Writer, director and puppet master Susan Simpson presents a Raymond Chandler-style mystery with puppets in “Concrete Folk Variations: Chapter One: Death of a Sugar Daddy.” Bullish detective Loretta Salt attempts to solve the murder of a high society lesbian matriarch during the McCarthy-era crackdown on the homosexual community. “Death of a Sugar Daddy” is the first chapter in a series of plays featuring Detective Salt.
The adult-themed puppet show is an unusual artistic expression, but it is haunting and lyrical. Once the audience is immersed in the story, the oddity of watching women play with dolls quickly subsides. The show only suffers from its voluminous amounts of exposition, a prerequisite of pulp fiction.
The Manual Archives is located at 3320 West Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. For more information, visit www.manualarchives.org.