Crime Does Not Pay is an American comic series that was published in the 1940s, launching the crime genre, as the first ‘true crime’ comic book series. The series was illustrated by Bob Wood and George Tuska with the assistance of others and was usually narrated by “Mr Crime” a ghost-like character in a top hat. This comic book series and Bob Wood, in particular, is the focus of a world premiere musical Crime Does Not Pay by Downstage Theatre and Forte Musical Guild, with support from Hit & Myth Productions. Upon first glance, it’s understandable why creators David Rhymer and Kris Demeanor would be interested in creating a musical about this comic series. There are questions about censorship, there is a whole volume of illustrations to play around with and Bob Wood was a dark and sinister character himself. But the production is devoid of empathy, for most of the characters and the audience winds up leaving feeling empty.
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