don't see it if you think nursery rhymes and cartoonish things played straight for laughs isn't for you

Also Solid show, great writing. Should be about 20 minutes shorter, though.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing

See it if You want a hilarious noir based on nursery rhymes, where puns fly frequently and the plot's smart enough so you have to pay attention.

Don't see it if Puns and parody aren't your thing, or you don't care for a production w/o too high a production value (homemade aesthetic part of appeal)

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you are a Mother Goose fan who enjoys silly humor and puns based on those characters; have a good sense of humor; enjoy laughing.

Don't see it if silly shows and plots are not your thing; you think Mother Goose is for kids; you dislike puns and humorous overacting.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if you like film noir, detective stories, puns, wordplay, fairy tales, & clever dialogue.

Don't see it if you don't like puns. They abound and are part of the charm

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy a clever 1940s detective story line with light humor, nothing too serious,

Don't see it if you want a roll in the aisles comedy, aren't familiar with your nursery rhyme characters.

Also It's a cleverly written detective dramedy using names of nursery rhyme... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if You enjoy making fun of film noir, silly humor, fairy tale characters, over the top, cartoonish characters, talented actors having fun

Don't see it if you are looking for a fancy production in a big theater. This is a low budget show but costumes are good, acting strong, dialogue fun.

Clever, Quirky, Indulgent, Silly, Insipid

See it if A play noir with many puns and intentional cliches. They set the mood nicely with the music and the intro. The actors hammed it up well.

Don't see it if You are seeking any meaning. I also didn't find it especially funny. It could have worked as a short skit. It lacked depth to last 1:40.

Cast & Creatives (17)