Murder For Two

by  Joe Kinosian, Kellen Blair

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  2 any gender

Officer Marcus Moscowicz is 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 skills—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!

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2 any gender
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce, Mystery/Thriller
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Officer Marcus Moscowicz is 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 skills—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!

Murder For Two is the perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder!  In this hilarious 90-minute show, 2 performers play 13 roles—not to mention the piano—in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries.  The New York Times calls it “INGENIOUS!  A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs.”  You won’t want to miss this killer musical comedy!
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Accolades

  • WINNER! 2011 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical
    DRAMA DESK AWARD NOMINATION - Outstanding Book of a Musical - 2014
    DRAMA LEAGUE AWARD NOMINATION - Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical - 2014
    OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINATION - Outstanding New Off Broadway Musical - 2014

Reviews

"A large piano dominates the stage, which the duo often play together. Hands crisscross the keyboard at high speed, offering ample musical delights. This whodunit...is proof positive that clever writing and excellent actors are all that is needed to captivate an audience... The props are few, but the entertainment value is high." - Huffington Post, Read More

"Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair’s score is a silly-clever throwback to 1950s novelty cabaret, and director Scott Schwartz milks the show for every drop of tomfoolery: vaudeville bits, sound effects, meta winks, audience participation. Like many a lark, Murder for Two...wins you over with droll writing and winsome performances... If you like your show-business men hardworking, you may end up smitten." - Time Out NY, Read More 

"Was the killer Dahlia, the deceased’s wife, a Southern belle who resented her husband for ending her glamorous stage career? Or Barrette Lewis, the celebrated ballerina who was seeing him on the sly? Or the psychiatrist Dr. Griff, who seemed to be treating just about everyone in the room at the time of the murder? It couldn’t possibly be a member of that boys’ choir on hand for Arthur’s birthday party, now could it? Then again, they’re a tough little bunch." - New York Times, Read More

Videos

  • Murder For Two - Montage
  • Protocol Says
  • Friend Like You
  • A Lot Worse
More videos +

Keywords

Betrayal, Death

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: An isolated mansion in rural New England, present day. 
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

2 any gender
MARCUS MOSCOWICZ - an ambitious young officer

THE SUSPECTS
DAHLIA WHITNEY - the victim’s loopy widow
MURRAY & BARB FLANDON - the Whitneys’ bickering neighbors
STEPH WHITNEY - an overeager grad student
BARRETTE LEWIS - a self-incriminating ballerina
DR. GRIFF - a friendly local psychiatrist
TIMMY, YONKERS, & SKID - members of an antiquated boys’ choir
HENRY VIVALDI - a late arrival
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Murder For Two is performed by two piano-playing actors, and is intended to be performed with minimal, if any, production elements. The only necessary set piece is a piano in the middle of the room on which the actors accompany themselves and one another. One actor portrays MARCUS, while the other portrays all of THE SUSPECTS. 

Resources

Available Services

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Authors

Joe Kinosian

Joe Kinosian

Kellen Blair

Kellen Blair

Murder For Two was developed at The Adirondack Theatre Festival and 42nd Street Moon. Chicago Shakespeare Theater presented the World Premiere Production in May, 2011, which was extended 4 times and ran for more than 6 months. Kinosian and Blair were recognized with a 2011 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Musical. Murder For Two opened at Second Stage Theatre’s uptown home, the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, in July, 2013. It was extended twice due to popular demand. The Second Stage production transferred to New World Stages, where performances began on October 23, 2013. Murder For Two had a subsequent two-year national tour, and it has been performed in Japan, South Korea, China, Argentina, Brazil, and the UK. 

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