This week I was given the opportunity to see the regional premiere of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair’s whodunit musical, Murder for Two at the Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret Theater. Filled with fabulous characters, wonderfully talented actors and a beautiful design, Murder for Two is a wonderful night of theater that everyone should take the time and see. The show begins with a surprise party that goes horribly wrong—the guest of honor is murdered. Officer Marcus, the wannabe detective (Ian Lowe) happens to be in the ‘right place at the right time’ and hopes that if he determines who the murderer is he will get the promotion that he been wanting.
The Suspects are all played by the show’s writer, Joe Kinosian. Kinosian plays over ten characters, each with its own physicality and distinct voice, all of which are suspected killers in the death of Arthur Whitney. Lowe and Kinosian portray all of these characters while singing and accompanying themselves on the piano. Director Scott Schwartz brings his fabulous production from New York City’s New World Stage and Second Stage Uptown to the intimate Cabaret Theater in Pittsburgh’s Theater Square. Schwartz brings along with him his talented scenic designer Beowulf Boritt to take the CLO Theater and turn it into an industrial chic Whitney mansion. Murder for Two also showcases the talents of Andrea Lauer (costume designer), Jason Lyons (lighting designer), Jill Bc Du Boff (sound designer), David Caldwell (music director), and Wendy Seyb (choreographer).
All aspects of the show flow so seamlessly together you forget that you are in the theater and you get swept up into the show’s intrigue. Murder for Two is a fabulously written musical with a great conceit: Two actors, four hands, 13 characters, one piano, 90 minutes, two murders, and one killer. Beautifully designed, magnificently acted, and flawlessly directed, Murder for Two is a show that I suggest you don’t miss. Running through January 18, 2015, you have plenty of time to check out this fantastic night of theater. I do suggest the show before November 22 to catch Kinosian and Lowe, because a second cast takes over the run on the 23rd. Tickets range from $35.00 to $50.00 and can be purchased from pittsburghclo.org, and are worth every penny. Shows are Wednesday to Saturday at 7:30PM, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00PM. For a full list of show times, be sure to check out the CLO’s website. Special thanks to the CLO for two complimentary press tickets.
Performance Date: October 30, 2014