Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pick of the Week - "Murder for Two" - A Lethal Song and Dance Whodunit

A scene from "Murder for Two"
  In all my years, make that decades,  of theater-going, I've never encountered a musical murder mystery. In fact, I never even considered the possibility of such a thing.
  However,  the talented writing team of Joe Kinosian (music and book) and Kellen Blair (lyrics and book), did and  created "Murder for Two ,"a murder mystery musical now getting a staging at the CLO Cabaret Theater in Theater Square in Downtown Pittsburgh The show runs through Jan. 18.
 Billed as a perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder, this witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries is performed by two performers playing 13 roles - not to mention the piano! The New York Times calls this hilarious 90-minute whodunit "INGENIOUS! A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs."
    The plot focuses on Officer Marcus Moscowicz, a small town policeman with dreams of making it to detective. One fateful night, shots ring out at the surprise birthday party of Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney and the writer is killed…fatally.
    With the nearest detective an hour away, Marcus jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skill - with the help of his silent partner, Lou. But whodunit? Did Dahlia Whitney, Arthur’s scene-stealing wife, give him a big finish? Is Barrette Lewis, the prima ballerina, the prime suspect? Did Dr. Griff, the overly-friendly psychiatrist, make a frenemy? Marcus has only a short amount of time to find the killer and make his name before the real detective arrives…and the ice cream melts!
    Brandon Lambert (Marcus) and John Wascavage (the Suspects) have the onerous responsibility of portraying multiple characters. Lambert is a graduate of Point Park University returning to the CLO Cabaret after last appearing in Plaid Tidings as Jinx.  Other Pittsburgh credits include Born Yesterday (Pittsburgh Public Theater) and Legally Blonde (Pittsburgh Musical Theatre).  NYC credits include Natoma (Victor Herbert Renaissance Project) and the Wall-to-Wall Cabaret (Symphony Space).
    Wascavage returns to the CLO Cabaret after appearing in A Grand Night For Singing and ‘S Wonderful: The New Gershwin Musical. NYC Credits: James Monroe in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Piper Theatre), George in The Wedding Singer (Secret Theatre), Ensemble in SuperSoldier by Jim Rado (Fundamental Theatre Project), Ensemble in For Goodness Sake (Musicals Tonight), Rock Henderson in FABULOUS (Richmond Shepard Theatre). Regional Credits: Candide in Candide (Quantum Theatre), Posner in The History Boys (Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre).
  I bet even the ancient Greeks never thought of staging a musical murder mystery. Take that Sophocles and Aristophanes! Now if we could only get Arthur Conan Doyle teamed up with Stephen Sondheim in a musical production of, say, "The Hound of the Baskervilles !" 
    For tickets, phone 412-456-6666.

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