"I'm not one of them storybook characters," a charismatic young man assures his girl of the moment. As the plot develops, we watch the girl be seduced and then disillusioned by the man she thought was one-of-a-kind. Her hard lesson captures in microcosm the appeal of adapting John Cassavetes's 1959 film Shadows to the stage, a project taken on two years ago by the ensemble company Hoi Polloi and now in revival at the company's new theatrical home, Jack in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Cassavetes's film, his first, is a barely plotted, hyper-naturalized slice of life in the "shadows" of New York City's jazz scene. The film's credits call it an "improvisation," a typically coy claim by Cassavetes to make his audience feel they've witnessed an authentic experience rather than a carefully crafted representation. (The film was made without a script, and most of the characters were given the same names as their actors, but that doesn't mean the scenes were unplanned.) Bringing the film to theatrical life—scene by scene, line by line, gesture by gesture—is to be wiser than the girl. It is to be charmed but never tricked by those who claim to be "real," but are, in fact, characters from a human imagination.