Sunday September 24th 2017

“Murder for Two-A Killer Musical”

It is not often that I tell you that this is a MUST SEE! “Murder For Two-A Killer Musical”, a premiere now on stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre on Navy Pier’s Upstairs theater, is by far one of the funniest little productions to come around in years! With a sparkling book by Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, Music by Kinosian and lyrics by Blair and directed by David H. Bell ( the PHD of directors/choreographers when it comes tomusicals- large and small). What an evening of entertainment. This 90 plus minutes of non-stop laughter is so funny that even I ( I am known for my powerful laughter) was drowned out by the full house. The premise of this evening of hilarity is a sort of Agatha Christie murder mystery, with one actor ( the adorable and comical Alan Schmuckler) playing the inspector ( who desires to be an actual detective) and all the other characters being played by the very talented Joe Kinosian. Both of these actors are wonderful pianists in addition their acting abilities and the stamina they have is unbelievable. They are non-stop ( Kinosian must lose five pounds  each performance).

The set  is a unique drawing room with a manor house hanging  above ( clever set by Scott Davis and great lighting effects by Jesse Klug). As the show opens we hear mumblings of people waiting to surprise our victim at his surprise party, as cars pull up towards the estate we see them above the stage on small tracks and then he arrives enters and as they yell surprise he is shot! And now the fun begins. Officer Marcus Moscowicz ( Schmuckler) arrives withan invisible officer to work on the case while waiting for the inspector and begins his interviews with the  nine suspects ( all played by Kinosian, a real talent). For the next 100 minutes and eleven musical pieces ( nothing memorable, but perfect to keep within the story line) we  go from sub-plot to sub-plot waiting for Marcus to crack the case, before the real inspector arrives. This may be his break in reaching the rank he desires.

This is a musical farce with music that will remind you of Sondheim and comic touches that are both burlesque and vaudeville and could easily be equated with the Marx Brothers. In particular after the curtain calls when Schmuckler and Kinosian do a special reprise that truly shows off the magical fingers in their piano playing. What a delight! No matter what is going on in your life! No matter how bad a day you might have had! There is nothing but release of any stress you may have from watching this comic masterpiece- one that I am sure will be done for years to come in theaters all over the world ( providing they can find talent as perfect as these two performers).

From start to finish, every little detail is sheer perfection. Roberta Duchak’s musical direction is flawless , and I must tell you some of the lyrics and music are quite hectic. James Savage did a super job with the sound and Jeremy W. Floyd’s costumes were superb. The props by  Chelsea  Meyers added to the comic touches, but I would have to say that this was truly a team effort and one that you will never forget. To be one of the lucky audience members to view this show, you will have to move quickly as it is only scheduled to run through  June 19thwith performances as follows:

Wednesday,Thursday,Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m.

Tickets for this hysterical romp are a mere $25-$30 and can be purchased at the box office, by phone at  312-595-5600 or online at www.chicagoshakes.com

Discounted parking at Navy Pier is available by bringing your parking ticket to the theater for validation ( 40% off) and of course public transportation is available. On Wednesday and Saturday nights, after the show, you can enjoy the beauty of navy Pier’s fireworks making the night very special.  Do not miss this one!

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