Blackmail may have been effective in the days of Hitchcock and J. Edgar Hoover, but in the age of people blogging their sexcapades and posting colonoscopy videos on Facebook, it doesn’t pay. Cases in point: David Letterman, David Boreanaz, and Cameron Diaz screwed over potential extortionists by publicly airing their dirty laundry rather than forking over a dime.
Extortion and revenge are at the heart of Stephen Belber’s Tape, on stage through Sunday, December 17, at Venue 104 in Tempe. The show follows Vince, a drug dealer slash volunteer firefighter who tapes a former high school buddy’s admission that he date raped an old flame. The situation combusts when the alleged victim shows up for dinner with the two men.
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Tape will be the final production at Venue 104, which is set to close in December. “It’s very intense,” says artistic director Michael Peck. “You’ll swear that someone’s going to be murdered by the end of the show.”