A mix of Agatha Christie mystery, old-fashioned musical comedy and modern panache, this whodunit comes with a killer twist: one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all 13 suspects, and they both play the piano! Following the murder of a well-known novelist, Officer Marcus Moscowicz is thrown into a houseful of eccentric and cunning charactersincluding a wife who is more concerned about stolen ice cream than her murdered husband and a twelve-member boys' choir that happens to be nine members short. A hilarious display of wits and musical showmanship, this madcap musical mystery will tickle the ivories and your funny bone.
Approximate Running Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Murder for Two is presented in the The Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater.
In a small town where everyone knows everything about everybody else, the only mystery is: who killed Arthur Whitney? The town’s eccentric inhabitants are gathered to celebrate the birthday of the great American novelist, but before the partygoers can shout "Surprise!" and turn on the lights, a shot rings out and Arthur collapses dead to the floor.
Hoping to solve the crime and prove himself a pro, Officer Marcus is on the scene in minutes before the real detective arrives. If only he could stick to protocol and avoid distraction from a beautiful stranger at the worst possible moment...
Marcus and his partner "Lou" set to work interrogating the partygoers who, strangely enough, all seem to have a motive to murder Arthur. Could it be the novelist’s widow Dahlia Whitney, who seems more concerned with finding out who stole the ice cream than who killed her husband? Or Steph, the victim's niece and an aspiring criminologist, who is a little too eager to help Marcus interrogate the victim's squabbling neighbors—and notorious gossips—the local psychiatrist and the prima ballerina? And what about the 12-member boys’ choir that happens to be nine members short?
In this mansion full of madcap mystery, only one thing is for certain: even if he can't crack the case, Marcus and his slew of suspects will keep the clues piling up and the one-liners flying.
Joe Kinosian (The Suspects/Book and Music) makes his Chicago Shakespeare Theater debut. Regional credits include developmental productions of Murder for Two in San Francisco and the Adirondack Theatre Festival. For the past three years, he has served as musical director and performer in the Off Broadway musical Dear Edwina; his combination of acting and piano playing was also featured in the Hangar Theatre's production of Dirty Blonde, with Emily Skinner. Mr. Kinosian's New York credits include: actor in The Hudsucker Proxy (Manhattan Theatre Club) and Beatsville (National Alliance for Musical Theatre); and pianist for the pre-Broadway workshops of The Color Purple. He met Kellen Blair at the BMI Musical Theatre Writers' Workshop, which in its first year honored Mr.
Kinosian with the Jerry Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement. Mr. Kinosian also writes songs
for the New York City-based pop band Amy Lynn and the Gunshow. www.kinosianandblair.com
Adam Overett (Officer Marcus Moscowicz—beginning October 19) makes his Chicago Shakespeare debut. Broadway and national tour credits include Neil Kellerman in Dirty Dancing and understudying Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza. Off Broadway and regional credits include Malcolm in The Full Monty and Marcus in Murder for Two (Adirondack Theatre Festival, 42nd Street Moon). His composer, bookwriter and lyricist credits include: a contributor to the score of We the People: America Rocks! (Lucille Lortel nomination Best Off Broadway Musical); book, music and lyrics for Call It Courage (Zach Theatre, Austin); My Life Is a Musical; the short musicals Habemus Papam, I Don’t Speak Italian and Seeing the Light; and other works. Mr. Overett has studied musical theater writing with Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty, Adam Guettel, Andrew Lippa and the BMI Musical Theater Workshop (Jerry Harrington Award for Excellence). He is a 2010-2011 Dramatists Guild Fellow and a graduate of Yale University. adamoverett.com
Alan Schmuckler (Officer Marcus Moscowicz—through October 16) returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where his acting credits include: Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Much Ado About Nothing. His musical credits at Chicago Shakespeare Theater include The Emperor's New Clothes (music and lyrics; book by David Holstein) and How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? (book, music and lyrics with Michael Mahler), which both received critically acclaimed world premieres. Other Chicago credits include: Sugar (Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Jeff Nomination); A Minister's Wife (Writers' Theatre, Jeff nomination); Merrily We Roll Along (The Music Theatre Company); Fiorello! (TimeLine Theatre); Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story (Drury Lane Water Tower Place); Shenandoah and others (The Marriott Theatre); as well as work with Lookingglass Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Provision Theater and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Regional credits include work at Indiana Repertory Theatre and Wagon Wheel Theatre. Mr. Schmuckler is a graduate of Northwestern University and a member of AEA and ASCAP.
Kellen Blair (Creator/Book and Lyrics) makes his Chicago Shakespeare Theater debut. In addition to Murder for Two, Mr. Blair
wrote the lyrics for Pirates Don't Change Diapers (Theatreworks USA), the film Famous Last Words (Mental Floss
Magazine), and a variety of songs for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Public Theater, and BMI's Semi-
Annual Smoker. Mr. Blair attended the Academy for New Musical Theatre in North Hollywood and was a participant of the 2010 Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project. He is an advanced member of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop and a member of the Dramatists Guild. He is currently planning future collaborations with fellow creator Joe Kinosian. www.kinosianandblair.com
Scott Davis (Scenic Designer) returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where he previously designed the scenery for Short Shakespeare! Macbeth. Other Chicago credits include: Venus, Where We're Born (Steppenwolf Garage) Peribañz, A Midsummer Night's Dream, In Trousers, MASS, The Jungalbook (Costume Design), You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, State(s) of America (Northwestern University); and Trinity River Plays (Associate Designer; Goodman Theatre and Dallas Theatre Center). Regional credits include: Filthy Rich, The Colored Museum, Alice In Wonderland, Home Free!, The Weir (Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center); In the Heart of America (Associate Designer; Rep Stage); Through the Looking Glass and The Cassandra Project (The Capitol Fringe Festival). Mr. Davis received degrees from the University of Maryland College Park and Northwestern University.
Jeremy W. Floyd (Costume Designer) returns to Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, where he previously served as the Associate Costume Designer for Short Shakespeare! Macbeth (2011). Other Chicago credits include: The Hot Mikado (Drury Lane Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Handmaid's Tale, Indians (Northwestern University); and Election Day (Theatre Seven of Chicago). Regional credits include Harriet Jacobs (Kansas City Repertory Theatre) and Gut Bucket Blues (True Colors Theatre Company). Mr. Floyd holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology form the University of South Alabaman, a Master of Arts in Dramatic Theory and Criticism from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Fine Arts in Stage Design form Northwester University where he is now an adjunct professor of design.
James Savage (Sound Designer) is head of the sound department at CST, where over 20 sound design credits include: Funk It Up About Nothin' (2008 and 2011 at CST and on international tour to Scotland, Australia, and England), Short Shakespeare! Macbeth, The Emperor's New Clothes, Disney's Aladdin, Twelfth Night, Short Shakespeare! A Midsummer Night's Dream, Willy Wonka, Othello, Passion, How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? , Hamlet, A Flea in Her Ear, The Princess and the Pea, Seussical! The Musical, Peter Pan, Much Ado About Nothing, A Little Night Music, all five CPS Shakespeare! productions and work on other CST productions since 2002. His special effects design credits include Richard III, Macbeth and Cymbeline. He has served as the lead mix engineer with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Regional design credits include sound design for Sondheim's Saturday Night and assistant sound design for The Hot Mikado (University of Cincinnati—College Conservatory of Music).