Neil Down is a detective in the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles in 1938. A beautiful dame with a missing sister shows up one day and hires Neil and his partner to find her. Along the way, Neil’s former partner with the FBI and the local police accuse Neil of murder, and the missing person’s case turns into a search for stolen diamonds as well. It’s a groan a minute tour de force homage to the detective movies of the forties. Since “Up and Down Detective Agency” is a period piece, it holds up well (despite the overabundance of dad jokes). I love this story and the characters who tell it. I plan to continue to work on improving this play until it gives the audience the same feeling I get watching the old Bogart films. Here’s looking at you … kid.
If you like film noir, you’ll like this play. If you’re a fan of “dad” humor as well, you’ll love it! With character names like Neil Down, Stan Up and Ben Over, it’s one pun and misunderstanding after another.
The One-Act version placed as a semi-finalist in the Seventh Comtra Annual Theatrical Playwrights Awards (CATPAWS #7) and was produced at Comtra Theatre in June of 1989. The full-length played a three-week production run at Comtra Theatre in Cranberry, Pennsylvania in June of 1994. Produced in February, 1995 at Stage Right Theatre in Pittsburgh, in October of 2017 at Our Lady of Sacred Heart High School. Most recently produced at Red Barn Theatre in Zelienople, PA in June 2018. Named as a finalist in the Fort Worth Community Arts Original Works Series and received a reading in March of 2020 (Online instead of staged – thanks COVID).