Murder for Two
Occasionally the musical theater world succumbs to the financial demands of producing and delivers shows that are bare bones. Sometimes these evening are entertaining, and sometimes they are merely excuses for under realized shows that deserve more elaborate presentation. Fortunately for "Murder for Two," it is both economic and entertaining, with the former being the primary reason for the latter.
The two person / piano only musical is the creation of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, and they have found the perfect pair to deliver their musical whodunit in Jeff Blumenkrantz (the multi-talented actor and composer, who just appeared in the New York Philharmonic's production of "Sweeney Todd" with Emma Thompson) and Brett Ryback ("How I Met Your Mother"). Ghostlight Records continues their admirable archiving of so many of the latest musical shows by producing this original cast recording.
Ryback plays Marcus, the young police officer who wants desperately to be a detective, and finds his opportunity when he is sent to investigate the murder of the great novelist, Arthur Whitney. The suspects, ranging from the Dahlia and Steph Whitney, the wife and niece of the victim, to Murray and Barb Flandon, the Whitney's pesky neighbors, all have two things in common: their dislike of the deceased, and they are all played expertly by Blumenkrantz.
The recording plays like a traditional radio play, giving Blumenkrantz the advantage of allowing his impersonations to do the "talking" without us seeing a middle-aged man on stage in different guises. The catchy melodies include Marcus' declaration, "Protocol Says," a trio (you get to figure it out) by three juvenile delinquents titled, "A Lot Woise," and the love song, "A Friend Like You." Currently playing at the New World Stages under the direction of Scott Schwartz (Stephen's son), if the live production is as effective as the audio version, "Murder for Two" should have a healthy run.
"Murder for Two" (Original Cast Recording)
Jeff Blumenkrantz / Brett Ryback
CD and Digital formats