Murder For Two
When most people think Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, they think large- scale musicals. Shows such as “Oklahoma”, “South Pacific”, “My Fair Lady”, “Rent” and a host of larger shows with great dance numbers and songs that will be hummed on the way how. Surprise! Marriott had opted to do something different as part of the 2018/2019 season- a blend of comedy ( more farce than comedy), music and outright ZANY ( with a capital Z) all handled in 90 minutes by two very, and I mean very talented performers.
The name of the play is “Murder for Two” with a book by Joe Kinosian, who also wrote the music and Kellen Blair , who also write the lyrics . These two genius minds have created an amazing romp of a murder mystery with two actors playing all the parts. Let me clarify this. Noel Carey plays Marcus, the would-be detective who is just waiting for his opportunity to show his Chief that he is the best man for the department. All of the other characters in the play, the victims and those who are “suspects” are handled by Jason Grimm ( an extraordinary physical comedic talent). These men are both onstage from prior to the play even starting to its ending, and both of them play the piano as well as sing and provide the comic touches that will have you laughing for the entire 90 minutes of “mayhem”.
This show has been in the area before, at Chicago Shakespeare, and while it was cute, this version, directed to perfection by Scott Weinstein is breath-takingly spectacular ( but not for everyone). If you walk into the theater expecting to see a big- Broadway show, you will be disappointed. There were some folks, who had no idea of what they were in for, that left ten minutes into the show- I feel sorry for them, because they missed a great chance to laugh their life problems away. This is a “farce” and like all farces, designed to create something other than the stuff in our lives. The dazzling performances by these two men and the energy they create on the stage with a marvelous set (Scott Davis), solid lighting ( (Jesse Klug), and sound (Robert E. Gilmartin) made this show as easy to see and hear as one could want. Compared to the “other” production, this one was easier to follow with better props and I loved the fact they could move the stage in a circle.
Unlike the typical Marriott production with Patti Garwood and the orchestra, the music for this show is provided by Carey and Grimm, who are smooth as silk. You can join these two talents as the surprise birthday party of Great American Novelist Arthur Whitney goes badly. This is a WHUDUNIT that will have you laughing your A– off! They will play off the audience as well- they also bring a member of the audience onstage at one point, so keep your shoes on!