“The Artificial Jungle,” playwright Charles Ludlam’s self-proclaimed ”masterpiece of suspense”, opens at Groves Cabin Theatre in Morongo Valley on Saturday, February 15.

In “The Artificial Jungle,” the sociopathic Roxanne schemes to bump off Chester Nurdiger, her pet-store owner husband.  Chester uses ventriloquism to sell a mute parrot to an unsuspecting cop, and the piranhas are forever rattling their aquarium. As if things weren’t sleazy enough, a mysterious drifter named Zachary Slade responds to the help-wanted sign in the pet shop’s window and insinuates himself into this dysfunctional household. Roxanne develops a thing for Zachary, and they conspire to buy her husband a fat new life insurance policy.  The Artificial Jungle is a clever, engaging, and wonderfully ridiculous spoof of “Double Indemnity,” “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” and other film noir classics.

This production is directed by multiple Desert Theatre League award winner Wendy Cohen. It features Julie Scott as Roxanne, Brandan Greenwood as Chester, John Linn as Zachary, Vicki Montgomery as Mother Nurdiger, Joy Groves as Mrs. Muncie, and Heather Anderson as the Piranhas. Darin Eldridge will handle lighting and sound.

With only 22 seats in the intimate theatre, early reservations are a must.

Groves Cabin Theatre is located at 8768 Desert Willow Trail in Morongo Valley north of Highway 62 (look for the large red, white, and blue stone on the north side of the highway).  The play will be performed Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. for four weekends – Saturday, February 15, through Sunday, March 9. Tickets for all seats are $12.  For reservations call 760-365-4523; www.grovescabintheatre.org.

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