One man can change the world, the Labyrinth Theater Company's new play Radiance tells us, but doing so may well destroy him. Still nothing a little lot of whiskey won't cover up when the bright light of day comes calling. And never forget: there is nothing like a dame.

Written by Cusi Cram and directed by Suzanne Agins, Radiance starts off promising enough as breathy, busty and blonde May (Ana Reeder) tries to do the books in a seedy bar in 1955 LA (lovingly brought to life by scenic designer David Meyer). See, May's been sleeping with Artie (Kelly AuCoin), her married boss, and is sick of doing everything herself. So when a tall stranger named Rob (Kohl Sudduth) walks in looking for a drink or ten—and pitches in around the bar—the audience gets a brief hope that they are in for a 90-minute noir made flesh. And with Reeder's May walking around, all curves and Meanie Griffith-rasp, what a show that would be! Unfortunately, history intervenes.

Turns out the thin man who walked in the bar is somebody and a very Jewish producer from This Is Your Life (Aaron Roman Weiner) is desperate to get him back—sober or not—to the studio. NOW. Who is Rob? Let's just say he is a big one, as the show seems to want to keep his very real identity a surprise. We will say, however, that the more reality the show adds, the less interesting it gets—an increasing problem.

Radiance wants to shine light on the fact that important events change people and yet, despite strong performances and clever staging, it never quite finds the wattage.

Through December 2 // Tickets // 155 Bank Street