Here is what theatre professionals have to say about Black Box, the premier novel from CoHo co-founder Gary Cole.
“BLACK BOX is a nicely paced tale, told with insight and affection for both the theater and suspense genre – a nifty mash-up of Ibsen, Shakespeare, and Mickey Spillane.”Paul Frellick, Former Artistic Director at Organic Theater (Chicago)
“Black Box is a lot of fun. Gary D. Cole takes a beloved staple of mystery novels—the hard-nosed, wisecracking gumshoe—and transforms him into Portland’s latest theater critic, devising a local version of Hamlet’s Mousetrap stratagem to nudge a dangerous secret into the open. Along the way, we get to visit some of our favorite watering holes and performing spaces (and enjoy some inside jokes, as well), in a story whose twists and turns keep you guessing until the very end.”Mead Hunter, Former Literary Director at Portland Center Stage
“An entertaining and engaging trip through the dark side of live theater; its backstage and offstage politics, its actors, technicians, producers, critics, patrons and audiences. As dark as the world portrayed in Black Box may be, it also testifies to the power of live theater as a home to dedicated artists, and its unique power to move and open the minds of the audience.”Michael Griggs, Portland theater Director
“Reading Black Box by Gary D. Cole felt like a Thursday throw back. There is something about the “film noir” quality, the seedy side of the old Portland theatre scene and city, the recognizable sounding places, the actual places and the fun familiarity, if not stock characters, of the theatre folk that inhabit this story that makes this novel a quick and often exciting read. Some nice twists and turns and unexpected surprises along the way were great. One thing I enjoyed in particular was the dogged determination of our protagonist, fighting through his own demons, to gather and inspire those around him to forge on and persevere. To win and in the winning learn something about himself and his personal journey. If you’re a lover of theatre, you’ll really love the journey through Black Box.”Michael Mendelson, Artistic Director at Portland Shakespeare Project
“Black Box is a cornucopia of delights. Cole’s protagonist, a transplanted theater critic playing detective, pens a “Mousetrap” to reveal sex, lies and secrets. In this world, money incites the action: who has it, who doesn’t and what the characters do to get it. There are laugh-out-loud recognition scenes of local Portland theaters seasoned with nefarious politics, aspiring stage personalities, and backstage surprises. The revelations keep coming with a satisfying recognition scene and final accounting. What fun!”Karin Magaldi, Associate Director of Theater and Professor, Theater Arts Portland State University